November 26, 2020

Adoptions and Technology: How Photolistings are Changing International Adoptions

Adoption photolisting, which involves listing photos and basic details of children (such as their age and likes) on the websites of adoption agencies, has brought up the adoption rates.

adoption photolisting

With technology influencing every aspect of our lives it is only natural that adoptions also would be subjected to it, adoption photolisting being the latest attestation to that fact. The listings are a list of photos and details of children waiting to be adopted. It is not a new idea, though the technology has caught up with it only recently. Earlier, counties, states, and other authorities would publish books with the photolistings (which could be bought) and whenever new additions or changes were made, would send out subscriptions. Now with the accessibility and flexibility of the internet, websites with the photolistings are also starting to become common.

The adoption photolisting would contain, along with the photos, some basic details about the children, such as their age, state, likes, dislikes etc. The thought behind the listings is that people who want to adopt children would first see their face and would be affected by it more than any other circumstance. It is also considered that seeing how many kids are waiting to be adopted, seeing the kids for real in photos instead of as plain numbers, would induce more people to adopt. In short, the photolistings were brought in to bring up the adoption rates.

So far adoption photolisting has been helpful in increasing adoption rates. The ability to see the child before making the decision has helped parents.

Of course the number does not take into account the psychological impact the adoption photolisting has on children. Since older children know that their photos are on the web, the pressure on them is harder. In fact as the waiting period increases they get the feeling that they are not being selected (that they are being rejected). This is traumatic for kids. Some websites, in order to counter this, have started displaying models or fake photos instead of the kid’s actual photos. If they do that they mention the fact specifically and you will not be deceived (it is for protection not deceit). Other websites have restricted entry to the listings so that all and sundry cannot take a look. You will have to register and need access passwords to look at the listings.

While adoption photolisting does give face and recognition to the numerous children waiting to be adopted (who may not have gotten any voice otherwise) it also produces psychological effects on the children. Though the adoption numbers are up now, the long term effects of the listings need to be seen.

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