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A parentless child is called an orphan. But is there a word for a child whose parents have lost their legal parenting rights as a result of child mistreatment?

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    Do you mean the child of parents whose rights have been relinquished? – ColleenV Dec 2 '14 at 21:35
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    And really, I'm sure the parents didn't relinquish their rights, the judge took them away. – Jim Dec 2 '14 at 22:53
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    Something such as this seems to make more sense: But is there a word for a child whose parents have lost their legal parenting rights as a result of child mistreatment? – user6951 Dec 2 '14 at 23:33
  • I was going to replace relinquished with revoked but I wanted to keep as much of the original question as possible to make what I was asking clear. – ColleenV Dec 3 '14 at 0:54
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In American English they would be referred to as a foster child. They might also be said to be in the system, which is shorthand for in the foster-care system. One could also say that they are a ward of the state.

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    +1 Ward of the state is probably the most generic term, but it doesn't cover children who are old enough to have been emancipated, or children who have been placed in the care of other family members. I'm not sure if those situations apply to the question though. – ColleenV Dec 2 '14 at 20:09
  • I read it to mean that the parent has lost parental rights, but you are correct that this isn't quite what was written. – michelle Dec 2 '14 at 21:49
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    Such a child is not a ward of the state if she has a legal guardian that is not the state or court. Parents can appoint in their wills a competent adult (maybe a relative) to serve as legal guardian of their child(ren) upon their (the parents') demise. Which is a darn good reason to have a will if you have kids, otherwise your kids could indeed become wards of the court or state. @ColleenV already mentions this; I am just restating it. – user6951 Dec 3 '14 at 22:08

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