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Photolistings: Are They Ethical and Beneficial?

David Kruchkow

The Internet is populated with photolistings of children allegedly available for adoption. Is this a way to unite waiting children with families or is it a way for unethical agencies and facilitators to play on the heartstrings of prospective adoptive parents, and roping them into a scam? In this article, I will attempt to answer this question and look at the good, the bad and the ugly side of photolistings.

Personally, I am categorically opposed to all photolistings. All one has to do is look at real estate listings or visit cars.com or autotrader.com to see how children are being marketed and merchandized like real estate and cars. There has to be a better way. Let me just add that I do respect and understand those who claim that they found 'their child' on a photolisting, and that I do respect and understand those who claim that photolistings help children, especially those who are older and/or with special needs, find homes and families. On my website, www.adoptionagencychecklist.com, I have a page entitled, Photolisitngs and Ethics. It contains the following:

"What bothers me is how some adoption professionals are using the photolisting capability of the Internet to market and merchandise children. These photolistings can easily become a tool of the unscrupulous and unethical to victimize children and adoptive families. A family that is desperate to parent and adopt easily bonds with the right photo and becomes hooked and blinded." ....

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