What did the family have to do in order for Gabriel to be allowed a second year of Nurturing in "The Giver"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order for Gabriel to be allowed a second year of Nurturing, "each family member, including Lily, had been required to sign a pledge that they would not become attached to (him), and that they would relinquish him without protest or appeal when he was assigned to his own family unit at next year's Ceremony". 

As a result of Father's "plea", Gabriel "had been labeled "Uncertain" and given the additional year".  Gabriel was small for his age, and had trouble sleeping through the night.  Ordinarily, a child who could not adjust in this manner would be "labeled inadequate and released from the community". 

Father, as one of the Nurturers at the Center, had taken a special interest in the little boy.  He had been bringing Gabriel home with him at night to see if he could help the child adjust more quickly, and had gone before the committee to petition on his behalf.  Surprisingly, Father's request had been considered and granted; Gabriel had been allowed a second year of Nurturing.  During this time he would continue to be nurtured at the Center during the day, and would spend his nights with Jonas's family.  It was hoped that with this arrangement, Jonas and his family could give Gabriel the special help he needed to gain weight and learn to sleep soundly enough at night to enable him to be placed in his own family unit (Chapter 6).

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gabriel is a small, fretful newborn that Jonas's father takes home with him, hoping that their home will allow the infant an opportunity to sleep and grow. However, Gabe has not gained additional weight and continues to struggle sleeping at night. Fortunately, Jonas's father addresses the committee and requests that Gabe spend an additional year at their home. Under typical circumstances, Gabe would be labeled Inadequate before being Released by the community. Since Jonas's father is granted his plea, Gabe is labeled Uncertain and given another year to grow in their home. Even though Gabe would only be spending his nights in their home, each member of Jonas's family is required to sign a pledge stating that they would not become attached to Gabe. The signed pledge also states that Jonas's family would relinquish Gabe without protest when he is assigned to his own family unit at the next year's Ceremony.