Free to Good Home

While I understand the importance of Mom & Pop stores and relish the experience of finding a hidden gem in the aisles of an old, cramped market with squeaky wooden floors, I must admit that I am often very grateful that shopping can be so easy thanks to the Internet. It’s such a vast and comprehensive shopping resource these days that it’s possible to find just about anything you can think up. Gold-plated staplers. A singing salmon in the likeness of Sammy Davis, Jr. A box of 10,000 fish oil pills. Just type in whatever your mind can think up and sure enough somebody, somewhere out there has got one to sell to you.

When I say “whatever,” I used to put in automatic caveats. There’s certain things you simply can’t browse for online. No, I’m not talking about illegal stuff like drugs and guns. I have heard about the so-called “Dark Web” and although I have no clue how to find it (nor do I even want to) I am not naïve enough to think that dangerous goods can’t also be found with just a few easy clicks of the mouse.

I used to think that people, aka human beings, were one of those resources that the Internet would stay away from out of some sort of moral stance. Then online dating began. Then Russian Brides became a thing. Then Asian Brides Online. Then Oksana Love. The list of buy-a-bride sites goes on and on and covers virtually every country.

OK, I thought, so you can purchase a spouse online. Surely that’s as far as even the Internet dares to go. Children have to be off-limits. Oh, how wrong I was. Check out this link.

Yes, this is a real Facebook group where pictures of children up for adoption are posted (often with the word AVAILABLE in all caps at the start of the post). These are not just children up for a “regular” adoption mind you. These are children who have been adopted and their current parents want to re-home them because they are no longer wanted for whatever reason. Yes. You read that right.  Re-homing children.

Have we really turned into such a disposable society? It’s bad enough that animals are euthanized by the millions in shelters, but now we have kids being plastered up on Facebook walls like products that are on sale at your local Best Buy.  Or more like Craigslist. The really sad part is that this group is NOT an uncommon thing.  It’s just one of many public forums that act the same as shelter sites advertising dogs and cats. The only difference is that instead of checking out a 9 month old beagle/poodle mix that was saved from a drug den, you’re perusing pictures of a human child up for sale to see if he or she piques your interest.

You may think I’m exaggerating if you don’t go to the site and look for yourself. I assure you, I’m not. The wording in these ads is strikingly familiar to those you’d find on a dog rescue site, and hit just as close to home for anyone with a caring heart. Loves to play, gets along well with others, no behavioral problems, affectionate, listens. And the implied, or outright declared, reasons excuses for re-homing were no better.  I know I sure got a sense of déjà vu from the excuses running rampant throughout the site.

One boy’s ad states: “We would especially hope that the new family will have one stay at home parent to help him get bonded to your family, although this is not required. His current adoptive parents both work.” This child has apparently been with his family for over a year. He’s four. FOUR. I can only imagine parenting took more of their time than they expected.

Another claims a ten-year old child who has been in his home for over five years “needs more one-on-one attention than is available in his home. He loves sports however his family is not a sports-type family, and his parents are a bit older. So it is believed that a younger, more active home would work better.”  Right.

It breaks my heart that this is the new normal. This is the way our society works if it wants to move a product. Toaster? Car? Six year old girl from a broken home? Put ’em up online. Someone will bite.

Kids certainly are hard work. Trust me, I’ve had two! But that’s why mental health specialists, doctors, and therapists exist if there are behavioral problems.  Which might not even be the case with the kids on this one particular Facebook page…they all seem GREAT given their descriptions…maybe the parents just got overwhelmed with parenting and decided it simply wasn’t for them. Who knows? But to me posting an ad up on freakin’ Facebook to re-home your goddamned kid is a failure on the part of the parent no matter how you look at it, not the child.

I wonder if these kids know they’re being offered up on social media the same way a puppy is. Do they have to go thru visits with prospective families and show off their wares and hope that the next one “sticks?”  A part of me hopes they’re in “ignorance is bliss” camp because otherwise, how utterly devastating for a child this must be.

18 thoughts on “Free to Good Home

  1. Wendy this is just awful…thank you for raising awareness to this. Yes this is just like dog ads the only thing is they aren’t asking for donations. This could also be a black market where you get scammed into thinking you’re getting a child and then taken for your money. But you are so right and make as much noise as possible about this tragedy. Yes raising children is hard I too raised 2 and am helping in raising my granddaughters so I know it is difficult but never would I put kids up for adoption for one but to auction them off like this is absurd. Post this entry as often as possible to raise awareness maybe this will shame those behind this to change their ways .

  2. This certainly doesn’t sound legal. Adoptive parents are the same as biological parents who keep their children, in the eyes of the law, aren’t they? You can’t just hand off your child to someone else without a lawyer, can you? And don’t adoptions include follow up visits from social workers or something? I have no direct personal experience with adoption , maybe I’m naive. But if this is true it is despicable.

    • It’s apparently done through a legal adoption agency, albeit a private one. At least that’s what the site said. In fact, they kept emphasizing “private adoption” throughout their site and every ad. I have no direct experience either, but I thought it was only foster care and adoptions done through foster care that required follow up. Not private adoptions. I feel that the whole thing was sketchy anyway regardless of whether it’s legal or not. I feel for the kids being put through it.

    • I got through my whole post with only one curse word. I was proud of myself. Of course as I was going through the site (which I did thoroughly), a few…okay, many…poured out of my mouth as I talked to myself. But yeah. It’s one of those things that sort of hits you. Seeing the pics of the kids, my heart just broke for them. I do hope they end up with a happy life.

  3. While I share your outrage at this horrible example of our disposable culture, I am reminded that when I was about ten I wanted there to be some sort of exchange so much could try life with different parents who wouldn’t beat me and might listen to me occasionally, or at least have other children so everything wrong would not always be my fault. Not so very different, though as a child I had no say in having been born to the family I got, whereas parents did choose to have kids.

    • I am so sorry that you had that sort of childhood. No child should suffer through abuse. It’s obvious these children would be better off with different parents because after all, they have no issue with “re-homing” them. I do hope these kids find a loving home who will keep them forever and show them that some adults can be the kind, loving, and devoted parents every child deserves.

  4. I saw this sort of thing on a tv show and I honestly thought they had made it up, the worse thing was that the children that were being “bought” were being used by pedophile rings, I hope to god they made that bit up

    • Sadly, it’s not made up at all. I wondered about the pedophile angle as I read thru the ads because I thought it would be a feeding frenzy for them. And I also wondered what sort of background checks the agency would do on the “new parents.” It seems to be a large private adoption agency that does this second chance thing as a side gig, but as we all know, any endeavor is only as good as those running it. I have no idea of the adoption agency’s policies or their ability/willingness to enforce any such policies. I hope for the children’s sake there are extremely strong background reviews in place.

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