Post-Institutionalized Child Law and Legal Definition

Children adopted from institutional, hospital, or orphanage settings are referred to as Post-Institutionalized Children. The term is used to describe an array of emotional and psychological disturbances, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and/or medical problems resulting, in part, from their stay in institutions.

Abandonment by a destitute, single parent with poor prenatal care and inadequate diet is the most common reason why a child is available for adoption. The second most common reason is termination of parental rights because of neglect and/or physical/sexual abuse (often alcohol related). Over 50% of institutionalized children are low birth weight infants, many were born prematurely, and some have been exposed to alcohol in utero. Finally, children with major medical problems or physical handicaps may be placed in orphanages by their parents due to limited access to corrective treatment and rehabilitation services. These kids are a high-risk group by any standard.