Booth Records - Maternity Home and Hospital Records
Booth Memorial, White Shield, and Door of Hope Hospital and Maternity Homes
Not long after The Salvation Army was formed, the first homes for women were established in London, England, under the leadership of Mrs. Bramwell Booth, the young daughter-in-law of the Founder, William Booth. In 1884 these were primarily for destitute women, and many who came were young, expectant mothers.
The Army soon realized that pregnant women needed different care and opened a small "rescue home." By 1887 rescue homes had made it to America. The first was opened in Brooklyn, NY and within seven years 15 homes were operating across the United States.
The Western Territory established its first home in 1887 in Oakland, California. During their peak, there were 10 institutions across the West in Anchorage, Alaska; Boise, Idaho; Denver, Colorado; El Paso, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Los Angeles, California; Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon (White Shield); San Diego, California (Door of Hope); and Spokane, Washington.
A shift in society's mores lessening the stigma of unmarried births and the introduction of the birth control pill and abortion diminished the need and practicality for the homes and hospitals. Exorbitant costs, maintaining hospital standards, as well as legal constraints and considerations arose. By the mid-70s Booth Hospitals in the Western Territory had either closed or revamped their services to meet the needs of a new generation.
- El Paso, TX
- Honolulu, HI
- Los Angeles, CA
- Oakland, CA
- Portland, OR
- San Diego, CA
- Spokane, WA
- Anchorage, AK
- Reunion Registry
- Non-identifying information
- Counseling and Referral
- Confidential search to locate birthmothers