Adoption Photolistings - Children Up For Adoption
Internet Photolistings of Children
- Not in a Child's Best Interests
by Laurie Frisch
On my computer screen is a picture of a girl, "Pretty and
vivacious". Another girl is described as "very glamorous".
On another page an African American girl is listed as "currently
in therapy" and "developmentally delayed". A boy
is described as "on medication to assist him with symptoms
of ADHD." and "does not have contact with any of his
family members." One girl "is very sensitive, can misread
social cues and often believes people are making fun of her".
A girl "occasionally exhibits disruptive behavior".
A boy of 16 is described as an "attractive little boy".
All of the pictures have the child’s first name included. Is
this a fraternity boy’s prank? Who would put pictures of children
on the web with their names and such descriptions?
The website is one of many on the internet advertising children.
Near the listings of older children are listings of couples, singles
and gay people who “look forward to expanding our family and cherishing
the addition of a new baby”. None of the prospective adopters’
ads says “occasionally exhibits disruptive behavior” or “can misread
social cues”, although surely it happens. Even listing their ads
seeking an infant shows great insensitivity toward children who
have been advertised as available for years.
“This is such an invasion into these kids lives, exposing to
the entire world that they are an orphan or making it out that
they haven’t got parents that love them.” emailed one woman who
had been in an orphanage as a child. “And with these girls it
looks like they are advertising their sexuality. It could cause
some pedophile creep to come forward and adopt these young girls.”
“If it gets children adopted, it’s worth it.” I’m told by a woman
at one agency. I imagine her picture on the web with a description
like this: Helga, age 22 “Sometimes insensitive, slightly challenged,
needs help to learn to consider others feelings.”
One more click and I find myself at the Rodent Adoption Listing
website which displays a picture of a 12 month old Champagne Hood
and a 6 month old Mink. “These two girls are very sweet, friendly,
active and extremely outgoing.”
Several websites caution people not to say children are “put
up” for adoption because it brings to mind the time when children
were literally placed on raised platform at a public meeting like
so much meat. Isn’t the adoption photo listing just as humiliating?
Even the rodents get a nicer advertisement than the kids.
Poverty Separates Parents and Children: A Challenge to Human Rights
a study by ATD Fourth World - with forewards by United Nations and
UNICEF, includes a description of how United States child protection
system (CPS) separates family members. Discusses 1997 Adoption and
Safe Families Act (ASFA) and it's contribution to the "unfair
dissolution of many families"...States that "A child in
the United States blames her parents for not protecting her from
the child protection system."
Adoption photolistings are not the only issue
The United States government is putting pictures of children for
adoption on the internet at adoptuskids website. The government
is advertising children - human beings - like some product for sale
via adoption photolistings. But adoption photo listings are not
the only issue.
and Safe Families Act Tears Family Apart - tells about the
tragic consequences of ASFA 1997 and adoption bonuses for one
family. A mother's youngest "adoptable" child is taken
even after she has proven herself to be a fit parent.
Bonuses - the Money Behind the Madness - a shocking look at
how federal funding is set up to separate families.
The majority of children in United States are removed from their
homes not due to not drug use, sexual abuse or physical abuse but
on the basis of "denying critical care". According to
Report: Iowa Fails Abused Children a federal report showed 70%
of kids in Iowa under this category.
"Denying critical care" might mean anything:
If a social worker showed up at the stable when Jesus was
born, she might say that
- the environment was unsanitary
- there was no food in the refrigerator
- Mary and Joseph were cohabitating and
- they planned so poorly they didn't even arrive at their
destination in time to get a hotel room.
If Mary was not already proficient at nursing her son, you
can just image the social worker looking down on her saying "babies
having babies" in digust and then taking Jesus away and giving
him to fost-adopts. Unlike the old-style foster care providers,
a fost-adopt is a person who is hoping to get a child. A fost-adopt
is not someone who wants to adopt a child already in the system.
Instead, a fost-adopt is looking for a fresh little one who is
not already abused by being separated from family, then experiencing
repeated placements and possibly other abuse while in the system.
Would Mary ever get her son back? Not unless she had $50,000
and a good lawyer.
The U.S. government would do better to stop expending effort on
the humiliating photo picture listings of children for adoption
and instead find way to help children remain in their homes.