Friday, February 5, 2010

"Types" of Orphans

Recently, someone asked me about the "types" of orphans who are being adopted.  This is honestly a confusing question to me.  Here is the USCIS definition (Basically US Immigration):
A child may be considered an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents. The child of an unwed mother or surviving parent may be considered an orphan if that parent is unable to care for the child properly and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.

If a child doesn't fit into these parameters, they cannot be adopted by a US family.

Jada and Adia have a father who is living.  In this situation and according to the UN definition, the girls are orphans, specifically, maternal orphans, meaning Birthmother has died and now Birthfather, H, is unable to care for them. 

I can hardly think about H. and the six children with him, without becoming a mess of tears.

Adia and Jada would be considered relinquished children.  In Ethiopia, in situations of relinquishment, the surviving parent has to sign off on the child/ren, multiple times. 

There are also children in the international adoption circles who are "double orphans" meaning both parents have passed away.  This isn't uncommon, especially in areas with high AIDS rates.  Often a parent will relinquish rights to a child after their spouse has died and the parent knows it will only be a short time before their life will be claimed as well. 

Other children fall into the group of abandoned children, meaning they have been left somewhere and found without any identification or way of knowing who the parents are. 
Within adoptable children in the USA, there are children who have parents with their rights terminated, or in the foster care system, there are kids called social orphans.

So many hurting and vulnerable children!  Let's be on our knees for the orphan, they are close to God's heart! 

1 comment:

Jill said...

Well said. Sometimes I think it is hard for us to understand here in America because we just do not experience life in extreme poverty. May our eyes be opened!