0 NLY in Roman Catholic adoption work are there more children than there are adopters willing to take them."
This. on the authority of Margaret Kornitzer, who in Child Adoption in the Modern World (Putnam. 16s.) gives us the result of some wide and intensive research into the subject. Adoption of children is now very much part of our present-day civilisation, especially in this country and in the United States. Legislation before and (we hope) after is strict. In the United Kingdom. at any rate. the individual's rights were watched over by voluntary societies even before the law took a hand.
In the case of legal adoption, if both the parents are concerned, the child must he brought up in the religion of the father; in the case of an illegitimate child, in that of the mother.
The lack of Catholic adopters-or rather the long queues of Catholic children whom no Catholics seem
willing to adopt-is explained by the author. She says : "The Roman Catholic surplus of babies is due to the influx of foreign and Irish Roman Catholic girls, not domiciled in this country, whose babies have to he absorbed by the domiciled Catholic population."
Statistics which I once personally checked confirm this.
Miss Kornitzer, however, points out that Catholic mothers are dissuaded by their Church (or by their own welfare workers) from giving up their children for adoption. The points stressed are that "adoption should not be used as a short cut to personal and selfish ends; and that a mother, even if she is suffering, must have time to face her troubles morally and spiritually, and must not be considered merely as a source of the material for adoption."
What about foundlings? Who is to decide their religion? In New York, the author tells us, half are baptised as Catholics and half as Protestants!
In a fascinating section on foreign adoption, Margaret Kornitzer finds that in -France the war, with its many homeless and parentless children, gave an impetus to adoption which is strictly controlled. Mothers are encouraged to keep their children.
In Norway about 4.500 illegitimate children are born every year out of an annual total of 64,000-about seven per cent. The 9,000 war babies -Norwegian mothers and German fathers-are being absorbed without stigma into the population.
What about Catholic countries? Spain has a strict law by which the adopted persons retain all their rights "within the natural family" and, by way of contrast with the rule operating in most other countries. the adoption can be cancelled if the child is later claimed by the natural parents.
N Apology for Education, by W. Kenneth Richmond. Lecturer in Education at the University of Glasgow (Alvin Redmond, London, 9s. 6d.), is not really a defence of modern education but a brilliantlywritten analysis of modern ideas of education and its present practice which show the whole scheme to be little more than an apology for true education.
The main argument of the little book (180 pages) is that "education is in the same predicament" as "all forms of modern thought"; that the present "impasse is not so much intellectual as spiritual"; and that "the omission of God makes nonsense of the scheme of things."
WHERE are some of us who learn to appreciate the organ the hard way-at the end of a long handle to the bellows, eyes fixed on a lead weight which measures the insufficiency of our efforts for the glory of music all round us while the instrument brings to roaring birth the Great Toccata and Fugue.
There is something so simple and natural about the organ and its pipes that despite all its complications and mechanics there are few to whom it is not a special pleasure. Its history, in some shape or other, goes back some 5,000 years; it has its saints, its poets and its painters. Its masters, and the men who composed its music, are among the great in many departments of life from Cecilia to Schweitzer.
For all these and for many other reasons The Organ: Rs Evolution, Principles of Construction and Use, by William Leslie Sumner (MacDonald, London, 30s.) is sure of a wide and appreciative readership.