Orphan Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Orphan, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Orphan?

A child who has lost one or more parents because of death or who has been abadoned by them and has not been adopted by anyone.Such a child is deprived of parental care and there are provisions to provide finanacial assistance to them if they are minors.

History and Meaning of Orphan

The term "orphan" refers to a child who has lost one or both parents due to death, abandonment, or other circumstances. Historically, orphans were often left to fend for themselves, as there were few social safety nets available. However, over time, various societies developed ways of providing for the needs of these vulnerable children. In many cultures, orphanages were established to provide shelter, food, and education for orphans, while in others, extended families or foster care systems were created to care for them.

In the legal context, orphan has a specific definition related to financial assistance. When a child is deprived of parental care due to the death of one or both parents, or the abandonment of the child, the government may provide financial assistance to support the child until they reach adulthood.

Examples of Orphan

  1. Mary was orphaned at the age of five when her parents died in a car accident. She was taken in by her aunt and uncle, who provided her with a loving home and financial support.
  2. After the earthquake, thousands of children in the affected area were left orphaned and alone. Relief organizations worked tirelessly to provide them with food, shelter, and medical care.
  3. John was abandoned by his parents at a young age and spent several years in foster care before being adopted by a loving family.
  4. The Orphan Drug Act is a US law that provides incentives for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs to treat rare diseases that might not be profitable otherwise.
  5. Sarah founded a charity to support orphans in her community, providing them with food, clothing, and educational opportunities.

Legal Terms Related to Orphan

  1. Foster care: a system in which children who are unable to live with their birth families are placed in the care of other individuals or families.
  2. Adoption: the legal process of becoming the parent of a child who is not one's biological offspring.
  3. Guardianship: a legal relationship in which a person or entity is given the responsibility of caring for and making decisions on behalf of a child or incapacitated adult.