Although it seems straightforward, abandonment can mean a few things in the adoption community. Sometimes, a parent may abandon a child openly, which is sometimes referred to as relinquishment of the child. This is legal and can be done without immediate consequence if done at an emergency center, like a hospital. However, more often than not, abandonment is a form of child neglect where a child is left without the means to sustain for his or herself. The parent may physically leave the child or the parent may stop providing for the child while still living with him or her. In the case of infant abandonment, the child may be dropped off and left somewhere in public.
When abandonment has been discerned and the parents are unable to be located or unresponsive, after a period of time, the state's social services will terminate the parents' rights and work to place the child in an adoptive family.
Sometimes, abandonment is a formality that must be proven. In international adoptions, a certificate of abandonment may be required to prove a potential adoptee is eligible for "orphan status" in their country of origin and by the standards set by the U.S. In some countries, abandonment is the only way to relinquish a child who will then be placed in an orphanage or foster home and made available for adoption.
The term abandonment has a multitude of uses, legal and extra-legal. Abandonment, in law, is the relinquishment or renunciation of an interest, claim, privilege, possession, or right, especially with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting it. Such intentional action may take the form ...
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