Adoption Photolistings of Children – Not in a Child’s Best Interests

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.

For additional reading:

Foster Care Adoption “Adoption and Safe Families Act” Tears Family Apart

Adoption Photolistings Pictures, photo listings of children “up for ” adoption – what’s wrong with this picture?

Adoption Agencies Transracial adoptees speaking out about Korean baby adoptions.

Question by Little Miss Fix-It: Is there a website that has pictures of children available for adoption?

Best answer:

Answer by Timid Women Rarely Make History
LOL Children aren’t dogs…. you don’t adopt someone based on what they look like… I really hope that’s not why you want pictures.

Add your own answer in the comments!

Ms. Gail Falk Seltzer, a Staff Lawyer for Field Services with the United Mine Workers of America, Work on Black Lung Benefits at the Headquarters in Charleston, West Virginia 04/1974
pictures of children for adoption
Image by The U.S. National Archives
Original Caption: Ms. Gail Falk Seltzer, a Staff Lawyer for Field Services with the United Mine Workers of America, Work on Black Lung Benefits at the Headquarters in Charleston, West Virginia. In the Foreground Is the Baby Bed Her Child Sleeps in While She Works. Ms. Seltzer Is a Yale Graduate and Contributor to the Equal Rights Amendment Being Considered for Adoption to the U.S. Constitution 04/1974

U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 412-DA-13961

Photographer: Corn, Jack, 1929-

Charleston (Kanawha county, West Virginia, United States) inhabited place
Environmental Protection Agency

Persistent URL:

Repository: Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001.

For information about ordering reproductions of photographs held by the Still Picture Unit, visit:

Reproductions may be ordered via an independent vendor. NARA maintains a list of vendors at

Buy copies of selected National Archives photographs and documents at the National Archives Print Shop online:

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted
Use Restrictions: Unrestricted

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5 thoughts on “Adoption Photolistings of Children – Not in a Child’s Best Interests”

  1. No, I doubt it. Why would it matter what they looked like anyway? Go to an adoption clinic. Think about the older children that need homes too. They are often not easy to place and end up stuck in a foster home forever.

  2. Yes.

    I don’t know if every state has a registry, but Ohio does. The Ohio Adoption Photo Listing…its also searchable by age, gender, ethnicity, sibling groups, etc.

    You don’t have to reside in Ohio to be eligible to adopt from this listing…I know that a family from Pennsylvania adopted a sibling group from this website last year.

    The website lists children who are eligible to be adopted through the foster care system in Ohio. (Note – the name listed is generally not the child’s real name, for security purposes. But all the details are real.) Here’s the link:

    (And I agree with the others that there are more important things to consider than just a photograph. But, you asked a question for information, not my opinion.)

  3. You can see a photolisting of some of the children in the US foster care system at

    Bear in mind that for privacy reasons these children may have special needs that aren’t disclosed on the site, so you should contact the social worker about what adoption of the child would actually entail, rather than basing it on looks.

  4. Regardless of if people like it or not there are websites. is one. click on meet the kids on the top option bar. it will bring up a search form you can use to narrow your search. it will search all foster care in the US by state. you can see photos and bios.


    delilah used to have something where she highlighted specific children for a time on her web page but I have not looked recently so do not know.

    Many individual states have listings of children who are available for adoption.

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