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Adoption Photolisting

What Are Legal Issues Adoption Photolisting

What Are Legal Issues Adoption Photolisting

Many agencies boast their photolistings are respectful of the privacy of the children available for adoption. As much as privacy is a concern for the Internet publication of information on children available for adoption, so is their safety. 
An ever-present threat for children with the free flow of data online is that sexual predators and offenders may use computers to try to take advantage of young children. With an adoption photolisting, even though the children are not being directly solicited for identifying details, in this case a public agency may serve as an unwitting accessory to a crime without the proper due diligence.
Though photolistings are constructed in a way that makes identifying children available for adoption unlikely, classmates and other people that know these children may happen upon an adoption photolisting and use the synopses about these children (especially their medical/behavioral profiles) to ridicule them.
At worst, the trauma from this harassment may have long-term negative emotional and psychological effects on the adopted child. Plus, in some instances, children available for adoption might not even know they are listed in photolistings, which is an illegal violation of the need for consent.
Adoption photolistings mean well in that they aim to speed up the adoption process and get children out of the welfare system. Just the same, it goes without saying this should not involve a compromise of their self-respect.

Adoption Photolistings At A Glance

Adoption Photolistings At A Glance

The practice of adoption photolistings began with representative agencies. Adoption phololistings refers to the general practice of posting descriptions and pictures of children awaiting adoption. An accepted practice over the past few decades, adoption photolistings were confined to adoption services centers, never witnessing full public disclosure.
Following the advent of the Internet, these descriptions and pictures were published, opening their exposure to the wider public. The advantages in having a larger percentage of people view these foster-children remain clear, regardless of public debate.
Although advocates stand by adoption photolistings, some note the large potential for abuse. The children appearing in adoption photolistings maintain no inherent right over their publication, and lacking a central parentage, require decision by the State.
Even though the larger decisions made on behalf of foster care children by the State require no further explanation, the overall posting of their information without personal consideration appears negligent when viewed on a grand scale. 
The Federal Government operates an adoption photolistings website at the domain www.adoptuskids.org. Certain exceptions exist in the wide-scale publication of adoption photolistings, or at the very least, certain considerations on a case-specific basis require a second look. Many children in foster care suffer from a wide-array of special needs.
Beyond legal and privacy issues regarding the widespread publication of adoption photolistings, the adoption of foster children has steadily increased with Internet usage.
Certain cases require special handling by adoption agencies, but websites like adoptuskids.org stand to gain more for the children than they can potentially lose by the greater exposure. Generally, adoption photolistings offer advantages to the foster care system if handled and supervised in a proper fashion. 

Adoption Photolisting Benefits

Adoption Photolisting Benefits

Adoption photolistings have seen much evolution from the days of the first paper-and-ink collections of children’s records available from individual agencies.   


Background
The practice of adoption photolistings began with representative agencies providing prospective parents photographs and brief descriptions of children currently living in foster care. These would be provided on a walk-in basis, limiting their public disclosure. Many news stations would broadcast images of children awaiting adoption to bring much needed attention to their plight, but again, this saw limited public exposure in terms of a viewing audience.
Adoption photolistings grew more prominent with greater Internet exposure bringing with it issues dealing with privacy and legality. Anyone with an Internet connection can gain access to specific information of the child, including pictures, depending on jurisdiction. Since the State maintains full interest in the lives of these children, the usage of adoption photolistings appears appropriate on a case-by-case basis.
Process
Searching through an online adoption photolisting is an easy way to accrue a considerable amount of information in considerably less time and with considerable ease. However, using a photolisting interface is not as simple as making an Internet-based purchase and does not circumvent standard procedure for domestic adoption. 
In actually consulting an adoption photolisting system, a potential applicant party must first decide how they wish to proceed with their search, whether by browsing through the entire list of active cases or to identify criteria for selection (e.g. age, gender, race, special needs) and limit their focus to those children that satisfy those conditions.
If a waiting child looks like someone that would be a good fit for a family after viewing the photo, noting their basic identification information, and  reading a summary of their likes, dislikes and social history, the prospective parents may then request more details about him or her. It should be noted, though, that while anyone can view a State adoption photolisting, not everyone is suitable to be an adoptive parent. Most states will require adopters to complete some sort of formal class or training session, and whether adopting in-state or internationally, an adoptive family must submit to a home study.

Benefits
The potential benefits of consulting an adoption photolisting as a means of beginning a domestic adoption may be lost on the average person or even first-time adoptive parents who are infrequent computer users and are unaware of what an online photolisting is.
The advantages are very real, though, and roughly correspond with more general advantages that computer technology has over more “traditional” manners of trying to look for children for adoption. As adoption is often a private decision that many families are not eager to publicize, the fact that an Internet-based photolisting search may be conducted from the safety of one’s own home would certainly be appealing.
As is the nature of E-commerce, relative speed is also a distinct benefit of using an adoption photolisting as opposed to an agency matching service. With a high-speed connection, one can access a full page of profiles of waiting children ready for adoption, while an agency may take months before a representative contacts their clients with news of a possible pairing. Plus, beyond saving time, as a domestic adoption photolisting is a free public service, it stands to save the user hundreds of dollars that would have otherwise gone to an agency match fee. 
An adoption photolisting may present decided benefits to both the prospective adoptive parents who explore it and the children available for adoption depicted therein. By virtue of the immediacy of the Internet interface that most photolistings employ in this day and age, literally anyone can access these databases within seconds.
However, while accessibility is a good thing, there are concerns that, in some cases, the accessibility of adoption photolistings to the general public might be too much of a good thing. Specifically, critics of photolistings worry about what kinds of people are viewing the pictures and profiles they contain. 
For one, adoption photolistings run by State child welfare agencies may display sensitive medical and social histories of children that may be of some interest to adoption applicants, but are realistically a violation of the children’s privacy à la violation of “doctor-patient confidentiality.”
Though identifying information is fairly non-existent on these sites, bullies may see the photos and target their classmates for ridicule. Furthermore, unknown sexual predators may view them and apply to adopt these children. Moreover, in some cases children may not even have been apprised of their appearance on State-run photolistings, which goes against laws on informed consent.