abandonment and relinquishment

silvanus

New Member
croatian/italian
hello to all of you! ;)
Could anybody explain the difference between child abandonment and child relinquishment?
thanks
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Welcome to the forum, silvanus. Members need context and a sentence to provide you with decent answers. Explaining the meaning of isolated terms forces members to guess about what they mean.

    Can you provide sentences that use these words? If you can, don't forget to mention the source of those sentences. "Source" = title of work and author's name. Thank you.

    PS It would be a good idea to read the forum's rules if you haven't done so already.
     

    silvanus

    New Member
    croatian/italian
    hello owlman5! ;)
    well, I'm writing my dissertation thesis which is about children who live in institutions...at the moment I'm reading some UNICEF reports about child abandonment, but it's so hard to find the term "relinquishment". Guess that the last term is used for children who end up living in residential homes. What do you think?
     

    silvanus

    New Member
    croatian/italian
    The thing is that I have to translate both terms in Italian, so should now the slight difference in meaning between the two. Coul give you many sources...What I really need is find the definition of the two terms.
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    I would say off hand that abandonment has a negative connotation. If you abandon a child, you are not looking out for his welfare. If you relinquish him, you would be allowing someone else to care for him or giving up responsibility for him. I must admit however, that child relinquishment is not a phrase I recall seeing.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks for the context, silvanus. It helps.

    I'd use "relinquishment" if I meant to say that parents relinquished the care of their children to somebody who can better care for them. I'd use "abandonment" if I meant to say that the parents simply abandoned their children without being asked to by some protective agency or without making some effort to find others to care for the children.

    To me, "abandonment" implies lack of concern for the children. People may care deeply for children and yet relinquish them to somebody because they need to or are being forced to do so.

    Dictionaries will be good sources for you in your effort to distinguish between "abandonment" and "relinquishment".
     

    silvanus

    New Member
    croatian/italian
    Hello geostan! thanks for your answer. i know, the term is not easily seen...but does exist. my professor, who is a pediatrician, told me i should give a definition of the two terms. you're right, "relinquishment" means what you just said; the thing is that i would need to find a longer definition, perhaps one from an official source, like one one of the UN agencies, etc.
     

    silvanus

    New Member
    croatian/italian
    thanks owlman! i would just need to find some contexts where the term "relinquishment" appears...and it is not easy...it is much easier to find the term "abandonment"
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome. Here is a link containing many different uses of "relinquishment". Not all of them are relevant to the meaning you're looking for, but some of them are. I found it by typing "relinquishment" into the search window at the top of the page. When the page came up, I clicked "in context" under the definition. You can always do the same thing for any word you look up in the WR dictionary.
     

    silvanus

    New Member
    croatian/italian
    Every little thing helps! ;) Thank you for your time and your help. I'll see if I can find something. It'd be better to find the term definition in an official site (UNICEF, CRI, etc.) but it's not easy...the professor wants the sources I've taken the definitions from...
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    As the definition in #13 suggests, the important phrase where relinquishment is concerned is voluntarily giving up. I suppose one could talk about someone voluntarily abandoning their child, but as owlman points out, abandonment is a negative concept.
     
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