In a narrow definition a ‘replacement child’ is a child conceived and born to replace a child who died. Over the past 30 years, the concept has been broadened, to include the role attributed to a person, or the role a person self-identifies with.
A person can be a replacement child if:
- Conceived or born to replace a child or other member of the family who has died;
- Born shortly after a death, stillbirth, miscarriage or abortion: a so-called subsequent child;
- Born as a surviving twin or multiple;
- Replacing a sibling or another member of the family later on, due to death or disability;
- In the context of the adoption of a child, replacing or being replaced by a conceived child; or
- Being assigned the role to replace a missing person or self-identifying with such a role.
- Important Note: Children born or adopted after a death or loss are not automatically replacement children.