Societies with strong social structures ad liberal adoption laws tend to have lower rates of child abandonment
The abandonment of child can be viewed in many ways. For example, it can be viewed historical wise. Historically, many cultures practice abandonment of infants, called “exposure.” although such children would survive if taken up by others, exposure is often considered a form of infanticide– as described by Tertullian in his apology: “it is certainly the more cruel way to kill... by exposure to cold and hunger and dogs” this form of child abandonment is much more widely spread throughout societies, being used even by the rich to dispose of unwanted children, particularly girls. Many of these children were indeed taken up, for slavery and prostitution.
Another way to look at the topic of the abandonment of child is the lawful aspect of the subject. Early laws governing the abandonment of child often prescribe that the person who had taken up the child, either to adopt or to raise as a slave, was entitles to the child. This both discourages the practice of exposure and encourages strangers to take up exposed children.
Today abandonment of a child is considered to be a serious crime in many jurisdictions. This is because the result is that the child and the other parent, if any, often end up on welfare. For example, in the U.S. state of Georgia, it is a misdemeanor to willfully and voluntarily abandon a child, and a felony to abandons one’s child and leave state. In 1981, Georgia’s escalation of abandonment from a misdemeanor to a felony - based solely upon the defendant’s flight form the state - was upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
When looking at the different aspects of the abandonment of child, one could look towards the literary aspect of the topic. The definition or term used to describe children who have been abandoned is know as foundlings. Foundlings, who may be orphans, can combine many advantages to a plot: mysterious antecedents, leading to plots to discover them; high birth and lowly upbringing. The commonest motives for abandoning children in literature are oracles that the child will cause harm; the mother’s desire to conceal her illegitimate child, often after rape by a god; or spite on the part of people other than the parents, such as sisters and mothers-in-law in such fairy tales as the dancing water, the singing apple, and the speaking bird. Poverty usually features as a cause only with the case of older children, who can survive on their own.
Of course, there are several ways an individual could view the topic of the abandonment of child. Regardless of the reason the child is abandoned, the laws which prohibit it, or the parents that did it, the fact still stands that child abandonment is still evident today. Fortunately, these laws strive to prevent the abandonment of child. However, no such child abandonment laws can completely and utterly omit each abandonment. The sad truth still shows, that no matter how you view it, or what laws there are to stop it, child abandonment is a common thing.