[Ads-l] "forever home"

dave@wilton.net dave at WILTON.NET
Fri Oct 22 13:18:48 UTC 2021

It appears that the phrase started to gain currency around 1971, at least that's when the hits in ProQuest Historical Newspapers start. Here's the earliest I've found in a quick search (searching for "forever home" and "adopt"):
“Custody Battles Mar the Joys of Adoption.” Philadelphia Daily News, 12 October 1971, 39. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
“In any case, the child now legally belongs to its new parents, to a ‘forever’ home. ‘No one can get that child away from you,’ says Mrs. Noyes."
-----Original Message-----
From: "Stephen Goranson" <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2021 8:17am
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "forever home"

Not sure if this fits your request, but Christian Register [Boston MA] July 4, 1846, p. 108 [4]/1 has a poem, “From the Orphan’s Advocate,” “Mary and Jesus” By Mrs. M. E. Robbins, [Readex Am. Hist. Newsp.] about child Jesus wearing clothes Mary made and ends:
The garments which her dear child wore
 Would more and more become
Like to the heaven which beamed on him
 His own forever home.
The Orphan’s Advocate and Social Monitor [1845-1852] apparently was also published in Boston.
Also reprinted in Godey’s Lady’s Book Aug. 1, 1845 [Ebsco]
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Nancy Friedman <wordworking at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2021 6:41 PM
Subject: "forever home"

I'm looking for the origins of this phrase in the secular sense: a
permanent home for a foster child or a pet. OED has only "Heaven, his
forever home" (1910).


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