The experience of the Boston Female Asylum (BFA) is a good example, which had up to 30% of its charges adopted out by 1888.
Officials of the BFA noted that, although the asylum promoted otherwise, adoptive parents did not distinguish between indenture and adoption; "We believe," the asylum officials said, "that often, when children of a younger age are taken to be adopted, the adoption is only another name for service." The next stage of adoption's evolution fell to the emerging nation of the United States.
Adoption was a customary practice of the Roman empire that enabled peaceful transitions of power The Code of Hammurabi, for example, details the rights of adopters and the responsibilities of adopted individuals at length.
The practice of adoption in ancient Rome is well documented in the Codex Justinianus.
Rapid immigration and the American Civil War resulted in unprecedented overcrowding of orphanages and foundling homes in the mid-nineteenth century.