Deprived Child Law and Legal Definition

A deprived child is a child under 18 years of age who is not given proper prenatal care, control, education, or other care and control necessary for the physical and emotional well being of the child. The term may also refer to a destitute, homeless or abandoned child; a child without a parent, guardian, or custodian; or a child whose home, by reason of neglect, cruelty or depravity on the part of the parents, guardian or other person in whose care it may be, is an unfit place for such child.

The following is an example of a state statute (Oklahoma) defining the term.

Pursuant to 10A Okl. St. § 1-1-105, a "Deprived child" means a child:

a. who is for any reason destitute, homeless, or abandoned,

b. who does not have the proper parental care or guardianship,

c. who has been abused, neglected, or is dependent,

d. whose home is an unfit place for the child by reason of depravity on the part of the parent or legal guardian of the child, or other person responsible for the health or welfare of the child,

e. who is a child in need of special care and treatment because of the child's physical or mental condition, and the child's parents, legal guardian, or other custodian is unable or willfully fails to provide such special care and treatment. As used in this paragraph, a child in need of special care and treatment includes, but is not limited to, a child who at birth tests positive for alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance and who, pursuant to a drug or alcohol screen of the child and an assessment of the parent, is determined to be at risk of harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child,

f. who is a child with a disability deprived of the nutrition necessary to sustain life or of the medical treatment necessary to remedy or relieve a life-threatening medical condition in order to cause or allow the death of the child if such nutrition or medical treatment is generally provided to similarly situated children without a disability or children with disabilities; provided that no medical treatment shall be necessary if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the attending physician, such treatment would be futile in saving the life of the child,

g. who, due to improper parental care and guardianship, is absent from school as specified in Section 10-106 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, if the child is subject to compulsory school attendance,

h. whose parent, legal guardian or custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of custody,

i. who has been born to a parent whose parental rights to another child have been involuntarily terminated by the court and the conditions which led to the making of the finding, which resulted in the termination of the parental rights of the parent to the other child, have not been corrected, or

j whose parent, legal guardian, or custodian has subjected another child to abuse or neglect or has allowed another child to be subjected to abuse or neglect and is currently a respondent in a deprived proceeding.

Nothing in the Oklahoma Children's Code shall be construed to mean a child is deprived for the sole reason the parent, legal guardian, or person having custody or control of a child, in good faith, selects and depends upon spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, for the treatment or cure of disease or remedial care of such child.

Nothing contained in this paragraph shall prevent a court from immediately assuming custody of a child and ordering whatever action may be necessary, including medical treatment, to protect the child's health or welfare;