Holt, Bertha Marian

Holt, Bertha Marian

(1904–  ) adoption activist; born in Des Moines, Iowa. Along with her husband Harry Holt (d. 1964), who had served in the U.S. Army in Korea, Holt sought special legislation from the U.S. Congress to enable them to add eight G.I.-Korean orphans to their family of six children (1955). Realizing that they could not adopt all the children in need, the Holts founded the Holt International Children's Services, which has placed more than 50,000 orphans from around the world—including Korea, Latin and South America, Russia, and India—in U.S. homes. Known to these children as "Grandma Holt," her many honors include Mother of the Year (1966) and Woman of the Year (1973). She wrote Seed from the East, Created For God's Glory, and Bring My Sons from Afar about her experiences.