Definitions for baby farming
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word baby farming
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a place that houses and takes care of babies for a fee.
a residence for unwed mothers that also arranges adoptions.
Origin of baby farm:
The business of keeping a baby farm.
the business of keeping a baby farm
Baby farming was a term used in late-Victorian Era Britain to mean the taking in of an infant or child for payment; if the infant was young, this usually included wet-nursing. Some baby farmers "adopted" children for lump-sum payments, while others cared for infants for periodic payments. Though baby farmers were paid in the understanding that care would be provided, the term "baby farmer" was used as an insult, and improper treatment was usually implied. Illegitimacy and its attendant stigma were usually the impetus for a mother's decision to put her children "out to nurse" with a baby farmer, but baby farming also encompassed foster care and adoption in the period before they were regulated by British law. Richer women would also put their babies out to be cared for in the homes of villagers. Claire Tomalin gives a detailed account of this in her biography of Jane Austen, who was fostered in this manner, as were all her siblings, from a few months old until they were toddlers. Tomalin emphasises the emotional distance this created. Particularly in the case of lump-sum adoptions, it was more profitable for the baby farmer if the infant or child she adopted died, since the small payment could not cover the care of the child for long. Some baby farmers adopted numerous children and then neglected them or murdered them outright. Several were tried for murder, manslaughter, or criminal neglect and were hanged. Margaret Waters and Amelia Dyer were two infamous British baby farmers, as were Amelia Sach and Annie Walters. The last baby farmer to be executed in Britain was Rhoda Willis, who was hanged in Wales in 1907. The only woman to be executed in New Zealand, Minnie Dean, was a baby farmer. In Germany and Scandinavia there was an euphemism for this activity: "Engelmacherin", "änglamakerska" and "englemagerske", all literally meaning a female "angel maker".
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