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An orphan is a child whose parents are dead or have permanently abandoned the child. Orphans are not always children, but are what is usually meant by the term.

General

Orphans are children who have lost their parents, and the circumstances vary between one child and the next. The child might have lost their parents to war, disease, or they might have simply been abandoned. Orphans may be given to the care of a relative, grow up in an orphanage, or without any support system, end up on the streets and left to fend for themselves.

Life cycle

If an Orphan is given into the care of relatives, their lives may be normal, but sometimes if the relative is cruel, or harsh, they will grow up with psychological damage from the experience. Children who grow up in Orphanages tend to be more emotionally detached, growing up in a system meaning that they will have had the minimum of affectionate interaction in some cases.

Children who grow up on the streets tend to become rogues. Thieves, pickpockets and beggars are usually the fate of such children. The Urchin must learn to use what they have in order to survive in a harsh environment, and will often turn to petty crime without a real alternative.

An unfortunate fact for children growing up on the street is that they are often the target of older people who wish to exploit them, sometimes being recruited into gangs, slavery and low paid work. But a child's experience on the street will be varied between one orphan and the next, but it is undoubtedly true that their life will have been something of a struggle.

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