This article focuses on children taken by Istanbulite families for upbringing and employment in the Ottoman capital during the 1800-1900 period. It suggests that domestic child labor which was shaped by the concept of 'charity' and economic interests during the first half of the nineteenth century progressively turned into wage labor during the second half of the century. The study claims that the nineteenth century witnessed a transformation of labor relations in the domestic service market, implying the transition from reciprocal to commodified labor. The labor of children employed in domestic services underwent a monetization process throughout the nineteenth century. Parallel to this monetization, the status of children under foster care or in domestic service came to be determined by standardized legal contracts.