It is important for those involved in any way with “This Thing of Ours-Adoption” to really know the meaning of the English word ‘orphan’. Here is the Greek word, followed by the Hebrew word used in the New Testament and Old Testament respectively. Reference from “Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries”.
Of uncertain affinity; bereaved “orphan”, that is, parentless: - comfortless, fatherless.
Strongs Hebrew - H3490
From an unused root meaning to be lonely; a bereaved person: - fatherless (child), orphan.
This is the definition used by the United States Immigration.
Orphan“The Immigration and Nationality Act provides a definition of an orphan for the purposes of immigration to the United States.
A child may be considered an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents. The child of an unwed mother or surviving parent may be considered an orphan if that parent is unable to care for the child properly and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. The child of an unwed mother may be considered an orphan, as long as the mother does not marry (which would result in the child’s having a stepfather) and as long as the child’s biological father has not legitimated the child. If the father legitimates the child or the mother marries, the mother is no longer considered a sole parent. The child of a surviving parent may also be an orphan if the surviving parent has not married since the death of the other parent (which would result in the child’s having a stepfather or stepmother).
Note: Prospective adoptive parents should be sure that a child fits the definition of ”orphan” before adopting a child from another country, because not all children adopted abroad meet the definition of “orphan,” and therefore may not be eligible to immigrate to the United States.”
The KWB has heard many complain that the definition of an ‘orphan’ is one who has lost BOTH mother and father. It was considered for 2,500 years that it is first Fatherless then worse to be without both parents. In numerous dictionaries it can be Both or One parent that is ‘lost’.
When a natural/birth mother, for whatever reason, is separated from her baby the child can be considered a ‘double orphan’. We all suffer to various degrees these traumas and wanting to Know what happened can also be a high or low need.
Some adoptees don’t want to search, some fearing the effects on Adoptive Parents/family or are not interested. As children grow into the teens sometimes curiosity grows to ‘discover self-identity. These issues should be discussed if possible and some Adoptive Parents are being helped with these issues. Again, the internet can provide much help but the wise seek answers from many different sources.