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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Bearing a Bastard: The Social Consequences of Illegitimacy in Cape Town, 1896-1939
Authors:Burman, SandraISNI
Naude, Margaret
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:illegitimate children
Women's Issues
History and Exploration
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Cultural Roles
Women and Their Children
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637191
Abstract:Since a broad historical study on illegitimacy in Cape Town, South Africa, is under way, as well as a detailed investigation of contemporary illegitimacy in Cape Town, the authors have narrowed the focus in this article to the years between 1896, when the first statistics on illegitimacy were compiled, and 1939-1940, when the Second World War broke out. Partly based on two case records (R. v. Susan Muller and R. v. Annie Marcus), the article examines the following issues: the extent of illegitimacy in Cape Town, abortion, place of delivery, infanticide and the murder of new-born infants, child support, fostering, baby farming and children's homes, homes for mother-and-baby and day care centres, abandonment, ill-treatment and murder, and ending illegitimacy by adoption or marriage. The description shows that both legal and social provisions for, and reactions to, illegitimacy changed in Cape Town over the period under discussion. At the beginning of the period social action and legal provision were focused on the saving of 'fallen' women from sin. At the end of the period, the focus of attention had shifted to include the illegitimate child. Notes, ref.