Q&A: Are all orphans we work with really orphaned, as in both parents have passed away?

June 22, 2020

There are generally three scenarios from which the children come – the first being that they’ve been taken from their homes because of neglect, abuse, or other mistreatment or unfit circumstances. Another reason might be because their parents are unable to provide financially, emotionally, or physically for the children, and because of that, they turn to the group home for help in raising the kids. The third possibility would be that the children are true orphans because both parents have passed away.

In Mexico, the kids are placed in these group homes by a government agency and they are accepted into the home by the orphanage director. They are allowed to stay there until they reach the age of 18, or if they continue their education, past 18. Because most parents of the children have not had their parental rights terminated due to abuse or neglect, most children at the orphanages are not eligible for adoption. It is common for some children to return to their parents after a period of time and once the circumstances at their home have improved, but that is more the exception than the rule. When it is not unsafe for the child, the government does try to place the child with extended relatives.

Once a child turns 18 they can leave the home if they choose. A lot of the orphanage directors will help find ways to continue to support that child, whether through helping them find employment, employing them at the orphanage to take on some responsibilities, or helping them continue their education so they can still live on site.