O.K. Listen Foster and Adoptive parents… we need to talk.
There has been something I’ve been erked about for years now that I need to call you out on. (How many of you left already? Still here? )
Now, this is something I have been guilty of too. It’s something I have been called out on. It’s something that I have had to apologize and change and create an accountability system for, so I write from experience.
Here’s the thing…
We need to STOP sharing our foster or adoptive kid’s photos with identifying information.
Foster parents… You’ve been to the training. You have the handbooks. You know your state laws.
Adoptive parents. You may have no been through these same trainings or have to fly by the same set of rules we foster parents do, but this is still vital for you to consider.
I see SO MANY photos of adorable babies and children whose faces are covered up so skimpily that KAREN I CAN STILL TELL WHO THEY WOULD BE ON THE STREET IF I RAN INTO THEM.
Your tiny little hearts, words or see-through “highlighter” lines over their eyes are NOT cutting it.
I’ve created a few examples using my own photo to show you some real-life examples I commonly see. AND I’m not over exaggerating. I’ve even seen less.
WHY is this so important?
Foster parents your state has LAWS on this for a REASON. These are NOT our children. Some of these children are in danger or have been sexually abused. These children are at risk for abduction by their parents or family members. Even in the “safest” scenarios… IT’S STILL THE DAMN LAW KAREN. (I’m going to get an e-mail from a lady named Karen who fosters who feels attacked… I know it. )
Adoptive parents, this still goes for you. Even adopted kids are still at risk. Adopted kids have a past. They come with history. They have family members who may be looking or them. They have unsafe family members who may be looking for them.
(It’s different when the kids are all your own and they don’t have a past… but even then… we still need to be considering our kid’s safety. )
Listen, guys. We need to be better. These children, foster or adopted, were placed into our care to provide safety and protection. We need to be good stewards of them. We need to examine our motives for posting such revealing photos.
A movement this month has been to place National Adoption Awareness Month back into the hands of adoptees. There are many reasons for this and you can search social media for that movement.
What it comes down to is this: This isn’t your story. It’s theirs. It’s not your place to use them for your opinions on foster or adoption. It’s not your place to share these photos, especially if you are doing it for the wrong reasons.
It’s time we held ourselves accountable as foster and adoptive parents. We need to ask why we are posting these photos. Can we tell the same story with a non-identifying photo? Are we using these photos as click-bate?
Guys. I get it. I want my story to be heard. I want my voice to be heard.
But that CANNOT come at the expense of our children.
I can share my story as an adoptee, a foster parent and an adoptive parent all I want.
But it’s not my place to share my kid’s stories.
Whether it’s law or not in your state, I beg of you to … in the words of John Crist… check your heart.
I mean you should check your laws too. I know in Michigan it does not even matter if we have bio parent’s permission, zero photos with identifying info can be placed on social media by foster parents. We even have to go so far as to make sure they aren’t posted by newspapers, friends, schools etc.
We need to be better.