Mansion on a Hill: The Story of The Willows Maternity Sanitarium and the Adoption Hub of America

KelLee Parr
Missouri Valley Sundays
Author KelLee Parr looks back at The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City, one of the facilities that once provided a haven for “unfortunate” unwed pregnant women and adoption services for their newborns, in a discussion of his new book Mansion on a Hill. Parr’s grandmother was among the thousands of infants adopted through The Willows during its 64 years of operation, ending in 1969.
Sunday, January 5, 2020
Program: 
2:00 pm
Event Audio

Women who were pregnant and unmarried in the early 1900s faced limited options and societal scorn. Many chose, or were sent, to deliver their babies and give them up for adoption in special facilities for unwed mothers—among them, The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City.

Author KelLee Parr’s mother was among the thousands of infants adopted through The Willows during its 64 years of operation. In a discussion of his new book Mansion on a Hill, he examines the history of the hospital and Kansas City as a “baby hub” through the mid-20th century, sharing the stories of some of the children adopted there. 

The program, co-presented by the Jackson County Historical Society, features artifacts from The Willows.

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