St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home

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St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home is administered by the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. It is located at 4901 Eastern Avenue in Avondale, Maryland. It provides residential care and services to abused and neglected children and to single pregnant and parenting adolescents in crisis, as well as quality day care to the children of working families.[1]


Prior to 1860 and the beginning of the Civil War, three Daughters of Charity came from Emmitsburg, Maryland, to Washington, D.C., where they established the city's first foundling home. In 1861, St. Ann's initiated its first education and job-training program to prepare single mothers to become family breadwinners.[2]

On March 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed an Act of Congress to incorporate St. Ann's Infant Asylum, as it was then called. St. Ann’s was chartered “for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, an institution for the maintenance and support of foundlings and infant orphan and half orphan children, and also to provide for deserving, indigent, and unprotected females during their confinement and childbirth.” The asylum was charged with caring for the city’s growing number of abandoned children and unwed mothers of all races and religions, many of whom had no place else to turn. For 83 years St. Ann's occupied the old British Embassy at 24th Street and K Street, Northwest.[2]

In 1949, St. Ann's started providing affordable day care for working mothers with young children to further assist the Washington community. To meet the growing need for space and services, in 1962 St. Ann’s moved from the city to a larger facility in Avondale, Maryland.[3] In 1996, it was expanded to include a transitional apartment facility to help impoverished, young single mothers, and their children, make the transition to independent living.[2]


  1. ^ St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home website - Mission
  2. ^ a b c St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home website - History
  3. ^ "St. Ann's Children Take Quickly to New Home," The Washington Post, Feb 3, 1962, p. C1.

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Coordinates: 38°57′4″N 76°58′55.6″W / 38.95111°N 76.982111°W / 38.95111; -76.982111