Finding & Using Adoption Photolistings

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Exposure of children and youth in foster care or orphanages abroad (where permitted by law) who have been legally released for adoption (waiting children) through print, online, and other media photos and profiles is done to create interest, often because they have special needs, thus making them hard to place (such a sad term). Unfortunately, there are thousands upon thousands of children and youth waiting for their forever families.

Photolistings on the Web

Originally, photolistings were created as books, with updated pages available through a subscription with state, regional, or national organizations and agencies. In recent years, more and more photolistings have found their way onto the Web. The hope is that, by placing a photograph of a waiting child on a readily-accessible Web site, a family will see the child first, and the needs or age of the child second. If a child gets placed into a loving home, then it does have merit. However, in today's world, most kids - and certainly the older ones - know that their picture has been publicized, and they sit - waiting, hoping, and wondering when they will find the perfect family. Perhaps yours will be that family.

Here at, with the cooperation of state adoption units and other agencies, we are able to make available the largest single source photolisting on the Internet, Our photolisting includes children in the U.S. foster care system, as well as a number of orphans in other countries.

Before Using the Photolisting

Before using (or other photolistings), experienced adoptive parents recommend:

  • Getting an excellent medical reference book to increase understanding of terms and conditions used in profiles;
  • Making several copies of your homestudy to have on hand to send out on your own (as an unofficial copy) as soon as it's requested.
As you browse the photolisting:
  • Keep a pen and paper at hand to note information.
  • Use your computer's "bookmark" or "favorites" feature to save pages of special interest.
  • Research information provided and list questions you have for the social worker or agency representative during follow-up communication.
  • Call the same day you see a listing since, in most cases, consideration is given first to those who make the first contact.

Wise Words

In "Tips for Self-Directed Special Needs Adopters," Dr. L. Anne Babb, a well-known advocate for children, author, and adoptive parent, says, "When you call about a particular child's listing, you should tell the worker why you are perfect for the child, not why the child is perfect for you." photolisting

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