HC Deb 21 March 1923 vol 161 c2601W

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the case of an English orphan girl of seven years of age, named Doris Hawker, whose father was killed in the War, who has been sent to Madras by a certain charitable institution and handed over for adoption by a family of Eurasians in that city; whether the sanction of any Government Office was obtained before the departure of the child; and whether he will consider the desirability of introducing legislation to specially protect children of tender years from similar treatment?


asked the Home Secretary if his attention has been called to Doris Hawker, aged seven years, of Mortlake, daughter of an English soldier killed in the War, who has been sent to Madras, India, by Miss Skinner, of the Princess Louise Home, Kingston Hill, to be adopted by an Eurasian midwife; and will he take steps to prevent any more, girls being sent out of this country by the Princess Louise Home until an inquiry has been held into the method of finding foster-parents abroad for orphan children?


My attention had nor previously been drawn to this case. I have caused inquiry to be made and I am informed that Doris Hawker was never in the Princess Louise Home but resided with her mother at East Sheen. The adoption was arranged, with the consent of the child's mother, by a former mistress of the home, who still resides there. Both women believed that the adopting party was English. No consent of any Government Office was required. The authorities of the Princess Louise Home say that the adoption was not arranged by them, but on the facts before me I cannot acquit them of all responsibility in the matter. I am making inquiry through the India Office as to what has happened to the girl.