There has been a lot of controversy over the idea of having a photo listing of children who are available for adoption. Some countries flat out will not allow any website to show pictures of their available orphans while others (like the US) use it as a tool to help find its many parentless children a forever family.
One of the arguments that people have used against the use of a photo listing system is they believe it promotes “shopping for children” I can understand how the idea of literally browsing through the child database could lead you to find some similarities to browsing others sites.
I think what people neglect to realize is that those who are “shopping” for the perfect child are not the ones searching the databases. These photo listings are the last place to look for a “typical” newborn with blonde hair blue eyes. Instead you will see those who have been left behind, those who entered the system at an older age so they are past their “prime” adoption age.
They are the children with special needs, or attachment issues, or a sibling group of nine (yes nine!). The photo listing approach helps people look past their labels, and see the child. After all the little boy whose file says he’s 10, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and must receive extensive in classroom help just to keep at grade level has little chance of having someone look beyond that.
But maybe just maybe if some wonderful potential parents stumbles upon the picture of this boy (the one with the eyes so dark, in some light they look black and a face that has more soul than I could ever dream about fitting into an article) they might just fall in love with him. They might just give themselves the chance to feel something for this little boy, and then when they read about his history, they may not overshadow this little boy as they might have in the past. And maybe just maybe he will be given a chance – and a home.
It allows a family who doesn’t even think about opening their home to a special needs angel or an older child to see the picture of a child who could be theirs, to picture how this little one would fit into their life.
To me photo listings are the best chance for those kids with the worst chance of finding a home.