Setting: England, Victorian era, past 1872
Search terms used: adoption Victorian era, orphanages Victorian era, adoption laws Victorian era and relared words, guardianship Victorian era
Sherlockians out there may be familiar with this little quote from The Sign of Four: "I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money..." So I'm sort of doing a story based on this. But this one ends with my then-still starting independent consulting detective adopting two orphaned (no relatives or parents alive) 7-year old twin boys from the orphanage this woman worked in.
Questions would be:
- Is it possible for him to take them under his wing (guardianship/sponsorship) these two boys, who are not his blood kin but had come become attached to him? I've read that adoption/guardianship in Victorian England was rather informal, and there weren't any real laws on adoption, so I thought this was possible.
- Would his age and sex and er, eccentricity be held against him? He's in his 20s, is a man of independent means, but he was previously disinherited by his family because of 'differences of opinions' with his father. He's educated and well-travelled (and maybe a bit too fond of the drink at times, but nobody knows that), lives in a flat and is a bachelor. Would anyone think it strange if he took this boy under his wing?