Internet Photolistings of Children - Not in a Child's Best Interests
edited: Wednesday, June 07, 2006
By Laurie A Frisch
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2006
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Advertising children for adoption via picture listings on the internet shows insensitivy toward orphans and might draw the attention of pornographers and sexual predators.
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.
Adoption from Foster Care Adoption and Safe Families Act, Adoption Bonuses - The Money Behind the Madness.
Adoption and Safe Families Act One family's personal story of how ASFA 1997 and adoption bonuses tore their family apart.
Foster Care Provider Speaks Out "I got this email from a foster parent, 'Would anyone out there believe how bad the foster care system is in Maine if they were not involved in it? I set out with the desire to try to help a few children while I still had the energy to do it. I never knew I would be asked to lie, look the other way when some major mistakes were made, be part of a cover-up to hide the mistakes of those who were supposed to be protecting children. I watched my children’s medical needs not be met. My voice meant nothing at team meetings. I have had 8 families in my area leave foster care in the past two years. They are good, honest people and that was the problem. They are not willing to be a part of a team that doesn’t care about the children.' "