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:

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