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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It has been suggested that baby care be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)
Childcare is the act of caring for and supervising minor children. (In Australia, daycare is referred to as 'childcare' - cf.)
It is traditional in western society for children to be looked after by one or both of their parents, but the need for two-job households means that childcare is often delegated, at least part of the time, to childminders or crèches.
Most Western countries also have compulsory education, and during the time the children are at school, the school will act in loco parentis.
Where parents are missing or dead, or unable or unfit to care for children, state agencies such as social services may take on the childcare role.
Wealthy people who prefer the services of professionals may delegate the parental role almost completely to nannies.
However, for many the use of paid childcare is a matter of choice with arguments raging on both sides about whether children suffer or not. There is no doubt that for all children the first few years are vitally important to form a basis for good education, morality, self-discipline and social integration. Consistency of approach, skills and qualifications of careers and community ownership have been shown in many studies to improve the chances of a child reaching his or her full potential - for example a recent study in Australia showed that 20% of careers working in large commercial child care chains would not put their own children in the centre they work in, whereas only 2% of careers in community owned not-for-profit centres had similar concerns.
Many organizations (in the developed world) campaign for free or subsidized childcare for all, others campaign for tax breaks or allowances to allow parents a non-finance driven choice. Many of the free or subsidized childcare programs in the United States are also Child Development programs, or after school programs which hire certified teachers to teach the children while they are in their care. In Australia most child care services are part of the national Quality Assurance system which ensures they provide good developmental programs.
Most countries have laws relating to childcare, which seek to prevent and punish child abuse.
In many societies, the childcare role is taken on by the extended family.

For more information on Childcare, please visit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships — including domestic partnership, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the Roman Empire).
Although many people (including social scientists) have understood familial relationships in terms of "blood", many anthropologists have argued that one must understand the notion of "blood" metaphorically, and that many societies understand 'family' through other concepts rather than through genetics.
Article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State".

1 The family cross-culturally
1.1 Typology
1.1.1 Patrifocal families
1.1.2 Matrifocal families
1.1.3 Consanguineal families
1.1.4 Conjugal families
2 Family in the West
3 Economic function of the family
4 Families and other sociological institutions
5 Kinship terminology
5.1 English kinship terminology

The family cross-culturally
According to sociology and anthropology, the family has the primary function of reproducing — biologically, socially, or in both ways. Thus, one's experience of one's family shifts over time. From the perspective of children, the family functions as a family of orientation: the family serves to locate children socially, and plays a major role in their enculturation and socialization. From the point of view of the parent(s), the family serves as a family of procreation with the goal of producing, enculturating and socializing children.
Producing children, however important, does not exhaust the functions of the family. In societies with a sexual division of labor, marriage (and the resulting relationship between a husband and wife) must precede the formation of an economically productive household. In modern societies marriage entails particular rights and privileges that encourage the formation of new families even when participants have no intention of having children.

The structure of families traditionally hinges on relations between parents and children, on relations between spouses, or on both. Consequently, four major types of family exist:
Note: this typology deals with "ideal" families. All societies tolerate some acceptable deviations from the ideal or statistical norm, owing either to incidental circumstances (such as the death of a member of the family), to infertility or to personal preferences.

Patrifocal families
A patrifocal family consists of a father and his children. It occurs in societies where men take multiple wives (polygamy or polygyny) and/or remain involved with each for a relatively short time. This type of family, not common from a worldwide perspective, occurs in Islamic states with considerable frequency. In some emirates the laws encourage this structure by allowing a maximum of four wives per man at any given time, and automatic deflection of custody rights to the father in the case of a divorce. In these societies a man will often take a wife and may conceive a child with her, but after a relatively short time put her out of his harem so he can take another woman without exceeding the quota of 4. The man then keeps his child and thus a patrifocal structure emerges. Even without the expulsion of the mother, the structure may become patrifocal because the father removes the children (often as infants) from the harem structure and places them in his own family.

Matrifocal families
A matrifocal family consists of a mother and her children — generally her biological offspring, although nearly every society also practises adoption of children. This kind of family commonly develops where women have the resources to rear their children by themselves, or where men have more mobility than women.

Consanguineal families
A consanguineal family consists of a mother and her children, and other people — usually the family of the mother. This kind of family commonly evolves where mothers do not have the resources to rear their children on their own, and especially where property changes ownership through inheritance. When men own important property, consanguineal families commonly consist of a husband and wife, their children, and other members of the husband's family.

Conjugal families
A conjugal family consists of one or more mothers and their children, and/or one or more spouses (usually husbands). This kind of family occurs commonly where a division of labor requires the participation of both men and women, and where families have relatively high mobility. A notable subset of this family type, the nuclear family, has one woman with one husband, and they raise their children.

Family in the West
The different types of families occur in a wide variety of settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions. Sociologists have an especial interest in the function and status of these forms in stratified (especially capitalist) societies.
Non-scholars, especially in the United States and Europe, use the term "nuclear family" to refer to conjugal families. Sociologists distinguish between conjugal families (relatively independent of the kindreds of the parents and of other families in general) and nuclear families (which maintain relatively close ties with their kindreds).
Non-scholars, especially in the United States and Europe, also use the term "extended family". This term has two distinct meanings. First, it serves as a synonym of "consanguinal family". Second, in societies dominated by the conjugal family, it refers to kindred (an egocentric network of relatives that extends beyond the domestic group) who do not belong to the conjugal family.
These types refer to ideal or normative structures found in particular societies. Any society will exhibit some variation in the actual composition and conception of families. Much sociological, historical and anthropological research dedicates itself to the understanding of this variation, and of changes in the family form over time. Thus, some speak of the bourgeois family, a family structure arising out of 16th-century and 17th-century European households, in which the family centers on a marriage between a man and woman, with strictly-defined gender-roles. The man typically has responsibility for income and support, the woman for home and family matters.
In contemporary Europe and the United States, people in academic, political and civil sectors have called attention to single-father-headed households, and families headed by same-sex couples, although academics point out that these forms exist in other societies.
Roman Catholic Church tradition places the family under the special protection of Saint Joseph, the patron of families, fathers, expectant mothers, house-sellers and house-buyers (in contradistinction to Saint Monica, patroness of wives, mothers, and abuse-victims).

Economic function of the family
Anthropologists have often supposed that the family in a traditional society forms the primary economic unit. This economic role has gradually diminished in modern times, and in societies like the United States it has become much smaller — except in certain sectors such as agriculture and in a few upper class families. In China the family as an economic unit still plays a strong role in the countryside. However, the relations between the economic role of the family, its socio-economic mode of production and cultural values remain highly complex.
Extended middle-class Midwestern U.S. family of Danish/German extraction.
Families and other sociological institutions
Wherever people agree that families seem fundamental to the ordered nature of society, other social institutions such as the state and organised religion will make special provisions for families and will support (in word and/or in deed) the idea of the family. This can however lead to problems if conflicting loyalties arise. Thus the Biblical prescription: "every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life" (Matthew 19, 29). Totalitarian states also can develop ambiguous attitudes to families, which they may perceive as potentially interfering with the fostering of official ideology and practice. Different attitudes to divorce and to denunciation may develop in this light.

Kinship terminology
A kinship terminology describes a specific system of familial relationships. The now rather dated anthropologist Louis Henry Morgan (1818 - 1881) argued that kinship terminologies reflect different sets of distinctions. For example, most kinship terminologies distinguish between sexes (the difference between a brother and a sister) and between generations (the difference between a child and a parent). Moreover, he argued, kinship terminologies distinguish between relatives by blood and marriage (although recently some anthropologists have argued that many societies define kinship in terms other than "blood").
However, Morgan also observed that different languages (and thus, societies) organize these distinctions differently. He thus proposed to describe kin terms and terminologies as either descriptive or classificatory. "Descriptive" terms refer to only one type of relationship, while "classificatory" terms refer to many types of relationships. Most kinship terminologies include both descriptive and classificatory terms. For example, Western societies provide only one way to express relationship with one's brother (brother = parents' son); thus, in Western society, the word "brother" functions as a descriptive term. But many different ways exist to express relationship with one's male first-cousin (cousin = mother's brother's son, mother's sister's son, father's brother's son, father's sister's son, and so on); thus, in Western society, the word "cousin" operates as a classificatory term.
Morgan discovered that a descriptive term in one society can become a classificatory term in another society. For example, in some societies one would refer to many different people as "mother" (the woman who gave birth to oneself, as well as her sister and husband's sister, and also one's father's sister). Moreover, some societies do not lump together relatives that the West classifies together. For example, some languages have no one word equivalent to "cousin", because different terms refer to mother's sister's children and to father's sister's children.
Armed with these different terms, Morgan identified six basic patterns of kinship terminologies:
Hawaiian: the most classificatory; only distinguishes between sex and generation.
Sudanese: the most descriptive; no two relatives share the same term.
Eskimo: has both classificatory and descriptive terms; in addition to sex and generation, also distinguishes between lineal relatives (those related directly by a line of descent) and collateral relatives (those related by blood, but not directly in the line of descent). Lineal relatives have highly descriptive terms, collateral relatives have highly classificatory terms.
Iroquois: has both classificatory and descriptive terms; in addition to sex and generation, also distinguishes between siblings of opposite sexes in the parental generation. Siblings of the same sex class as blood relatives, but siblings of the opposite sex count as relatives by marriage. Thus, one calls one's mother's sister "mother", and one's father's brother "father"; however, one refers to one's mother's brother as "father-in-law", and to one's father's sister as "mother-in-law".
Crow: like Iroquois, but further distinguishes between mother's side and father's side. Relatives on the mother's side of the family have more descriptive terms, and relatives on the father's side have more classificatory terms.
Omaha: like Iroquois, but further distinguishes between mother's side and father's side. Relatives on the mother's side of the family have more classificatory terms, and relatives on the father's side have more descriptive terms.
Societies in different parts of the world and using different languages may share the same basic terminology patterns; in such cases one can very easily translate the kinship terms of one language into another, although connotations may vary. But translators usually find it impossible to translate directly the kinship terms of a society that uses one system into the language of a society that uses a different system.
Some languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Hungarian, add another dimension to some relations: relative age. There exist, for example, different words for "older brother" and "younger brother". Thus, although Westerners may "naturally" agree with Morgan in seeing the term "brother" as descriptive rather than classificatory, speakers of these languages might disagree.
Other languages, such as Chiricahua, have reciprocal terms. So, a Chiricahua child (male or female) calls her paternal grandmother -ch’iné and likewise this grandmother will call her son's child -ch’iné.

English kinship terminology
The relationships and names of various family members.See also: Cousin chart
Most Western societies employ English-style kinship terminology. This kinship terminology commonly occurs in societies based on conjugal (or nuclear) families, where nuclear families have a degree of relatively mobility.
Members of the nuclear family use descriptive kinship terms:
Mother: the female parent
Father: the male parent
Son: the males born of the mother; sired by the father
Daughter: the females born of the mother; sired by the father
Brother: a male born of the same mother; sired by the same father
Sister: a female born of the same mother; sired by the same father
Such systems generally assume that the mother's husband has also served as the biological father. In some families, a woman may have children with more than one man or a man may have children with more than one woman. The system refers to a child who shares only one parent with another child as a "half-brother" or "half-sister". For children who do not share biological or adoptive parents in common, English-speakers use the term "step-brother" or "step-sister" to refer to their new relationship with each other when one of their biological parents marries one of the other child's biological parents.
Any person (other than the biological parent of a child) who marries the parent of that child becomes the "step-parent" of the child, either the "stepmother" or "stepfather". The same terms generally apply to children adopted into a family as to children born into the family.
Typically, societies with conjugal families also favor neolocal residence; thus upon marriage a person separates from the nuclear family of their childhood (family of orientation) and forms a new nuclear family (family of procreation). This practice means that members of one's own nuclear family once functioned as members of another nuclear family, or may one day become members of another nuclear family.
Members of the nuclear families of members of one's own (former) nuclear family may class as lineal or as collateral. Kin who regard them as lineal refer to them in terms that build on the terms used within the nuclear family:
Grandfather: a parent's father
Grandmother: a parent's mother
Grandson: a child's son
Granddaughter: a child's daughter
For collateral relatives, more classificatory terms come into play, terms that do not build on the terms used within the nuclear family:
Uncle: father's brother, father's sister's husband, mother's brother, mother's sister's husband
Aunt: father's sister, father's brother's wife, mother's sister, mother's brother's wife
Nephew: sister's son, brother's son
Niece: sister's daughter, brother's daughter
When additional generations intervene (in other words, when one's collateral relatives belong to the same generation as one's grandparents or grandchildren), the prefix "great" modifies these terms.
Most collateral relatives have never had membership of the nuclear family of the members of one's own nuclear family.
Cousin: the most classificatory term; the children of aunts or uncles. One can further distinguish cousins by degrees of collaterality and by generation. Two persons of the same generation who share a grandparent count as "first cousins" (one degree of collaterality); if they share a great-grandparent they count as "second cousins" (two degrees of collaterality) and so on. If two persons share an ancestor, one as a grandchild and the other as a great-grandchild of that individual, then the two descendants class as "first cousins once removed" (removed by one generation); if the shared ancestor figures as the grandparent of one individual and the great-great-grandparent of the other, the individuals class as "first cousins twice removed" (removed by two generations), and so on. Similarly, if the shared ancestor figures as the great-grandparent of one person and the great-great-grandparent of the other, the individuals class as "second cousins once removed". Hence the phrase "third cousin once removed upwards".
Distant cousins of an older generation (in other words, one's parents' first cousins), though technically first cousins once removed, often get classified with "aunts" and "uncles".
Similarly, a person may refer to close friends of one's parents as "aunt" or "uncle", or may refer to close friends as "brother" or "sister", using the practice of fictive kinship.
English-speakers mark relationships by marriage (except for wife/husband) with the tag "-in-law". The mother and father of one's spouse become one's mother-in-law and father-in-law; the female spouse of one's child becomes one's daughter-in-law and the male spouse of one's child becomes one's son-in-law. The term "sister-in-law" refers to three essentially different relationships, either the wife of one's brother, or the sister of one's spouse, or the wife of one's spouse's sibling. "Brother-in-law" expresses a similar ambiguity. No special terms exist for the rest of one's spouse's family.
The terms "half-brother" and "half-sister" indicate siblings who one share only one biological or adoptive parent.
Specific distinctions vary among Western societies. For instance, in French, the prefix beau- or belle- equates to both "-in-law" and "step-"; in other words, the term belle-soeur could refer to the sister of one's spouse, the wife of one's sibling, the wife of one's spouse's sibling, or the daughter of one's parent's spouse. In Spanish, each of the roles that English creates with the suffix "-in-law" has a different word (suegros parents-in-law, yerno son-in-law, nuera daughter-in-law, cuñados siblings-in-law), but a separate suffix -astro or -astra equates to "step-". In Swedish, terms for grandparents differ on the mother's and father's sides: mormor and morfar ("mother-mother", "mother-father") as opposed to farfar and farmor ("father-father", "father-mother"). In Dutch, there no difference is made between nephews and male cousins, or nieces and female cousins. Unlike English, however, there is a difference between sexes of cousins. Nephews and male cousins are indicated using neef, where nieces and female cousins are called nicht.
One cannot always translate kin terms, and if one can, the outcome may remain culture-specific. For example, the Spanish word consuegro indicates the parent of one's son- or daughter-in-law (that is, two people whose children marry become consuegros to each other); the English language has no equivalent term. In polygynous African societies which use English and French as official languages, a sister-wife (in French belle-épouse) is another wife of one's husband; although these terms have come into common use ("I would leave my husband, but I like my sister-wives"), someone with a European cultural background may not readily understand the implications. The words brother, sister, aunt, uncle have stronger fictive-kinship nuances in many African cultures than in European ones, as exemplified by the phrase "he is my brother: same mother, same father" for a biological brother.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Family law
Entering into marriage
Prenuptial agreement  · Marriage
Common-law marriage
Same-sex marriage
Legal states similar to marriage
Cohabitation  · Civil union
Domestic partnership
Registered partnership
Dissolution of marriage
Annulment  · Divorce  · Alimony
Issues affecting children
Paternity  · Legitimacy  · Adoption
Legal guardian  · Ward
Emancipation of minors
Parental responsibility
Contact (including Visitation)
Residence in English law
Custody  · Child support
Areas of possible legal concern
Spousal abuse  · Child abuse
Child abduction
Adultery  · Bigamy  · Incest
Conflict of Laws Issues
Marriage  · Nullity  · Divorce
Adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with a parent or parents other than the birth parents. Adoption results in the severing of the parental responsibilities and rights of the biological parents and the placing of those responsibilities and rights onto the adoptive parents. After the finalization of an adoption, there is little or no legal difference between biological and adopted children.
Different jurisdictions have varying laws on adoption and post-adoption. Some practice confidential or closed adoption, preventing further contact between the adopted person and the biological parents, while others have varying degrees of open adoption, which may allow such contact. However, an underreported fact is that open adoptions are not legally enforceable agreements in many jurisdictions[1]. I.e., an open adoption may be closed at any time for any reason.

1 Reasons for adoption
2 Applying to adopt
3 Cost of adoption
4 Adoption numbers
5 Issues surrounding adoption
6 Adoption in the schools
7 Adoption in the media
8 Adoption in the wake of disasters
9 Adoption reform
10 Reunion
11 Adoptism
12 Language of adoption
13 Variations in adoption

Reasons for adoption
Adoptions occur for many reasons. Many children are placed for adoption as a result of the biological parents' decision that they are unable to adequately care for a child. In some countries, where single motherhood may be considered scandalous and unacceptable, some women in this situation make an adoption plan for their infants. In some cases, they abandon their children at or near an orphanage, so that they can be adopted.
Some biological parents involuntarily lose their parental rights. This usually occurs when the children are placed in foster care because they were abused, neglected or abandoned. Eventually, if the parents cannot resolve the problems that caused or contributed to the harm caused to their children (such as alcohol or drug abuse), a court may terminate their parental rights and the children may then be adopted.
Only a small percentage of adopted children are those orphaned because of the death of their biological parents.
In some cases, parents' rights have been terminated when their ethnic or cultural group has been deemed unfit by the controlling government. Aboriginal Peoples in Australia were affected by such policies, as were Native Americans in the United States and Canada. Moreover, unwed mothers in many countries still are often pressured or forced by families, religious bodies or governments into relinquishing their children for adoption. These practices of the past have become emotionally-charged social and political issues in recent years.
The main reason for adopting varies from one country to the next, depending largely on social and legal structures. The inability to reproduce biologically is a common reason. The most prevalent obstacle to producing a biological child is infertility. Another obstacle is the lack of a partner of the opposite sex or a lack of desire to use a surrogate or sperm donor. Single people and same-sex couples often adopt for this reason. In many Western countries, step-parent adoption is the most common form of adoption as people choose to cement a new family following divorce or death of one parent.
Some couples or individuals adopt children even though they are fertile. Some may choose to do this in order to avoid contributing to perceived overpopulation, or out of the belief that it is more responsible to care for otherwise parent-less children than to reproduce. Others may do so to avoid passing on inheritable diseases (e.g., Tay-Sachs disease), or out of health concerns relating to pregnancy and childbirth. Others believe that it is an equally valid form of family building, neither better than nor worse than biology.

Applying to adopt

National Adoption Week is used in the United Kingdom to encourage new adopters to come forwardMethods of becoming an adoptive parent also vary from one country to another, and sometimes within a country, depending on region. Many jurisdictions have varying eligibility criteria, and may specify such things as minimum and maximum age limits, whether a single person or only a couple can apply, or whether it is possible or not for a same sex couple to apply.
In some countries, applications must be made to a state agency or agencies responsible for adoption. There may also be private, licensed adoption agencies, who may operate either on a commercial or non-profit basis. Agencies may operate only domestically, or may offer international adoptions, or may facilitate both. Some jurisdictions allow lawyers to arrange private adoptions, and some allow private facilitators to operate.
On applying to adopt, the potential adoptive parent(s) will generally be assessed for suitability. This can take the form of a home study, interviews, and financial, medical and criminal record checks. In some jurisdictions, such studies must be carried out by an independent or state authority, while in others, they can be carried out by the adoption agency itself. A pre-adoption course may also be required.
Infants are more commonly sought than toddlers or older children, and many adoptive parents seek to adopt children of the same race. As a result, governments, as well as agencies, actively seek families who are interested in adopting older children and children with special needs.

Cost of adoption
Adoption costs & assistance vary between countries. In many countries, it is illegal to charge for an adoption, while in others, adoptions must be facilitated on a non-profit basis. On the other hand many adoption programmes will give financial assistance to adopters, especially with their expenses. Some jurisdictions offer tax credits to offset the cost of adoption.
Where there are charges for adoption there is often controversy, even in the case of non-profit agencies. Regulations may also specify to whom payments may or may not be made, e.g., in some jurisdictions, no money may be paid to a birth mother above her medical expenses.
International adoptions tend to be more expensive and often incur additional costs, as the adoptive parent(s) may be required to travel to the source country. Translation fees will also apply to legal documents.

Adoption numbers
This is a list of adoptions recorded (alphabetical, by country) in recent years.
Country Adoptions Notes
Australia 443 (2003-2004) [2] Includes known relative adoptions
Ireland 263 (2003) [3] 92 non-family adoptions; 171 family adoptions (e.g. step-parent). 459 international adoptions were also recorded.
Norway 791 (2004) [4] 124 of these were national adoptions, including step-child adoptions. The rest were international adoptions, mainly from China (269), South Korea (93) and Colombia (86).
United Kingdom 3,800 (England) (2005) [5] Children adopted from care only
United States approx 127,000 (2001) [6] 
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Issues surrounding adoption
The number of children available for adoption inside Western nations has dropped considerably in recent years, partly because of the legalization of abortions, and partly because of the increased acceptance of single parenthood.
Preserving an adopted child's heritage has become a central issue in adoption over the last fifteen years. It is often assumed that adopting babies at a very young age (1-2 months) bears no emotional consequences for the child. In the past, many adoption professionals believed that because most people have no recollection of their own birth, an adopted baby would not have a childhood any different from that which he would have had if he had been raised by his biological parents. However, while some adoptees do not feel that adoption has raised any special problems or difficulties for them, others report that adoption has posed certain challenges. Some adoptees report that that they were made to feel - consciously or not - as if they should forever 'be grateful' to have been 'chosen'. Others report that they were told they were "special," but soon came to realize that most people are not motivated to adopt by any perception that adopted children are preferable to biological children. Still others report being told that "your mother gave you to us because she loved you", but soon became aware that in closed adoptions, the adoptive parents and the legal system may both assume that the birth parents no longer wish to see the child. This leads some adopted people to wonder whether their natural parents ever loved them, or whether their adoptive parents can be trusted to tell the truth. This kind of ambiguity in adoption, along with the strongly emotionally charged nature of the subject, can make it difficult for adoptees to feel free to discuss their own issues honestly, for fear of being ungrateful, hurting their adoptive parents' feelings, raising subjects they sense are taboo (such as the adoptive parents' true reasons for adopting, especially if this involves infertility) or incurring rejection.
Recent work on openness in adoption has attempted to address these issues. Researchers such as Joyce Maguire Pavao and others have advised all three sides of the adoption triad (birthparents, adoptive parents, and adoptees) on how to establish healthy relationships, and make it easier for adopted people to discuss their feelings and maintain meaningful contact with both genetic and adoptive families. These efforts are relatively recent, and full openness, while on the upswing, is still not the norm in adoption.
International adoptees face additional challenges. It has been argued that children adopted through international adoptions are best served when adoptive families commit to integrating the child's birth nation cultures, traditions, stories, languages and relationships. Some countries now require adoptive parents to keep the birth names of their adoptive children, and many adoptive parents choose to do this as it makes sense in helping their child develop a strong sense of self. This can be very difficult to do in a meaningful way, especially for adoptive families who are not themselves experienced cross-culturally.
Another issue for prospective adoptive parents to be aware of is reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Many children, especially those beyond infancy in system care (e.g. foster, orphanage), domestic or foreign, develop this disorder due to the early trauma of loss, and/or lack of a primary caregiver.
For all adopted people in adoptions where information about the family of origin is withheld, secrecy may disrupt the process of forming an identity. Family concerns regarding genealogy can be a source of confusion [7].
Adoption is problematic for some birthparents. When a parent chooses to place the child with adoptive parents, the process of separation can be difficult for all parties. Those emotional difficulties may carry on for many years past the date of the adoption, with families of origin missing and longing for the children they have placed.
Adoption may also pose lifelong difficulties for adoptive parents. Charting a course among the various schools of thought about openness, maintaining a child's connection to his or her family of origin, answering a child's difficult questions, and helping a child deal with birthparents who may not maintain regular contact are all issues that adoptive families may struggle with. For anyone involved in adoption--birthparent, adoptive parent or adoptee--there are no hard and fast rules about how to build appropriate relationships that are in the child's best interest.

Adoption in the schools
Adoption rights organizations have long focused on issues such as the adoptee’s right to access his or her birth information, including names of birth parents and birth family medical information. They also focus on improving classroom sensitivity to adoption issues. Familiar lessons like "draw your family tree" or "trace your eye color back through your parents and grandparents to see where your genes come from" can be hurtful to children who are adopted and do not know this biological information. New lesson plans can be substituted easily, that focus on "family orchards" or steer away from personal medical histories. Discussions about these sensitive topics, advocates argue, are the same as those we’ve conducted around issues of disability, race, and gender, and foster respect for differences in the same way as these earlier national conversations.

Adoption in the media
Adoption experts complain that too much of the media coverage of adoption goes to one extreme or the other. Much of the coverage of adoption presents stories of failed adoptions and troubled children, adoption scandals, even "baby buying"; on the other side are saccharine stories of “perfect” children and families. Only a very few programs have treated the subject in a serious way and in its full breadth. Even when stories are balanced, ignorance about adoption leads to negative presentations including the widespread representation of children in foster care as being so troubled that it would be impossible to adopt them and create “normal” families. The result is that many children who would thrive in a loving family instead wait years in foster care, and even “age out” of the system at 18 without a family. A 2004 report from the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care has shown that the number of children waiting in foster care doubled since the 1980s and now remains steady at about a half-million a year."[8]

Adoption in the wake of disasters
While adoption is often the best way to provide stable, loving families for children in need, adoption in the immediate aftermath of trauma or upheaval may not be the best option. Disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, and wars teach us the importance of knowledge about adoption. In these situations there is often an outpouring of offers to adoption agencies from adults who want to give homes to the children left in need. However, new research suggests that once we understand the needs of children and families we look at adoption in the wake of disaster differently. Traumatized children need time to adjust, in the most familiar environments available, before they should be placed. Moving them too quickly into new adoptive homes among strangers may be a mistake: with time, it may turn out that the parents have survived but simply been unable to find the children, or there may be a relative or neighbor who can offer shelter and homes. Safety and emotional support may be better provided in those situations than relocation to a new adoptive family.

Adoption reform
Two important influences on the reform of voluntary infant adoption have been Nancy Verrier and Florence Fischer. [9]. Verrier describes the "primal wound" as the "devastation which the infant feels because of separation from its natural mother. It is the deep and consequential feeling of abandonment which the baby adoptee feels after the adoption and which continues for the rest of his life. [10]"
In some cases, however, the separation of the parent/child bond is necessary to protect the child. For children who have been neglected or abused, adoption is often necessary to ensure stability and the opportunity to bond with a new family in an emotionally healthy way. Where, in the past, neglected or abused children were often kept in foster care for many years while birthparents attempted to resolve issues of addiction, domestic violence, or mental illness, new theories of social work now encourage government agencies to move quickly to free such children for adoption and to find them new, permanent homes. This new philosophy is enshrined in the United States in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, a law aimed at preventing foster care drift. By keeping children from bouncing from foster home to foster home, state agencies now hope to preserve children's abilities to trust and attach, and hence to maintain and improve their mental health.

Many adopted people and natural parents who were separated by adoption have a desire to reunite. In countries which practice confidential adoption, this desire has led to efforts to open sealed records. In the United States, for example, there are organisations such as the Adoption reunion registry and Bastard Nation, which seeks to establish the right of adoptees to access their sealed records.

Adoptism is a prejudice against adoption defined by several beliefs:
The belief that adoption is not a legitimate way to build a family
The belief that birthing children is always preferable to adopting
The belief that making an adoption plan is never a preferable option for birth mothers who are unable or choose not to raise their children
Adoption.com library definition of Adoptism: [11]

Language of adoption
The language used in adoption is changing and evolving, and has become something of a controversial issue. Two distinct styles of language have arisen, commonly known as "Positive Adoption Language"[12] and "Honest Adoption Language."[13] The controversy arises over the use of terms which, while designed to be more appealing or less offensive to one "side" of the adoption triad of adopted person, birth/bioligical/first/natural parent, and adoptive parent, may simultaneously cause offense or insult to one of the other sides.
Positive Adoptive Language (PAL) The reasons for its use: In many cultures, adoptive families face adoptism. Adoptism is made evident in English speaking cultures by the prominent use of negative or inaccurate language describing adoption. To combat adoptism, many adoptive families encourage positive adoption language. The reasons against its use: Many birth parents see "positive adoption language" as language which glosses over painful facts they face as they go into the indefinite post-adoption period of their lives. Some birth parents feel PAL has become a way to present adoption in the friendliest light possible, in order to obtain even more infants for adoption; ie, a marketing tool. These people refer to PAL as "Adoption Friendly Language" or AFL.
Honest Adoption Language (HAL) The reasons for its use: Some natural parents prefer that we use "Honest Adoption Language" (HAL), as they believe these terms more accurately reflect the hidden and/or ignored realities of adoption as it applies to them. The reasons against its use: The term "Honest" implies that all other language used in adoption is dishonest.
Terms used in Positive Adoption Language:
Reasons stated for preference:
your own child
birth child
Saying a birth child is your own child or one of your own children implies that an adopted child is not.
child is adopted
child was adopted
Some adoptees believe that their adoption is not their identity, but is an event that happened to them. ("Adopted" becomes a participle rather than an adjective.) Others contend that "is adopted" makes adoption sound like a disability to be overcome.
give up for adoption
place for adoption or
make an adoption plan "Give up" implies a lack of value. The preferred terms are more emotionally neutral.
real mother/father/parent
birth, biological or genetic
The use of the term "real" implies that the adoptive family is artificial, and is not as descriptive.
your adopted child
your child
The use of the adjective 'adopted' signals that the relationship is qualitatively different from that of parents to birth children.
Terms used in Honest Adoption Language:
Common Term:
Honest Term:
Reasons stated for preference:
birth mother
original, or natural mother or parent OR mother OR parent.
The term "birth" mother limits a woman's role in her child's life to the birth, casting her in the role of incubator or breeder. With reunion now an everyday event women are finding themselves involved in the lives of their children in many ways,on a spectrum that runs from casual contact through friendship all the way to reintegrating their children into their original families. A powerful view, especially held by those in Ireland who cared for their children before being forced to relinquish them to adoption, is that the term 'birth' mother implies that they only served as a brood mare when in fact they often raised and cared for their children for up to two years.[14] The "b" word is a dehumanizing term. It also implies that the relationship between mother and child has been severed permanently, which is no longer a given, especially since the advent of open adoption.

give up for adoption
surrender for adoption
"Give up" implies a lack of value, whereas the truth is that most women wish to raise their own child. HAL acknowledges that past adoption practice facilitated the taking of children for adoption, often against their mother's expressed wishes. Many women who have gone through the process and who lost children to adoption believe that social work techniques used to prepare single mothers to sign Termination Of Parental Rights papers closely resembles a psychological war against motherhood as nature has mandated it; hence the term "surrender." [15] HAL agrees that "Make a plan" and "Place" are more emotionally neutral, but fundamentally dishonest terms which marginalize or deny the wrenching emotional event of separation on the mother/child dyad.
real mother/father/parent
mother/father/parent Possible modifiers for the parental role include: real, legal, adoptive, first, original, natural. No modifiers are needed for the individual who gives birth; this person has been referred to as "mother" since time immemorial.
adopted child
adopted person or person who was adopted
The use of the adjective 'adopted' signals that the relationship is qualitatively different from that of parents to birth children. The use of the word "child" is accurate up until the end of childhood. After that the continued use of the word "child" is infantilizing.

Variations in adoption
Adoption need not always entail assuming the title of "mother" and/or "father" to an orphaned child. Traditionally in Arab cultures if a child is adopted he or she does not become a “son” or “daughter,” but rather a ward of the adopting caretaker(s). The child’s family name is not changed to that of the adopting parent(s) and his or her “guardians” are publicly known as such. Legally, this is close to other nations' foster caring but often with closer parental feelings.
In Korean culture, adoption almost always occurs when another family member (sibling or cousin) gives a male child to the first-born male heir of the family. Adoptions outside the family are rare. This is also true to varying degrees in other Asian societies.
On the other hand, in many African cultures, children are regularly exchanged among families for the purpose of adoption. By placing a child in another family's home, the birth family seeks to create enduring ties with the family that is now rearing the child. The placing family may receive another child from that family, or from another. Like the reciprocal transfer of brides from one family to another, these adoptive placements are meant to create enduring connections and social solidarity among families and lineages.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An infantInfant is a slightly more formal word for baby, the youngest category of child. The word "infant" derives from the Latin word in-fans, meaning "unable to speak." "Infant" is also a legal term with the (quite different) meaning of minor; that is, any child under the age of legal adulthood. A human infant less than a month old is a newborn infant or a neonate[1]. The term "newborn" includes premature infants and postmature infants, as well as full term newborns.
1 The newborn's appearance
2 The newborn's senses
3 Infant mortality
4 Feeding and lifestyle

The newborn's appearance
Newborn infant moments after the umbilical cord had been cut.A newborn's shoulders and hips are narrow, the abdomen protrudes slightly, and the arms and legs are relatively short. The average weight of a full-term newborn is approximately 7 ½ pounds (3.2kg), but can be anywhere from 6–10 pounds (2.7–4.6kg). The average total body length is 14–20 inches (35.6–50.8cm), although premature newborns may be much smaller. The Apgar score is a measure of a newborn's transition from the womb during the first ten minutes of life.
A newborn's head is very large in proportion to the rest of the body, and the cranium is enormous relative to his or her face. While the adult human skull is about 1/8 of the total body length, the newborn's is twice that. At birth, many regions of the newborn's skull have not yet been converted to bone. These "soft spots" are known as fontanels; and the two largest are the diamond-shaped anterior fontanel, located at the top front portion of the head, and the smaller triangular-shaped posterior fontanel, which lies at the back of the head.
During labor and birth, the infant's skull changes shape to fit through the birth canal, sometimes causing the child to be born with a misshapen or elongated head. This will usually return to normal on its own within a few days or weeks. Special exercises sometimes advised by physicians may assist the process.
Some newborns have a fine, downy body hair called lanugo. It may be particularly noticeable on the back, shoulders, forehead, ears and face of premature infants. Lanugo disappears within a few weeks. Likewise, not all infants are born with lush heads of hair. Some may be nearly bald while others may have very fine, almost invisible hair. Amongst fair-skinned parents, this fine hair may be blond, even if the parents are not. The scalp may also be temporarily bruised or swollen, especially in hairless newborns, and the area around the eyes may be puffy.

Traces of vernix caseosa on a full term newbornImmediately after birth, a newborn's skin is oftentimes grayish to dusky blue in color. As soon as the newborn begins to breathe, usually within a minute or two, the skin's color returns to its normal tones. Newborns are wet, covered in streaks of blood, and coated with a white substance known as vernix caseosa, which is hypothesized to act as an antibacterial barrier. The newborn may also have Mongolian spots, various other birthmarks, or peeling skin, particularly at the wrists, hands, ankles, and feet.
A newborn's genitals are enlarged and reddened, with male infants having an unusually large scrotum. The breasts may also be enlarged, even in male infants. This is caused by naturally-occurring maternal hormones and is a temporary condition. Females may actually discharge milk from their nipples, and/or a bloody or milky-like substance from the vagina. In either case, this is considered normal and will disappear in time.
The umbilical cord of a newborn is bluish-white in color. After birth, a physician will cut the umbilical cord, leaving a 1–2 inch stub. The umbilical stub will dry out, shrivel, darken, and spontaneously fall off within about 3 weeks. Occasionally, hospitals may apply triple dye to the umbilical stub to prevent infection, which may temporarily color the stub and surrounding skin purple.
Newborns lose many of the above physical characteristics quickly. Thus prototypical older babies look very different. While older babies are considered "cute", newborns can be "unattractive" by the same criteria and first time parents may need to be educated in this regard.

The newborn's senses
Newborns can feel all different sensations, but respond most enthusiastically to soft stroking, cuddling and caressing. Gentle rocking back and forth will oftentimes calm a crying infant, as will massages and warm baths. Newborns may comfort themselves by sucking their thumbs, or a pacifier. The need to suckle is instinctive and allows newborns to feed.

Newborn infants have unremarkable vision, being able to focus on objects only about 18 inches (45 cm) directly in front of their face. While this may not be much, it is all that is needed for the infant to look at the mother’s face when breastfeeding. When a newborn is not sleeping, or feeding, or crying, he or she may spend a lot of time staring at random objects. Usually anything that is shiny, has sharp contrasting colors, or has complex patterns will catch an infant's eye. However, the newborn has a preference for looking at other human faces above all else.

While still inside the mother, the infant could hear many internal noises, such as the mother's heartbeat, as well as many external noises including human voices, music and most other sounds. Therefore, although a newborn's ears may have some mucous and fluid, he or she can hear sound from birth. Newborns usually respond to a female's voice over a male's. This may explain why people will unknowingly raise the pitch of their voice when talking to newborns. The sound of other human voices, especially the mother's, can have a calming or soothing effect on the newborn. Conversely, loud or sudden noises will startle and scare a newborn.

Newborns can respond to different tastes, including sweet, sour, bitter, and salty substances, with preference toward sweets.

A newborn has a developed sense of smell at birth, and within the first week of life can already distinguish the differences between the mother's own breast milk and the breast milk of another female.

Infant mortality
Infant mortality is the death of infants in the first year of life. Infant mortality can be subdivided into neonatal death, referring to deaths in the first 27 days of life, and post-neonatal death, referring to deaths after 28 days of life. Major causes of infant mortality include dehydration, infection, congenital malformation, and SIDS.
This epidemiological indicator is recognised as a very important measure of the level of healthcare in a country because it is directly linked with the health status of infants, children, and pregnant women as well as access to medical care, socio-economic conditions, and public health practices.

Feeding and lifestyle
Feeding is done by breastfeeding or with special industrial milk, "infant formula". As infants age, and their appetites grow, many parents choose from a variety of baby foods to feed the child. Infants have a sucking instinct allowing them to extract the milk from the nipples of the breasts or the nipple of the baby bottle, as well as an instinctive behavior known as rooting with which they seek out the nipple. If the mother is unable to breast feed, or does not want to, infant formula is used in Western countries. Sometimes a wet nurse is hired to feed the infant.
Breastfeeding provides infants with many natural immune substances and isolates the infant from most bacteria or other contaminations in the local water supply. Infant formula does not provide these immune substances and in places with poor quality water supply, subjects the infant to an increased risk of disease.
Infants are incontinent, therefore diapers are generally used in industrialized countries, while methods similar to elimination communication [2] are common in third world countries. Practitioners of these techniques assert that babies can control their bodily functions at the age of six months and that they are aware when they are urinating at even earlier age. Babies can learn to signal to the parents when it is time to urinate or defecate by turning or making some noises. Parents have to pay attention to the baby's action so they can learn the signals.
Babies cannot walk, although more mature infants may crawl; baby transport may be by perambulator (stroller or buggy) or on the back or in front of an adult in a special bag, cloth or cradle board. Infants cry as a form of basic instinctive communication to their parents when in need of feeding or when in discomfort.
As is the case with most other young children, infants are usually treated as special persons. Their social presence is different from that of adults, and they may be the focus of attention. Fees for transportation and entrance fees at locations such as amusement parks or museums are often waived.
While there is no defined end to infancy, babies are traditionally called "toddlers" when they start to walk. Even if not standing and walking, children older than one year are often no longer considered to be infants and called toddlers regardless of whether they can actually toddle. Conversely, daycares with an "infant room" providing infant care will call all their charges in the infant room "infants" even if they are older than a year and/or walking; they will sometimes use the term "walking infant".

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A female toddlerA toddler is a child between the ages of one and three years old, although some may consider a toddler to be between two and five. During this period, the child learns a great deal about social roles and develops motor skills; to toddle is to walk unsteadily. The term cruising is used for toddlers who can't even toddle yet but must hold onto something while walking.
The toddler developmental timeline shows what an average toddler can do at what age. Times vary greatly from child to child. It is not uncommon for some toddlers to master certain skills (such as walking) well before other skills (like talking). Even close siblings can vary greatly in the time taken to achieve each key milestone.
Most children are toilet trained while they are toddlers. In most Western countries, toilet training starts as early as 18 months for some while others are not ready to begin toilet training until they are three.
Age Physical Mental Emotional
12 - 15 Months Stand alone well.
Drink from a cup (poorly).
Turn pages in a book (a few at a time).
Play ball by rolling or tossing it.
Uses four to six words such as "ball", "cracker", or "cookie"
Can follow a simple command with an associated gesture, such as: bringing a cup to you when you point at it and say "Please bring me the cup".
Object Permanence: Realizes things still exist when they are out of sight, such as a toy block placed into a closed box.
Use gestures or words to convey desires, such as: Pointing at a book, raising arms to be picked up, or saying "cup".
Mimic actions such as covering eyes while playing peek-a-boo.
15 - 18 Months Walk well alone.
May be able to bend down and stand up without help.
Hold a crayon well enough to scribble.
Lift cup up to mouth for drinking.
Climb onto furniture.
Uses 10-20 words.
May be able to follow a command without a gesture.
Stack 2 blocks.
Greet people with "hi".
Mimic parental activities such as cleaning up or talking on a phone.
18 - 24 Months Feed self with a spoon.
Climb into a small chair.
Walk up steps.
Speaks 20-50 words; understands many more
Stack 6 blocks
Understands non-physical relationships such as turning on lights or pushing buttons.
Sorting toys.
Searching for hidden objects.
Problem solving through experimentation.
Wants to be independent at times. Will throw a tantrum or possibly say no.
Mimics social behavior such as hugging a teddy bear or feeding a doll.
Self recognition.
Self reference.
Displays attachment.
Separation anxiety.
Can play turn taking games.
24 - 36 Months Advanced mobility and climbing skills.
Increased dexterity with small objects, puzzles.
Able to dress oneself.
Speaking in sentences.
Easily learns new words, places and people's names.
Anticipates routines.
Plays with toys in imaginative ways.
Attempts to sing in-time with songs.
Knows boys from girls.
Shows preferences, such as clothes and entertainment.
Even when toddlers can walk they are often transported in a buggy, or stroller when they are tired, or to increase speed.
A one-year-old playing with his bowl
Preceded by:
Infanthood Stages of human development
Toddlerhood Succeeded by:

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parenting is the process of raising and educating a child from birth until adulthood. This is usually done in a child's family by the mother and father (i.e., the biological parents). Where parents are unable or unwilling to provide this care, it is usually taken on by close relatives (including older siblings) and grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents, godparents, or institutions (such as group homes or orphanages). Parens patriae refers to the public policy power of the state to usurp the rights of the natural parent, legal guardian or informal caregiver, and to act as the parent of any child or individual who is in need of protection.

1 Aspects of parenting
1.1 Parenting Methods and Practices
2 Pregnancy and the Early Years
2.1 Pregnancy and Prenatal Parenting
2.2 Parenting Infants
2.3 Parenting Toddlers
3 Preschool and School Years
3.1 Preschool Parenting
3.2 School Years
4 Assistance
5 Observers
6 Parenting assessment

Aspects of parenting
Physical care:
Reliably providing shelter, education, medical care, physical safety, and nourishment.
Social development and emotional support:
Love, play, and physical touch
Social skills and etiquette
Ethics and value systems
Moral and spiritual development
Norms and contributions to the child's religion and ethnic customs
Financial support:
Money provided by custodial or non-custodial parent(s), or the state
Insurance coverage and payments for education

Parenting Methods and Practices
Parenting typically utilizes praise and punishment as tools of behavioral control. Some parents no longer consider spanking a necessary punishment. The term "child training" implies a specific type of parenting that focuses on holistic understanding of the child. The "Taking Children Seriously" philosophy sees both praise and punishment as manipulative and harmful to children and advocates other methods to reach agreement with them. The term "attachment parenting" seeks to create strong emotional bonds and avoid physical punishment, with discipline being accommodated by interactions recognizing a child's emotional needs.
Taking Children Seriously (TCS) philosophy
Parental supervision
Parenting fundamentals:

Pregnancy and the Early Years

Pregnancy and Prenatal Parenting
During pregnancy the unborn child is affected by many decisions his or her parents make, particularly choices linked to their lifestyle. The health and diet decisions of the mother can have either a positive or negative impact on the child.
Many people believe that parenting begins with birth, but the mother begins raising and nurturing a child well before birth. Scientific evidence indicates that from the sixth month on (and possibly earlier)the unborn baby is able to feel, hear, sense, be aware of, and possibly remember. Based on this evidence a mother begins parenting before birth.

Parenting Infants
Being the parent of an infant is a major responsibility. Infants require a lot of care including (but not limited to) feeding, bathing, changing diapers, and health care. Common parenting issues in infancy:
Infant care:
Baby bottle
Diaper rash
Baby Colic
Childhood development
Paternal bond

Parenting Toddlers
Parenting a Toddler is a lot of work. Parenting responsibilities during the toddler years include (but are not limited to) feeding, bathing, potty training, ensuring their safety, teaching, and attending to their wellness. Common parenting issues with toddlers:
Toilet training

Preschool and School Years

Preschool Parenting
Parenting responsibilities for preschool age children often include (but are not limited to)feeding, bathing,teaching, ensuring their safety, and attending to their wellness. Parents are expected to make decisions about preschool education. Issues related to parenting preschool age children:
preschool education
early childhood education

School Years
Parenting responsibilities during the school years include (but are not limited to) feeding, assisting with education, ensuring their safety and wellness, and providing them with a loving and nurturing home environment. Issues related to parenting school age children:
Primary education
Secondary education
High school

Parents may receive assistance from a variety of individuals and organizations. Employers may offer specific benefits or programs for parents.

Parental leave

Benjamin Spock was an authority on parenting to a generation of North American parents. A current authority is T. Berry Brazelton, the founder of the Child Development Unit at Children's Hospital, Boston, and Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School.
Also see James Dobson

Parenting assessment
There are several parent self-report measures that have been developed for use by clinicians and researchers to assess parenting, such as the Parenting Stress Index (PSI; Abidin, 1995) and Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI; Bavolek, 1984). Parenting measures can also be observational, such as the Parent-Child Interaction Assessment-II (PCIA-II; Holigrocki, Kaminski, & Frieswyk, 1999).

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For things named The Child, see The Child.
A child (plural: children) is a young human. Precise definitions vary; the American Heritage Dictionary[1] defined a child as an individual who has not yet reached puberty, while the Convention on the Rights of the Child defines it as any person under the age of 18.[2] This article discusses prepubescent minors.
The term "child" is also a counterpart of parent: adults are the children of their parents despite their maturation beyond infancy; for example "Benjamin, aged 46, is the child of Tobias, aged 73". Similarly in a generalized sense, see child node.

1 Development
1.1 Cognitive development
2 Notable child prodigies
3 Human development

A female child
This image has an uncertain copyright status and is pending deletion. You can comment on the removal.Child development is the study or examination of processes and mechanisms that operate during the physical and mental development of an infant into an adult.
Pediatrics is the branch of medicine relating to the care of children. It encompasses ages from prenatal to teenagers and even young adults (ages 0-21 years).
Terms for stages of age-related physical development are listed below. Approximate age ranges are shown, but conceptions about the boundaries between different stages of life vary between cultures and periods. The age ranges and terms listed reflect 21st century conceptions in the developed world.
Zygote, the point of Conception, fertilization
Embryo; in the later stages also called fetus
Infant (baby) (ages 0 - 1.5)
Neonate (newborn) in the first month of life
Toddler (ages 1.5 - 4)
busfrö (ages 2 - 4)Often referred to as difficult (Swedish reference)
Middle childhood (schoolchild (or schoolboy or schoolgirl)) - Primary school/Elementary school age (ages 4 - 11)
prepubescence, a subset of the above (ages 10 - 11, approximately)
Preadolescence (preteen, or late childhood) - in America, middle school age (ages 11 - 12, approximately. Note overlap with prepubesent stage of middle childhood.)
Adolescence and puberty (teenager) (13-19)
Young adult (16-25)
Adult (starts at age 18-21 or older; exact minimum age may vary)
Early adulthood (20-39)
Middle age (40-59)
Advanced adult/Senior citizen (60+)
Death (occurs at various ages depending on person)
Boy showing tongue.Also sometimes used are terms that specify one's age in decades, such as:
Twenty something (20-29)
Thirty something (30-39)
Forty something/Quadragenarian (rarely used since 1980)(40-49)
Quinquagenarian (50-59)
Sexagenarian (60-69)
Septuagenarian (70-79)
Octogenarian (80-89)
Nonagenarian (90-99)
Centenarian (100-109)
Supercentenarian (110+)

Cognitive development
Music lessons
Infant Education
Language acquisition
Developmental psychology
Child art

Notable child prodigies
Christian Friedrich Heinecken (The Infant of Lübeck)
Isaac Albeniz
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sarah Chang
See also: Child prodigy

Human development
Alice Liddell at 7.Main article: Human development
Human development refers to all forms of development above, often in the context of clinical or developmental psychology, or as human development theory (in economics, an outgrowth of welfare economics).
Both the psychological and economic fields share a special concern with education and language fluency including literacy and numeracy, and with identification and development of more unique talents into the economic variable known as individual capital.
Earlier branches of economics see humans in terms of labour for production, means of persuasion or protection, which tend to be skills acquired only in adolescence and adulthood. The human development view is more evident in sports, music and other performing arts, such as acting where the child begins training often as early as three years of age. A contemporary example is Tiger Woods and his early training in golfing.
While there are problems with such early "streaming", child murder, child abandonment, military use of children and other major social ills are thought to be reduced by a human development approach – as there is a high value assigned to children by the state.
The UN Human Development Index is a means of measuring well-being used to rank states by these criteria. Although child abuse is thought to be lower in countries with a high ranking on this Index, that is not easily proven.

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