This from Twitter: “Increase in online advertising to place children awaiting adoption…”
I’ve argued both sides of the debate about publishing photos of children who need an adoptive home. But it really isn’t worth discussing, IMHO, as this ship has sailed. There are photo-listings everywhere at this point. Counties, states, national organizations, private agencies, they are all doing it. I’ve tended towards arguing the affirmative in the past, based on a belief that we should do EVERYTHING possible to find permanent families for kids.
The above-referenced Tweet has me considering this topic again. It’s not so much the actual practice of photos of children/youth in need of families being ‘out there’. It’s that word….advertising. This is how Merriam-Webster defines the word….“the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements”.
OK, so that is not as bad as I expected. However, when I see that word, advertising, I continue to think that someone is trying to sell something. That is where I get hung-up…the selling part. You can see why I’m debating this in my head once again.
I guess the bottom line is that the issue is one of language. There will be photo-listings and really, I do think they are good for the most part. But can we *not* refer to it as ‘advertising’? Can we talk about ‘featuring children’ or ‘promoting families’? Seriously. Language Matters! The disability community has been talking about this for years with their ‘people first‘ campaign. The U.S. Department of Labor has made a concerted effort to change thinking about persons with disabilities by changing language.
So, Child Welfare, let’s get with the program and pay attention to language!
*Entire Tweet: @SimplyFostering Increase in online advertising to place children awaiting adoption and Long Term Foster Care .Family Law http://goo.gl/1zyu
Tweeted December 27, 2010.
No disrespect intended to Simply Fostering…I’m following them on Twitter because I like their Tweets!