“Adoptive Families” presents an incredible source for everything about adoption for Prospective Adoptive Parents and those with adoptive children already. Just one of many websites that help provide help for “getting it done better”, the wide range of articles give constructive and practical information.
In This Thing of Ours-Adoption the focus usually is on the Adoptee, and birth family, however, the Adoptive Families are the other main part of the Adoption Triad. Beyond the AT is also all the others, Adoption Professionals, Social Workers, Government Officials, U.N. and Hague Convention experts and personel, etc.
Again, from my own viewpoint, Adoption itself is NOT the best nor the worst, it just is one of the Multi-tiered solutions to life’s dealings. When, for whatever reasons the birth parents/family CANNOT or WILL NOT take responsibility for a child, AND after local government has exhausted all means to do such, THEN Adoption is a viable, legal, and next best step for a child.
Some have complained that children “have a family” and are not “orphaned”. Perhaps they need to check the United Nations and HAGUE Convention terminology for “ORPHAN”.
An orphan is determined by this definition in the Bible in Hebrew and Greek:
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries:
Hebrew - יתום
From an unused root meaning to be lonely; a bereaved person: - fatherless (child), orphan.
In the New Testament, the Greek is found:
Of uncertain affinity; bereaved (“orphan”), that is, parentless: - comfortless, fatherless.
The issue of being fatherless was critical in most societies, but in the Jewish traditions both parental and maternal lines are important. Many verses from the Protestand and Catholic Christian Bible (Which both translate from the same texts of the Torah, Writings, and the Prophets of Judaism-the Catholic includes other books) and the Koran speak about giving help to “widows and orphans”.
It is based on the etymology of the words that UNESCO and others have based the terminology to mean both “Paternal” orphan and “Double” orphan. So it is ‘correct’ to say that a child that has been ‘given up’ by legal means or ‘parental rights’ have been surrendered by one or both parents is considered an ORPHAN.
Korean War Baby also notes this from Wikipedia for “orphan”:
Various groups use different definitions to identify orphans. One legal definition used in the United States is a minor bereft through "death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents".
In the common use, an orphan does not have any surviving parent to care for him or her. However, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), and other groups label any child that has lost one parent as an orphan. In this approach, a maternal orphan is a child whose mother has died, a paternal orphan is a child whose father has died, and a double orphan has lost both parents. This contrasts with the older use of half-orphan to describe children that had lost only one parent.
So we see that the acceptable term ORPHAN is based on the original meaning of the Hebrew and Greek. It DOES mean a child with ONE or BOTH parents who have died, or given up parental rights. Hague Conventions also use the broad meaning to determine the status of a child. Look here for more:
In the case of Abandonment, with no legal papers, a child is considered an orphan. In modern times however, care should be taken to search for any child through media, internet, police records, etc. before the child is processed for adoption.
We must try to do it better. One day, hopefully, the Republic of Korea (also known abroad as South Korea) will sign and follow the Hague Conventions for ALL Domestic and InterCountry Adoptions. They will also increase the support for the Unwed Mothers of Korea who DO choose to keep and raise their babies. The KWB supports a Multi-tiered approach to the issues of This Thing of Ours-Adoption.
NEXT: The Korean Women’s Development Institute’s latest report on “How to Improve Government Welfare Services for Low-Income Unwed Mothers”.