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An orphan is a child whose parents are dead or have abandoned them permanently.In common usage, only a child who has lost both parents due to death is called an orphan. When referring to animals, only the mother's condition is usually relevant. If she has gone, the offspring is an orphan, regardless of the father's condition.

Adults can also be referred to as orphan, or adult orphans. However, survivors who reached adulthood before their parents died are normally not called orphans. It is a term generally reserved for children whose parents have died while they are too young to support themselves.

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