Tuesday, September 20, 2022



In the 1920s, María was arrested and taken to court. The crime? Adultery.

She was found guilty and sentenced to serve time in Hagåtña's civil jail.

There was one other factor involved. María was pregnant. Probably by the man with whom she had an adulterous affair.

How could María take care of an infant while serving time? She had no relatives living in Hagåtña either.

When her time came, María gave birth in the Naval Hospital. The doctor entrusted the newborn, a baby boy, to a man named José and his wife Dolores.

Although the court records don't say it, we know from census records that José and Dolores were childless at the time. Childless couples often adopted children from single mothers who were in difficult situations. But how did the doctor know José or Dolores?

Court documents do say there were no relatives available. Census records show that María's parents were deceased by the 1920 Census. Her siblings, if she had any, may have also passed by then.

At any rate, María agreed that José and Dolores take care of her son and, not only that, that they be legally appointed custodians of the boy.


The old Chamorro belief was that a barren couple, by adopting children, would be rewarded by God with biological children of their own making.

José and Dolores did have one son, born five years after they adopted the imprisoned woman's boy. And this one biological son of theirs gave José and Dolores SIXTEEN grandchildren.

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