Inappropriate adoption advertising?

I wake up early.
I always wake up early, if it isn’t the increasing physical pain of growing older.
Then it’s the residue of having once been a chronic insomniac.

I thought about bragging about my most recent success as a writer. I’ve been picked out as one of the Re:Play bursary winners.
I’m supposed to be putting the finishing touches to my latest stage play. But my mind is swimming with a multitude of things that have been happening across the globe.

The behaviour of law enforcement agencies in the US, pleas for racist behaviour and resulting  criminal charges to be wiped clean, recollections of the prejudice and racism that was alive and well in the UK in the 60s when I was flown over from Hong Kong to meet the people who adopted me for the first time and then I came across these . . .

Nobody’s Child Dolls

A Nobody’s Child Original Doll this one is called Sidney

These dolls apparently are made to honour adoption and adoptees. As an adult adoptee the last thing I need to honour me, is a misshapen, grotesque “rag doll.” It is a hideous creations. I’ll just let the tumble weed finish blowing through that incomplete sentence. Oh yes and by the way, should anyone out there be interested, in spite of the fact that many, many children from East Asia end up being transracially adopted there is not one rag doll representation of an East Asian. Not that anyone, in my honest opinion, in their right mind would want to purchase one of these horrendous things and give it to their adopted child.
Nobody'sChild Dolls
Here you can see the full range of “dolls.” These dolls have buttons for eyes, squiggly stitching to signify a mouth (if at all), many are sucking their thumbs and as for their hair, well what can I say? These dolls, to me, in no way, shape or form appear “normal” not even in the milieu of dolls. What would gifting this creation to a new adopted child say to their developing minds?
I admit it is a taste thing. It’s a subjective view, there maybe people out there who might find these creations, ‘charming’ and the perfect gift for their adopted protégés. If so please do leave a comment and let me know what it is about these rag-monstrosities that you find so attractive. Personally if I had been presented with one of these as a child I would probably have had nightmares

Then I came across a post on-line talking about a Craigslist post. I initially thought that my dyslexia had gotten the better of me. I thought I had misread the post because it was talking about people posting ads to find babies and children that could be adopted. I reread the post. No I had not on this occasion misread, my dyslexic brain had not misinformed me. There were indeed people posting on Craigslist looking to adopt children

craigslist-adoptionAbove is a screen shot of Craigslist listings for adoption – in amongst the dogs, cats and other pets being sought or offered for adoption there ads for couples looking to adopt. I have a huge problem with this fact before I even get onto the actual substance of the ads. So adopting a child has been boiled down to the same status that we in society give to our pets. That we can trade, give-away, exchange and sell as private buyers and no-one bats an eye.

WeWantToAdopt CraisglistWashingtonJust  a couple of screen-shot examples of the Craigslist ads you can come across. Couples looking to adopt. Sadly there appear to be more than just a handful. How can this be right, let alone acceptable or morally defensible. Has humanity sunk so low that we now think so little of our most precious human resource, out children, as little more than “pets”? Are the systems in place in the US and the UK so dysfunctional that people are resorting to placing ads? I need more time to process and further research this entire phenomenon. We’ve seen ‘designer children’  and children being used as the ultimate accessory. Are we now moving into another troubling area that of cyber baby trafficking?
Just as paedophiles have moved from grooming children face to face, now it’s being done on-line via social media.

lookingtoadoptlocallyIt’s a depressing thought so close towards the end of the year at a time when millions around the world celebrate. When children should be at the centre of these celebrations. What future problems are we creating if such access to children goes unregulated? Look at the problems that occur with adoptees not having the correct information on their birth certificates. The fact that many adoptees don’t have birth certificates (well not true ones).

I’m sure that I will be revisiting this topic again in the new year for the moment all I can suggest is if you come across any such ads on Craigslist mark the ad as Prohibited. For now that will have to do.
For those that say but the right of the couples to want to adopt is being restricted – no it is not. These couples are still free to approach bona fide adoption agencies. Their local childcare services. It does not prevent them from being able to adopt. I personally question why you would put an advert in an on-line sales listing site if you were truly serious (across all aspects) about adopting a baby or child.



8 thoughts on “Inappropriate adoption advertising?

  1. Hi Lucy! I agree with you about the Craigslist advertising. How horrible! I can tell you why they do it. If they find a baby using their own advertising techniques, they can hire a lawyer and in most states in the U.S., they can do an independent adoption — they can save money and don’t have as much hoop-jumping (as with an agency) to go through. They also have all the power in their hands to not have to honor an open adoption agreement because most states do not back them up by law!

    And the dolls? I don’t even know what to say about those dolls except UGH.


    1. I thought it would be something like that. An advert on UK Gumtree was pulled a couple of years go – exactly the same thing. But it was brought down within hours I think and they police and social services got involved to try and find the people who posted to prosecute don’t know what happened. I assume that they did not find them.
      As for the dolls and I use that term very loosely it’s just another way of keeping adoptees socially incarcerated – boxed. An excuse so that adoptees can be treated differently and yes ugh!


  2. Lucy, the doll maker is a Late Discovery Adoptee and was making the dolls to express her feelings of sudden disconnection. She did make a mistake in the way she marketed them and I sincerely hope she will change this. She has been open to discussion of the subject with others who were letting her know how inappropriate it is to market them in this way.


    1. Thanks for the update – this is very unfortunate hopefully this will enable her to move forward and rethink certain aspects on how she markets her work.
      I think it’s a lesson that we should all heed when it comes to adoption in general and how things can so quickly (and unintentionally) go pear shaped


  3. name Debora Mackenzie
    subject Ignorance
    message Hi Lucy, I just read your article on the nobody’s child doll..I too am outraged and hurt. Thoughtless and cruel thing to give a child who already feels like nobody’s child, unloved. I am a Canadian and when my fellow adoptee American friends showed me people are trying to adopt on craigslist, I was appalled. I actually thought it was a bad joke on me. Immediately I checked the canadian craigslist and found nothing, unless it’s hidden. I was so angry, I contacted and wrote to the law enforcement team..It may do some good, it may not. Take care Adoptee Debora Lin Mackenzie-Birth name Jenny Lee Berezowski


    1. Hi Debora
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog.
      Yes I agree although I have now been informed that the creator is a late adult adoptee (ie they found out very late on in their adulthood) This just shows how much thought one needs to employ around this entire subject
      But the Craigslist situation is another thing entirely. All the ads that I came across were from the US listings I couldn’t fins any in the UK. 2010 someone posted a similar ad on Gumtree in the UK and it was taken down very quickly as it is perceived as child trafficking and therefore illegal. I don’t think since then anyone else has tried to do the same instead we tend to get more and more crowd funding campaigns trying to raise money so a couple can adopt tranracially
      But as I said I will be doing a more in depth article in the new year about this subject matter


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