During the first 60 years of the 19th century, the number of foundlings on the Portuguese institutions increased, due to the juridical and legal acceptance of anonymous abandonment. The high mortality rate of these children, their living conditions and the high costs they represented led to debates considering the wheel's viability and a change in the welfare policy towards the abandoned children. From the 1860's, the wheels were gradually closed, admissions were restricted and more allowances of lactation were given. Three years later, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML), responsible for the foundlings of the Portuguese capital, followed this trend. Considering national, but, mainly, Lisbon's context, this study aims to reflect about the steps of foundlings welfare policy during the 19th century, particularly, focusing on the debates towards the wheel, it's closure and the adoption of another admission model.
- Child welfare
- Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon
- Wheel of foundlings
- Políticas de Proteção à Infância
- Roda dos Expostos