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He was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once—a parish child—the orphan of a workhouse—the humble, half-starved drudge—to be cuffed and buffeted through the world, despised by all, and pitied by none.

C. Dickens, Oliver Twist

The term orphan came into use around the 14th century and has roots in both the Latin orphanus (i.e., destitute, without parents) and the Greek orphanos (i.e., bereaved). These ancient terms are apt; the grief and loss can be profound for those who are orphaned and for the communities that struggle to care for these children. Although earlier usage focused on children who lost both biological parents through death, the term has expanded to include maternal orphans (those who have lost their biological mother), paternal orphans (those who ...

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