September 8th, 2007

Question about California social services, circa WW2.

 Los Angeles in 1943, to be exact.  

Say a runaway teenage mother dies in childbirth and the baby lives.  Before there was a Department of Social Services (which every @#%@ website in existence tells me was established around 1953), please, what would have happened to the child?  

My plot calls for the local police and ambulance being alerted by passersby (said mother is trapped in a warehouse) and they arrive just in time to witness the baby's birth and the mother's death.  So authorities are obviously present.  Would the police simply hand the child over to a hospital or a group home or something, or would it be something the U.S. Children's Bureau or U.S. Child Welfare League would have gotten involved with?  Would there be much, if any, documentation involved at that time in history?  

Please, anything anyone can offer, even a link to a website that actually can tell me something, is so openly welcomed.  Thanks much in advance.