Abandoned children are a major problem for society. They often experience emotional and psychological damage as they grow up, and some develop a variety of mental illnesses. They also are likely to have a hard time in their relationships, and they may even attempt suicide. They will probably need a lot of help and understanding from their parents, and it is important to be there for them. Many abandoned children have a deep sense of guilt and shame as well.
Child abandonment is defined as the relinquishment of one’s interests and claims over offspring, without any intent to resumption or reassertion of guardianship. It is a serious crime, and courts will likely balance a parent’s rights to his or her child with the child’s best interests.
Some parents who abandon their children are simply unable to cope with the demands of parenting. They might be struggling with alcohol or drug addictions or a number of other problems that are making it difficult to care for their kids. Other reasons include financial difficulties, which can lead to the separation of families or the removal of children from homes where the parents cannot afford to keep them.
The vast majority of abandoned children are able to live in other family settings, such as foster care or with adoptive parents. This is because of the efforts of social workers, who work to match abandoned children with suitable permanent homes. The exact steps that this process takes will vary by state. In the United States, for instance, abandoned babies are typically placed in foster care until a suitable permanent family can be found for them. Many countries still maintain orphanages, which are similar to modern-day orphanages in that they take custody of unwanted infants and place them in temporary care until the child can be formally adopted by a family.
Most researchers agree that, in premodern societies, infanticide was a common method of birth control. Historians and anthropologists also agree that exposure was a frequent means of disposing of newborns. It is a theme in folktales and mythology, too, including the biblical story of Moses and Pharaoh’s daughter and the twin heroes Romulus and Remus, who were rescued by a wolf.
A few states have Safe Haven laws that allow parents to anonymously leave their newborns in designated places, such as hospitals. However, these are not protections against criminal liability for abandonment. In fact, if a parent leaves a baby somewhere other than a Safe Haven location and intends to abandon him or her, the person can be charged with child abuse or neglect. Nevertheless, some people who abandon their children later realize they made a mistake and seek forgiveness and restoration of the relationship. A qualified attorney could help a person understand and protect his or her parental rights in the face of allegations of abandonment. The lawyer might help gather and present evidence to prove the case, as well as negotiate a beneficial outcome for the client.