Abandoned children often suffer from unmet needs, which may include physical and emotional trauma. This can lead to problems like isolation, depression, clinginess and eating disorders. It can also interfere with their ability to form relationships and have a productive life.
Physical abandonment is one of the oldest forms of child abuse documented in history. From ancient Greek legends to a story about the herdsman who left three children to die in the desert, stories of physically abandoned children can be found throughout literature. Although this type of abandonment is rare in today’s society, there are still many reasons why people might leave their children behind.
The number of abandoned children has increased due to economic difficulties, divorces and other family problems. In the United States alone, about 1.4 million children are placed in foster homes each year. These children have been abandoned by their parents for a variety of reasons, including drug abuse, alcoholism, incarceration or domestic violence.
In some cases, abandoned children are left without a parent’s knowledge. This is a very serious type of child neglect. Often, these children are deprived of medical care, nutrition and shelter. Despite these circumstances, it is still against the law to abandon your child in most states. In addition, a parent can be terminated of their parental rights for abandoning their children.
Regardless of the reason for the abandonment, the result is usually the same for the child: anxiety, low self-esteem and feelings of loneliness. These feelings can be difficult for the child to overcome, even with professional help. If you suspect a child is suffering from the effects of abandonment, you should seek a counselor. A therapist can help you understand the child’s needs and teach him how to cope with his emotions.
When you notice your child acting anxious or fearful, it may be a sign that they are feeling abandoned. Try to give them consistent attention and reassure them that you love them. You can also help by making sure they have the food and clothing they need to survive.
The 11 abandoned kids at Mary Bridge represent a tiny slice of the 1,300-1,500 children who show up at the hospital each year. But they are some of the most vulnerable, Kautz says. They are usually young, have been adopted or are already dependents of the state. They have had little contact with their parents, and they don’t have any relatives who can take them in. The hospital’s goal is to get them back with their families as soon as possible. That means putting them into foster care or housing them in hotels. But, she says, that’s not recklessly abandoning them, which is against the law. That would require “leaving them where there’s a substantial risk they could suffer bodily harm.” DCYF is working on making its definition of abandonment more consistent. It says it considers a child abandoned when a parent or guardian expresses an intent to forgo their parental rights and responsibilities for an extended period.