I: THE HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN
Real Life Orphan
However the significance of experiencing parentlessness should not be overlooked, so let us take a moment to examine what that status entails. To be legally classified as an orphan requires the tragic but straightforward process of losing ones parents by way of abandonment or death.
“..an “orphan” is a child who has no parents because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from both parents. An orphan is also a child whose sole or surviving parent has forever and irrevocably released him or her for adoption and emigration because that parent cannot properly care for the child..”
In the middle of the Eighteenth century the status of orphanhood was first recognized and a remedy sought. Over the next 100 years, foundling hospitals, orphanages and workhouses were instated, taking advantage of the situation by providing care and purpose for these desertions. From their inception, the institutions and their population of orphans decorated the cultural fringes of society.