June 19, 2024


The finest in babby

Types of Orphans

2 min read

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He see each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
Tommy Walker

One might be surprised to find that many children who are considered orphans may actually have a parent who is still alive.  Here are some definitions of different types of orphans:

A single orphan is a child (under the age of eighteen) whose mother or father has died.

A paternal orphan is a child whose father has died.

A maternal orphan is a child whose mother has died.

A full orphan/double orphan is a child whose parents have both died.  These are all categorized as “true orphans.” “Social orphans” are children who have lost one or both parents because of abandonment, or relinquishment due to poverty, alcoholism, or imprisonment.

The term “AIDS orphan” is now no longer used, because it increases stigma and discrimination and falsely implies that children orphaned by AIDS are themselves infected with HIV.  Unfortunately, even some of the terms selected for these reasons-for example, “Children affected by AIDS” and “Orphans and other vulnerable children”-may themselves be stigmatizing.  In many African languages, the word that would be translated as “orphan” in English includes all such vulnerable children.

Despite what we call them or how we attempt to categorize them, He knows their name.

I have learned a lot about orphans and the fatherless in the last few months as I have researched this topic and interviewed many working with orphans and the fatherless.

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