Family Helper > Adoption > Electronic Adopter: Find Your Child on the Internet

Electronic Adopter
Find Your Child on the Internet
By Robin Hilborn

First edition, 2001
$12 / ISBN 0-9687944-2-4


The web forges connections
Sorting the web wheat from the chaff

Find a child through photolistings
Photolisting web sites: Canada, U.S., International
"Internet Twins" case harms adoption
Mailing list discusses the Twins case

Canadian web sites
U.S. web sites
Sites for intercountry adopters

Join an adoption mailing list
Internet articles cover every topic

How to order Electronic Adopter

Electronic Adopter: Find Your Child on the Internet will help adopters anywhere, thanks to the global nature of the World Wide Web. See the photolisting web sites for photos and descriptions of children available for adoption in the U.S., Canada and other countries, then contact the agency which posted the listing. Read evaluations of the major adoption web sites (including the best picks by Forbes magazine). Judge the value of web sites yourself, using the criteria of web expert Robin Hilborn. Follow the "Internet Twins" case -- were they really "sold twice on the Internet", or is it just hype? Get info instantly on diseases abroad, vaccines and where to find doctors and clinics. Join an Internet mailing list and plug into a network of adoption experts ...

All this from your Internet guide, Robin Hilborn, editor of Adoption Helper. (See below for an excerpt.) To order a copy, fill in this form and send with your cheque to: Box 1353, Southampton, Ont. N0H 2L0 Canada.

Please send me one copy of Electronic Adopter I enclose a $12 cheque to "Robin Hilborn".
  Street address:

Price in Canada is Can$12. In the U.S., US$12. Elsewhere, US$18.
Robin Hilborn is publisher of the Adoption Helper series.

Electronic Adopter is also available (No. 37) at a discount ($9) through the Adoption Helper series. To subscribe to the series (four editions for $36), see Adoption Helper, and choose the four editions you would like to order.


From "Electronic Adopter"
By Robin Hilborn

Find a child through photolistings

As the number of adoption web sites has grown, so has the number featuring photolistings. Photolistings are lists of children available for adoption (often through public agencies), with photos and descriptions. They may be printed in a book or newspaper, shown on TV or posted at a web site.

How do children get listed? The Handbook for Single Adoptive Parents ( describes the U.S. system: "Almost all the children in public care are wards of their state governments, which have removed them from their homes because they were abused or neglected, or orphaned or abandoned. To place them, some states photolist the children directly with the national listing services: CAP Book, Adopt America, The Adoption Exchange; or with regional or state exchanges. In other states, the social services departments buy the services of private adoption agencies to find parents for these children." The Handbook advises U.S. adopters to check the web sites listing waiting children, then when you see a child you're interested in, ask your adoption agency to send your homestudy to the public agency that has custody of the child.

One photolisting project is on hold. The Sept/Oct 2000 Adoptive Families ( reported: "Launch of a web site to feature 12,000 U.S. children awaiting adoption through public agencies has been postponed until April 2002 due to funding delays by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Originally scheduled to launch in September 2001, the site will be developed and managed by the National Adoption Center of Philadelphia. NAC pioneered family recruitment on the Internet with Faces of Adoption, which currently features 2,800 waiting kids at"

Posting children's photos for perusal is a touchy subject in some quarters. One web site, that of Joint Council on International Children's Services (, notes: "Many countries discourage and/or forbid the display of pictures of children available for adoption on the internet. This applies particularly to "photolistings." JCICS respects this position. All pictures in this web site are thus for illustration only. These specific children are not available for adoption."

Those in favour of Internet photolistings will argue that photolisting sites are a more efficient version of the standard practice of flipping through agency photo albums. The goal is still to find homes for children that have traditionally been harder to place in permanent homes: older, nonwhite, with special needs. In sifting through the photos and histories of waiting children, you get to read about the children's various medical, developmental and behavioural problems -- things you need to know when adopting older and special needs kids. The method of getting this information is just more up to date.

How to order Electronic Adopter
Robin Hilborn is editor of Adoption Helper magazine, helping people adopt since 1990. His email address is He is also publisher of Post-adoption Helper magazine.

In 1995 Adoption Helper received an Ontario Adoption Award from the Adoption Council of Ontario, "in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the adoption community of Ontario."

In 1997 Jennifer Smart, editor of Post-adoption Helper, received an Ontario Adoption Award from the Adoption Council of Ontario for her work on behalf of adoption causes.

In 2001 Robin Hilborn received an Adoption Activist Award from the North American Council on Adoptable Children for "dedicated work in making adoption information more accessible and providing materials for post-adoptive support".

Infertility Adoption Adoption Resource Central Post-adoption Family Tree
Contact: Robin Hilborn,
Box 1353, Southampton, Ont. N0H 2L0 Canada
Copyright 2006 Robin Hilborn. All rights reserved
Updated   Apr. 7, 2004

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