Abandoned Children Need Help

Children often feel abandoned by their parents. They may also be abandoned by other family members, friends, and strangers. This can cause emotional and mental trauma that can impact their entire life. Many abandoned children have problems with self-esteem and trust issues. Others suffer from anxiety and fear. These feelings can have a major negative effect on their lives and can lead to substance abuse. Regardless of the cause, all abandoned children need help to recover and move forward in their lives.

When a parent leaves a child alone and unattended without providing food, shelter, clothing, or other necessities, it is considered physical abandonment. This is one of the most serious forms of abandonment and is often prosecuted as a crime. Some states have safe haven laws where children can be left anonymously without being charged with abandonment. Parents who give up custody of their children without giving them to another parent or guardian also can be charged with abandonment.

Abandonment can be a difficult concept for children to understand. They may struggle with feelings of rejection and guilt, which can lead to depression and anxiety. In some cases, abandoned children may become physically ill because of lack of food and care.

The bond between a child and their primary caregivers partially informs how they learn to relate to other people in adulthood, according to the attachment theory. A study published in the Journal of Psychotherapy Research found that childhood neglect and abuse can contribute to a condition known as reactive attachment disorder. This condition is marked by severe agitation, withdrawal from relationships, and an inability to sleep.

Whether it is parental, family, or friend abandonment, the consequences can be devastating for the victim and his or her loved ones. In some instances, the victim may attempt suicide. A doctor should be consulted if a child is acting irrationally, inflicting self-injury, or speaking about or planning a suicide attempt. In addition, the remaining parent should seek psychological counseling if they are feeling overwhelmed by their responsibility to care for and support the child.

In some cases, a parent who has abandoned his or her children can realize they made a mistake and want to take back their rights to the child. Other times, a parent can get a court order allowing him or her to reclaim custody of their children. Generally, however, the court will not terminate a parent’s rights unless the parent has acted irresponsibly, such as failing to provide basic care or neglecting the child’s well-being.

The best way to help abandoned children is to be loving and supportive, and make sure they know that no matter what happens, they will not be abandoned again. Educating yourself on the effects of abandonment is helpful, too. It can help you recognize if your child is struggling with this issue and can provide them with the resources to heal. For example, many children who have been abused or abandoned develop separation anxiety and can’t relax until they see their parents again.