EFFECTS OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION
CARE OF ABANDONED CHILDREN
Although living in orphanages and other institutions may adversely affect children, it may be far preferable to the alternatives. In some countries, infanticide, especially of females, is practiced. Unwanted children may lead stark and dangerous lives alone on the streets, may be 'sold' into servitude as laborers, servants, or even as child sex workers, or may be neglected, exploited, or abused by family members. Thus, when reviewing the ill effects of institutional life, it is important to remember the bleak alternatives that abandoned children may face if such facilities did not exist.
Abandoned children have existed throughout human history. Throughout much of history, society paid little heed to abandoned children, offering no support and no organized response to their needs. In Western culture, orphanages were first established in the mid-19th century as a humanitarian response to the horrific conditions faced by abandoned children.
From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.