I want to know if there's a more succint way of saying the following:

The adult who the infant is under the care of

As an example, I am writing acceptance criteria for my software application:

Requests for the check-in status of an infant-on-lap will return the check-in status for the adult who the infant is under the care of.

Any help appreciated.

  • In loco parentis is fairly widely understood.
    – Phil Sweet
    Sep 28, 2016 at 10:05
  • I would steer clear of in loco parentis. Firstly, it is rarely used to refer to anything except the legal obligations of educational institutions. And, even when it is used in the context of a single individual, it refers not to that individual as a person, but rather to the doctrine by which a court may formally establish that person as a legally recognized guardian of a minor child. Finally, it is an unfamiliar term for most persons, who may misapprehend some sort of legal standing pertains to your criteria.
    – Doc G.
    Sep 28, 2016 at 12:01
  • @PhilSweet I'm not altogether happy with in loco parentis. For one thing it is not a noun, which I understood the OP was seeking. You couldn't for example say I left Jonny with "in loco parentis". Another thing is that it has a specific legal sense, and comes in degrees. If I am a child-minder I have certain aspects of in loco parentis e.g. I can prevent the child strangling the neighbour's cat. But more advanced elements of ILP e.g. deciding what the child is allowed to eat, may not be devolved upon me.
    – WS2
    Sep 28, 2016 at 12:04
  • “The adult accompanying the infant” is great as long as it is well defined & understood by all parties to the inquiry as meaning “the adult whose ticket is associated with the infant,” but in cases where the infant is accompanied (in layman’s terms) by a couple, to avoid false negative or false positive returns to an anxious grandmother who knows her daughter is accompanying the child (& can’t remember her son-in-law’s name!-joke), you might consider the following: … “the accompanying adult whose ticket is associated with the infant” … or “the accompanying adult named on the [Infant] SSR.”
    – Papa Poule
    Sep 28, 2016 at 14:17
  • Now that we have a concrete example, I agree, it's not the right term for an air travel notice. It would imply a recognition of status and due diligence far beyond what common carriers are responsible for.
    – Phil Sweet
    Sep 28, 2016 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


I would phrase it just as the airlines do:

A request for the check-in status of an infant-on-lap will actually return the status of the adult accompanying the infant.

  • That's great - accompanying is the right word for this. Incidentally the software is for an airline ;) Sep 28, 2016 at 12:27

A recognised term in the UK is child minder. In fact Social Services employ registered child minders for the purpose. (People who have themselves been vetted as suitable, with appropriately equipped and safety-approved homes)

In any event the adult who the infant is under the care of if not expressed simply as child minder, might be better expressed as the adult in whose care the infant is placed.

  • Child minder is a profession, and would only apply to people who were employed to look after the child, so may be too specific for this purpose. Schools tend to use "parent/guardian".
    – y6nH
    Sep 28, 2016 at 11:44
  • @y6nH I accept what you say, but child-minder gets a good deal of informal use too - in Britain.
    – WS2
    Sep 28, 2016 at 11:56

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