Misconceptions: Unmarried Motherhood and the Ontario Children of Unmarried Parents Act, 1921-1969 by Lori ChambersMisconceptions: Unmarried Motherhood and the Ontario Children of Unmarried Parents Act, 1921-1969 by Lori Chambers

Misconceptions: Unmarried Motherhood and the Ontario Children of Unmarried Parents Act, 1921-1969

byLori Chambers

Paperback | September 22, 2007

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In 1921, despite the passing of legislation intended to ease the consequences of illegitimacy for children (Children of Unmarried Parents Act), reformers in Ontario made no effort to improve the status of unwed mothers. Furthermore, the reforms that were passed served as models for legislation in other provinces and even in some American states, institutionalizing, in essence, the prejudices evident throughout. Until now, historians have not sufficiently studied these measures, resulting in the marginalization of unwed mothers as historical subjects. In Misconceptions, Lori Chambers seeks to redress this oversight.

By way of analysis and careful critique, Chambers shows that the solutions to unwed pregnancy promoted in the reforms of 1921 were themselves based upon misconceptions. The book also explores the experiences of unwed mothers who were subjected to the legislation of the time, thus shedding an invaluable light on these formerly ignored subjects. Ultimately, Misconceptions argues that child welfare measures which simultaneously seek to rescue children and punish errant women will not, and cannot, succeed in alleviating child or maternal poverty.

Lori Chambers is a professor in the Department of Women's Studies at Lakehead University.
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Title:Misconceptions: Unmarried Motherhood and the Ontario Children of Unmarried Parents Act, 1921-1969Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.74 inPublished:September 22, 2007Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing DivisionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802082467

ISBN - 13:9780802082466

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Introduction

  1. ‘Such a Program of Legislation’: Illegitimacy and Law Reform
  2. ‘Doubtful of Her Veracity’: Procedures and Judgment under theChildren of Unmarried Parents Act
  3. ‘I Did Not Bring This Child into the World BY MYSELF’: Stories of Unwed Pregnancy
  4. ‘Best for Our Babies’: The Adoption Mandate
  5. ‘Haunted by Bills’: Lone Motherhood and Poverty
  6. ‘Known as MRS S’: Cohabitation and theChildren of Unmarried Parents Act

Conclusions

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

Legislative Assembly of Ontario Speaker’s Book Award - 04 - CA - 20121101