Child abandonment

foundlingabandoned childrenfoundlingsabandonedabandonmentexposedabandoned babyabandoned childfoundabandon
Child abandonment is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one's offspring in an extralegal way with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting guardianship over them.wikipedia
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Abandoned child syndrome

therapeutic or psychiatric care to cope
Abandonment issues, characteristic of abandoned child syndrome, including:
Abandonment may be physical (the parent is not present in the child's life) or emotional (the parent withholds affection, nurturing, or stimulation).

Infanticide

exposedhave been killedkilled
Although being found by others would allow children who were abandoned to often survive, exposure is sometimes compared to infanticide—as described by Tertullian in his Apology: "it is certainly the more cruel way to kill... by exposure to cold and hunger and dogs."
A frequent method of infanticide in ancient Europe and Asia was simply to abandon the infant, leaving it to die by exposure (i.e., hypothermia, hunger, thirst, or animal attack).

Infant exposure

exposedexposureexposed children
Historically, many cultures practiced abandonment of infants, often called "infant exposure."
In ancient times, a method of infanticide or at least child abandonment was to leave infants in a wild place, either to die due to hypothermia, hunger, thirst, or animal attack, or perhaps to be collected and brought up by those unable to produce their own children.

Runaway (dependent)

runawayrunawaysrun away
An abandoned child is referred to as a foundling (as opposed to a runaway or an orphan).
A runaway is different from child abandonment or a "throwaway" youth.

Osaka child abandonment case

The two abandoned children of Osaka
Notable contemporary instances of child abandonment include homicidal neglect by confinement of infants or children such as in the affair of the Osaka child abandonment case or the affair of two abandoned children in Calgary, Alberta, Canada by their mother Rie Fujii.
The Osaka child abandonment case was a case of child abandonment involving two abandoned children in Osaka, Japan.

Baby hatch

foundling wheelbaby boxesbaby hatches
Many jurisdictions have exceptions to abandonment laws in the form of safe haven laws, which apply to babies left in designated places such as hospitals (see, for example, baby hatch).
A baby hatch or baby box is a place where people (typically mothers) can bring babies, usually newborn, and abandon them anonymously in a safe place to be found and cared for.

Disownment

disowneddisowndisowns
Disownment of a child is a form of abandonment which entails ending contact with, and support for, one's dependent. Disownment tends to occur later in a child's life, generally due to a conflict between the parent(s) and the child, but can also occur when children are still young. Reasons include: divorce of parents, discovering the true paternity of a child, and a child's actions bringing shame to a family; most commonly, breaking the law, teenage pregnancy, major religious or ideological differences, and identifying as LGBTQ+.
In many countries it is a form of child abandonment and is illegal when the child is a minor.

Moses

MosaicMosheMusa
In a common variant on the abandonment and rediscovery of an infant, the biblical story of Moses describes how the Jewish infant is abandoned by his mother and set to float in the Nile in a reed basket, in hopes that he will be found and nurtured; as planned, the child is discovered and adopted by the queen of Egypt, thus gaining a higher social status and better education, as well as a more powerful position than his birth family could have given him.
Through the Pharaoh's daughter (identified as Queen Bithia in the Midrash), the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family.

Orphan

orphansorphanedwar orphan
An abandoned child is referred to as a foundling (as opposed to a runaway or an orphan).
Child abandonment

Finding of Moses

cast adriftfinding Moses hidden in the rushesraised by
In a common variant on the abandonment and rediscovery of an infant, the biblical story of Moses describes how the Jewish infant is abandoned by his mother and set to float in the Nile in a reed basket, in hopes that he will be found and nurtured; as planned, the child is discovered and adopted by the queen of Egypt, thus gaining a higher social status and better education, as well as a more powerful position than his birth family could have given him.
The subject also represented a case of a foundling or abandoned child, a significant social issue into modern times.

Anonymous birth

Anonymous Birthing
Anonymous Birthing allows pregnant mothers to give birth to their child without revealing their identity or claiming any ownership over or legal obligation to the child. Different countries wait varying lengths of time from 2–8 weeks before putting the child up for adoption to allow mothers to return to the hospital and reclaim the child. Anonymous birthing is most often implemented as measure to prevent neonaticide and has been successful in multiple countries. Police in Austria report a 57% drop in neonaticides after the country passed a law allowing for anonymous birthing and free delivery in 2001. Anonymous birthing provides the opportunity for mothers to disclose relevant health history to later be shared with the child and adoptive family, as well as access to hospital care to reduce risk during birth. In some states, France for example, mothers who choose anonymous birthing undergo counselling and are informed of available support structures to help them keep the child. Mothers who are seeking to anonymously abandon their child at birth may avoid anonymous birthing due to increased interaction with hospital staff and the possibility of undergoing counselling.
Infant abandonment is a form of child abandonment where a parent leaves their infant in attempt to end their guardianship.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

self-fulfilling propheciesprophecyasserts
The most common reasons for abandoning children in literature are oracles that the child will cause harm; the mother's desire to conceal her illegitimate child, often after rape by a god; or spite on the part of people other than the parents, such as sisters and mothers-in-law in such fairy tales as The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird. In some chivalric romances, such as Le Fresne and the Swan-Children, in the variant Beatrix, some children of a multiple birth are abandoned after the heroine has taunted another woman with a claim that such a birth is proof of adultery and then suffered such a birth of her own.
The events come about, nevertheless, as a result of the actions taken to prevent them: frequently child abandonment sets the chain of events in motion.

Sex-selective abortion

female foeticidesex selective abortionsex-selective abortions
In cultures where the sex of the child is of utmost importance, parents are more likely to abandon a baby of the undesired sex. Similarly, people may choose to pursue the, often controversial, option of sex-selective abortion.

Angelo F. Coniglio

Ange ConiglioA. F. ConiglioAngelo Coniglio
This theme is a main element in Angelo F. Coniglio's historical fiction novella The Lady of the Wheel, in which the title refers to a "receiver of foundlings" who were placed in a device called a "foundling wheel," in the wall of a church or hospital.
His experiences in researching and traveling to Sicily led to his authorship of the book The Lady of the Wheel (La Ruotaia), which tells of the lives of poor Sicilian foundlings and sulfur miners in the late 1800s in Racalmuto, Sicily.

Foster care in the United States

foster carefoster care systemfoster homes
In 2015, it cost the United States' government over $9 billion to support 427,910 children who were in foster care.
Child abandonment

Visigothic Code

Liber JudiciorumVisigothic lawForum Iudicum
Medieval laws in Europe governing child abandonment, as for example the Visigothic Code, often prescribed that the person who had taken up the child was entitled to the child's service as a slave.
Title IV: Concerning Foundlings

Safe-haven law

Safe Haven LawsAbandoned Newborn Infant Protection ActBaby Moses law
Many jurisdictions have exceptions to abandonment laws in the form of safe haven laws, which apply to babies left in designated places such as hospitals (see, for example, baby hatch).
Supporters of safe-haven laws argue that the laws save lives by encouraging parents to surrender infants safely, providing an alternative to abortion, infanticide, or child abandonment.

Le Fresne (lai)

Le FresneLai de Frêne
The most common reasons for abandoning children in literature are oracles that the child will cause harm; the mother's desire to conceal her illegitimate child, often after rape by a god; or spite on the part of people other than the parents, such as sisters and mothers-in-law in such fairy tales as The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird. In some chivalric romances, such as Le Fresne and the Swan-Children, in the variant Beatrix, some children of a multiple birth are abandoned after the heroine has taunted another woman with a claim that such a birth is proof of adultery and then suffered such a birth of her own.
The child is abandoned immediately after birth, as is the practice in medieval literature, such as Sir Degaré; this may reflect pre-Christian practices, both Scandinavian and Roman, that the newborn would not be raised without the father's decision to do so.

Justin Harris

'Rehoming' is still legal in Arkansas where, in 2015, state legislator Justin Harris made national headlines by rehoming two young adopted children.
The oldest of these girls was in the Harris home for just a few months; the other two lived with the Harrises for about a year before they were "rehomed" to another family, where one daughter was raped.

Babes in the Wood

Babes in the Wood at Wayland Woodchildren's taleThe Children of the Wood
In a grimmer variation, the tale Babes in the Wood features a wicked uncle in the role of the wicked stepmother, who gives an order for the children to be killed.
The traditional children's tale is of two children abandoned in a wood, who die and are covered with leaves by robins.

Knight of the Swan

BeatrixCheuelere AssigneSwan Children
The most common reasons for abandoning children in literature are oracles that the child will cause harm; the mother's desire to conceal her illegitimate child, often after rape by a god; or spite on the part of people other than the parents, such as sisters and mothers-in-law in such fairy tales as The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird. In some chivalric romances, such as Le Fresne and the Swan-Children, in the variant Beatrix, some children of a multiple birth are abandoned after the heroine has taunted another woman with a claim that such a birth is proof of adultery and then suffered such a birth of her own.
The servant with orders to kill the children in the forest just abandons them under a tree.

The Kid (1921 film)

The Kid1921The Kid'' (1921 film)
Charlie Chaplin's movie The Kid revolves about the Tramp's efforts to raise an abandoned child.
When it falls into the fireplace, he first picks it up, then throws it back in to burn up. The woman decides to abandon her child in the back seat of an expensive automobile with a handwritten note imploring the finder to care for and love the baby.

Foundling-Bird

In the Grimm fairy tale Foundling-Bird, Foundling Bird never learns of, least of all reunites with, his parents.
They called the child Fundevogel or Foundling-Bird, and he and Lenchen loved each other.

Taran (character)

TaranheroTaran Assistant Pig-Keeper
In the last book of The Chronicles of Prydain, Dallben reveals to the hero Taran that he is a foundling; in a story set in the same world, "The Foundling," Dallben himself proves to be a foundling as well.
Taran was a foundling discovered by Dallben the Enchanter amongst the slaughter on a battlefield.

Poverty

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Poverty and homelessness are often causes of child abandonment. People living in countries with poor social welfare systems and who are not financially capable of taking care of a child are more likely to abandon their children because of a lack of resources. In some cases the parents already have a child or children, but are unable to take care of another child at that time.