German authorities doubted the children would thrive in the country, where national identity was strongly tied to white German heritage.
It became common for the babies to be adopted to couples living in the United States, where the children’s roots were hidden, often for years.
Regina Griffin, a Washington-area journalist, was inspired to make "Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story,"after a "brown baby" and family friend wrote a book about her search for her parents.
Many didn’t know of they had been adopted until they were adults.
Cardwell remembers his adoptive parents as cold and distant.
It wasn't until he began trying to find his biological parents that he discovered his mother was actually a half-German refugee from Poland.
She thought she was leaving him at an orphanage temporarily, and had searched for him for years.