By Trace L. Hentz (Blogger- Adoptee) (repost from 2014)
I am an adoptee, well past the age of majority, and because of my closed adoption, I had to climb a mountain and claw my way up to discover any details about who my natural family was. Records were sealed in Wisconsin. Growing up, I had no medical history. I did not share my adoptive parents blood or ancestry. Mine, on paper, didn't exist.
Even recently I told a surgeon I am not sure about most of my birthmom Helen's medical history, though I do know she died from complications of diabetes.
I have not stopped thinking about the post I wrote on the LOST DAUGHTERS BLOG that APs need to stop blogging about adoptees. This is a looming hot issue concerning "privacy" for minor adoptees. At the 2014 MIT adoption conference, I heard it loud and clear. I'm sure many adoptive parents had not considered the ramifications of blogging about their children's lives, especially when adoptees are still minors. The dangers of sharing on social media and blogs are REAL yet being ignored.
APs are, in my opinion, in essence creating an "unsafe environment" for their child.*
Blogging about any child is an invasion of their privacy!
A toddler cannot consent to having his or her life experiences documented on public spaces. (I predict some day some clever lawyer will take this on and attempt to sue an adoptive parent for publicizing and publishing an adoptee's early private experiences, albeit from the APs perspective.) (There might already be stalkings and kidnappings due to the increased use of social media. You can find anyone with the click of a mouse.) (There was already one lawyer in CA suing adoption agencies for damaged goods - when an adoptee is ungrateful or not what the APs expected. This is what lawyers do!)
If someone must blog, then private password-protected blogs, shared between family members, is the only way to protect any child. Parenting blogs are one thing; blogging about the children you adopt is another.
Many adoptees have told me and related on social media, much needs to be changed about "adoption" - ending the lack of access to our own adoption files, having a copy of our real birth certificate, knowing our ancestry, our medical history and so much more....including an understanding of birth trauma, anxiety and stress disorders in adoptees.
My goal as a writer/adoption author/adoptee is to advocate for adoptees too young to advocate for themselves. I will do whatever it takes to make this issue understood from the adoptee perspective.
In my foster care training in Oregon back in the 1990s, there was no mention of protecting a minor child's privacy but people were not blogging and tweeting and Facebooking back then!
Yet there was plenty to read about confidentiality for birthmoms - if they chose not to tell anyone and gave a baby up for adoption - adoption agencies like Catholic Charities assured them no one would ever have to find out. The child (like me) would have a new identity and the records were sealed permanently.
This created a fantasy I had to deal with and live with as an adult. Until I met my dad Earl, I had no medical history or ancestry.
So much needs to change about adoption. It's a complicated mess. For 20+ years, I've done research on adoption as a topic. I am not a lawyer. More and more is coming to light that "adoption" is not at all what we thought. Much of what we read is/was created by the billion dollar adoption industry so it's their sale pitch, aka propaganda for adoptive parents (APs) and potential APs.
I am old enough now to advocate for those adoptees who can't. And I will.
If I run into APs and lawyers who get upset with me (or my blog) for voicing my opinion, get in line.
Here is a very revealing post from Jason on his blog concerning failed adoptions and the practice of advertising adopted children you no longer want: REHOMING:
Children For Sale: Get 'Em While They're HotHis post
I will end with Von's comment on Adoptive Parents blogging about adoptees:
The full exposure some adopters give to adoptees is seriously wrong and abusive. Some of you might remember the 'Potty Wars' and the 'Slant Eyes Fiasco' when adoptive mothers were adamant that their right to write whatever they wanted trumped the rights of children. Many claim they are not racist or abusive and that adult adoptees are over-sensitive and need to get a life, be prayed for or learn to be grateful. They pretend to pity us for our sad lives and state that their adoptees do not suffer and will not as we have. They know so little of the trauma of adoption and do so little to protect those they have adopted from further trauma. Anything posted is forever available and will undoubtedly be used by someone somewhere to bully, castigate, abuse etc because that sadly is the down side of our social media. Anyone who overlooks this is either naïve, stupid or deliberately abusive.
HEALTHLINE chose this blog as one to read in 2017
As we consider posting pictures or information about the lives of children on the internet, we must also consider the impact on the children (you are considering only the needs of potential adoptive parents). Does the internet have a right or need to know any information about these children? How might the children be impacted in the future with their personal and private information being shared with any stranger that comes across it?
What baffles me--and endangers children--is when adults think of their needs and fail to reflect on what children need. In this case their is an enormous impact that you are failing to consider.