The Adelaide Maternity Home began operating in 1893 in an eight-roomed cottage in Gilbert Street, Adelaide, as a hospital for unmarried young women who became pregnant. It initially operated in conjunction with the Rescued Sisters Home, in King William Street, Adelaide, the Salvation Army's first Rescue Home for 'fallen' women and girls, established three years earlier. A newspaper article from 1893, reporting on the opening of the new Maternity Home, stated that:
' …for some time past the Rescue Home has been overcrowded, and the Army has had no proper means for dealing with maternity work. It is the aim of the Army to find situations where possible for mothers with children, whilst in some cases these are adopted.'
The paper described the Gilbert Street building as substantial and claimed it could comfortably hold 12 people.
In 1895, due to increased demand, the hospital relocated to a much larger building on Morphett Street, Adelaide. Here it could accommodate seventeen women under the care of a Matron and two staff members. Newspapers reported at the time that the average age of the women in the Maternity Home was 18.
In 1899 the institution moved again to a two-storey building in Carrington Street, Adelaide, known by The Salvation Army as The Ark. In 1914 McBride Maternity Hospital opened in the suburb of Medindie and took over the work of the city based Adelaide Maternity Home.
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30 January 2018
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/sa/SE00130
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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