The story of the Chalifoux family, selling their own children because of the US economic crisis


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The economic crisis of the 1930s that hit the United States changed the entire economic order. The US, which was originally glorious and rich, has changed 180 degrees to the brink of destruction.

Many people are unemployed and poor. One of those who had this fate was the Chalifoux family, which came from Indiana and consisted of six people: two adults (husband and wife) and four small children.


To live daily, they rely on income from Ray Chalifoux, the father of their four children. However, due to the economic crisis, Ray, who was originally a truck driver, was laid off and had to become unemployed, thus throwing the family's economy into disarray. The family's life was turned upside down.

They cannot cook and pay the apartment installments. Like it or not, they are at risk of being evicted and homeless.

In the midst of these conditions, the mother, Lucille Chalifoux, made a decision that shocked the entire US, namely selling her four children and one unborn child. In total, there were five children for sale.

Lucille wasn't messing around. He even gave the local newspaper a chance Vidette-Mesengger to market their children. On this basis, on August 5 1948, photos of her four children, including Lana (6), Rae (5), Milton (4), and Sue Ellen (2), were displayed clearly in the newspaper accompanied by a sign reading “4 Children for Sale “.

Photo: Illustration of 4 Children for Sale. (Bettmann/Getty Images)
Illustration of 4 Children for Sale. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

Quote NY Post, news of the child's sale was then republished by various newspapers in neighboring states. Like it or not, this news immediately went viral throughout the country at that time.

This virality suddenly put the Chalifoux family in the spotlight. Some said the decision was just a move by the mother to seek attention.

However, on the other hand, there are also many benefactors who send aid. Starting from offers of work, housing and financial assistance.

Who knows what the family thought, all requests were then rejected. They still wanted all their children to be sold and in the end that wish came true.

Two years later all of Chalifoux's children had been adopted by several families without official papers. However, the lives of children after being adopted by foster parents are not happy.

Site Vintage revealed that the majority of them often experience torture, harassment and slavery. One of the children is named Rae, for example.

After being sold he lived in misery. He was often chained, forced to work long hours in the fields, and called a slave by his adoptive father.

Then, Milton, who was sold at the age of 4 years, also experienced similar actions. He was often beaten and tortured.

Of the 5 children, only David, a child who was adopted when he was 1 year old, has had good luck. He was adopted by a devout Christian family, so he could have religious provisions and a good level of education.

After those dark times, all the Chalifoux family children grew up without ever knowing each other. They also no longer have contact with their biological father and mother.

Until finally in 2012, David, who was desperately searching for his biological brother, succeeded in reuniting all the Chalifoux children. From that meeting, quite a few of them held a grudge against their parents because they had the heart to sell them when they were young.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

(mfa/mfa)