Topic: "Adopting" The Unknown Boy

E-mail Messages and Responses:

I am curious as to whether anyone has come forward to adopt this little boy and give him a name. I would be more than happy to adopt this child as if he were my own. If I had lived in his time and seen this monstrous abuse happening, I would have adopted him then, as I would now. Even though he wouldn't know it, I think it would give everyone the peace of knowing that they would have done something if they were alive then, or would have known. We can adopt an animal, another child, and a piece of highway. I don't see why someone can't adopt this child and give him the name of a loving family that will be waiting for him when the time comes. It's got to be better than being called the Boy in the Box, or the Fox Chase Boy, or America's Unknown Child.

Your well-intentioned offer to adopt the unknown boy posthumously is sincerely appreciated, but we can think of no circumstance where such a procedure would be legally permissible.


I was born in 1955. My father told me this story when I was very young. It has stayed with me my whole life. I think of this boy often. The thought of this boy still not having a name hurts me deeply. Could I adopt him, or somehow take responsibility, giving him my family name? I would be proud to do so. No one, especially a young child, should be buried without a name. Is this something that could be done, or would it make things more difficult for the continuation of the investigation?

Your Email was channeled to me for response. I am a member of the Vidocq Society and a member of the current investigative team looking into the tragic case of the "boy in the box" that came to light 43 years ago.

With regard to your generous offer to provide this boy with a name through adoption, there is nothing to our knowledge that would permit such a procedure in this kind of a case. One basic fact remains and cannot be overlooked: while all efforts thus far to formally identify this child have been unsuccessful, he WAS born into this world by someone and therefore obviously does have a name. I suspect, in view of that obvious fact, that it would not be possible to accomplish what you desire to do. Indeed, I would imagine that it may even be illegal, although I don't know that for a fact. Thank you for visiting our web site and for your compassionate offer on behalf of this unfortunate boy.