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StoryCorps: Sister Mary DeSalles Collins

From: StoryCorps
Series: StoryCorps
Length: 01:51

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Sister Mary DeSalles Collins, who worked at New York Foundling for over 50 years, remembers one adoption just after World War II. Read the full description.

Collinsm_small Sister Mary DeSalles spent over 50 years working at New York Foundling - one of the oldest adoption agencies in New York
City.

She found homes for hundreds of children, but one case stands out....

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Piece Description

Sister Mary DeSalles spent over 50 years working at New York Foundling - one of the oldest adoption agencies in New York
City.

She found homes for hundreds of children, but one case stands out....

Broadcast History

NPR's Morning Edition 12.26.08

Transcript

MDC: I had an adoption, a little baby boy - it was an extramarital relationship. Her husband was off at war and she became pregnant by someone else. And the law says the husband is presumed to be the father, so he has to sign a surrender.

So I went out to the tenement house on a Saturday morning. It was not a good section of Manhattan. Rang the doorbell, no answer. Rang it a second time, still no answer. Third time a voice comes out and said, “Who is it?” And I said “I have an appointment with Mr. So-and-So.” “Oh, that’s my father .” I said, “Well, is he there?” “No, he’s gone to work. He’s working over at this bar and grill.” I said now what do I do? I’m in a full habit down to the ground. We wore a little black hat with a cape, and I was only 98 pounds. But this was December 21st. I was gonna get this little boy placed in his adoptive home before Christmas.

So we went over, 8:30 i...
Read the full transcript

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

Time now for StoryCorps... this project is recording the stories of everyday Americans.

Today, we'll hear from a 95 year old Sister of Charity...

TAPE
"My name is Sister Mary DeSalles Collins. I'm a retiree at the Convent of Mary the Queen in Yonkers, New York."

Sister Mary DeSalles (duh SALES) spent over 50 years working at New York Foundling -- one of the oldest adoption agencies in New York City.

She found homes for HUNDREDS of children...

But ONE case stands out.

It was during the holidays, just after World War Two...

TAPE
"I had an adoption...really need and deserve"

OUTRO:

Sister Mary DeSalles Collins in New York City.

Her interview will be archived along with ALL the others at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast, at NPR-DOT-ORG.

Additional Credits

State Farm, NPR, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Related Website

www.storycorps.net/listen