Traditionally, people leave a job or partner they aren’t compatible with, which can be praised or encouraged. Sometimes a parent may be forced by circumstance to leave their children under the care of someone else. Child abandonment may sound tragic, but it’s a nuanced situation where the well-being of the parents and children should be considered.
The main causes of child abandonment
1. Unplanned pregnancy
A UN report from 2022 found that nearly 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned. For some girls and women, this is because of sexual assault and lack of access to abortions. In certain countries, many women lack family planning literacy. Adult parents of means can make informed decisions about whether to start a family. Some governments allow people to put up their children with individuals or families that can better care for a child under adoption.
2. Financial constraints
Poverty is one of the leading reasons why parents leave their children. When childcare facilities such as orphanages exist, some parents leave their children under the institution’s care to find work. Some parents are also forced to leave them for years because they can’t afford to care for them.
3. Addiction and drug use
If one or both parents have alcoholism or an addiction, this can create an unsafe environment for children. Some parents who have problems with alcohol consumption can neglect their children. They can also cause alcohol-related abuse or aggression.
Read also: How Drug Addiction Can Harm A Relationship
While leaving children behind can be difficult, it’s not always for a sad reason. Sometimes parents get the opportunity to go study or work elsewhere. Not every opportunity allows parents to travel with the rest of their family. Leaving helps parents re-establish careers and improve their professional welfare.
Read also: The Singlehood Series: He Abandoned His New Family For A Life Abroad Then Came Back Begging When Things Went Wrong
5. Parental separation
When parents get divorced, arrangements can be made for one parent to retain sole custody. While this child abandonment isn’t whole, children can feel like the other parent has left them. At other times, when one parent moves on, they are no longer involved with the upbringing of the child they have left behind.
Read also: Are You Headed For Divorce? Things Couples That Separate Have In Common
Effects of child abandonment
Losing a parent in a child’s life can have many psychological effects. When children don’t meet their emotional needs, it can trigger trauma and anxiety. This can manifest as abandonment anxiety in adults. They can be mistrustful in their relationships and jealous of any friendships formed outside of their own. Adults who fear their friends or partners may leave them and can react poorly and become smothering.
Read also: Childhood Emotional Neglect: Signs, Effects And Solutions
Not being surrounded by acceptance while growing up can lead to mistrust, insecurity, lack of emotional intimacy, control, and being a people pleaser. They can also have mood swings and low self-esteem.
While growing up, if a child is no longer under the care of parents, their abandonment issues can show clinginess, panic, fear of being left alone, getting sick more often, and difficulty concentrating. The guardians of such children can alleviate these feelings by assuring the child.
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