Foster care is the process in which a child is taken out of the home of the birth family due to incidents of child abuse. This means the state is responsible for all the major decisions which affect the child, while the foster parent is bears day-to-day responsibility for the child's needs.
Engaging in the process of online adoption photolistings – collections of pictures of children available for adoption from foster care accompanied by basic non-identifying information – has been among the most highly used strategies of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and State social services since their creation in the 1990s.
Any prospective adoptive parent may access a public photolisting over the Internet by browsing the entire catalog of children in the State they are looking for or by searching according to preferences of age, sex, race, and whether or not children have any special needs or siblings that will accompany them to their new home. From there, homestudied applicants who have a genuine interest in a particular child or group of children may request more specific information on them and schedule to meet in person with a representative from the bureau overseeing their case.
The benefits of using online adoption photolistings over print listings and agency match services are numerous and fairly apparent. Searching through public databases is free, fast, easy, and possible from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. It can be done from the comfort of home.
Still, the widespread use of photolistings has some citizens concerned. Though children's full records are never available on a photolisting, enough information may be there for child molesters to access.