Monday, February 4, 2013

Photo Quandary


One of the big rubs for foster parents is that we cannot share ANY photos of foster children online, no matter how long they have been in our care, until their adoption is finalized.  If you're not adopting them - then never.

There are many very good reasons for this and I respect (and follow) it, but it sure is hard when I adore these kids, yet can't share that joy in pictures with "the world".  And I am not lying when I say I have had the cutest, cutest kids IN THE WORLD stay with me and Sweetie?  She is hands down the most beautiful child that has ever or will ever exist (although I admit that I may be slightly biased).

I always thought that I would go CRAZY the day I finalized - photos EVERYWHERE, on every blog, every-bodies page, forums, everywhere - but now that I am actually getting closer to that day, hopefully in March / April, I am not so sure.

  • Do I want pictures of Sweetie on the world wide web?  
  • On this blog?  
  • On facebook?  
  • Or do I want our life together to be more private?

Like anything in life, there are reasons for and against opening up our sheltered world.  What I want to know is what have you all done post-finalization with this quandary?  Post away, or hold back?

12 comments :

  1. I started out really slow sharing pictures when we got custody of our daughter (there was an 8 month period that she was no longer in state custody but still not adopted yet). It felt so weird at first. Is it really ok to share? Then I eventually let loose and figured there was no point to hold back. Then I felt guilty that I was sharing too much. I'm always trying to figure out the balance even 7 months after finalization. I want the world to see the beautiful result of foster care and adoption but I also want to protect my girl and our family and keep everyone safe. It helps that I have some contact and trust with her biological family and I don't feel like there are any concerns there. With our first foster care placement, I think I might have do things differently had we adopted her because we never developed a trusting relationship with her birth family.

    Interestingly, our county DCS doesn't have a stated policy about sharing pictures online (that I've ever seen). We just assumed it was a no no and when I asked our first placement's worker she said, "yeah, that's probably not a good idea."

    I did get pretty creative with blurring pictures, peek a boo (something covering her face), feet pictures, etc. and would love to see what ideas others come up with for sharing glimpses of kids we're not allowed to share photos of. Were you told not to share ANY photos…even of feet, for example?

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    1. I've never seen a written policy for my agency, but was cautioned in no small measure against posting ANY identifying photos and then scared into posting no photos (no blurred or feet pics) too, because some people that I have seen on forums, etc have gotten into major trouble and even losing their license over photos posted when they shouldn't have been. I just didn't want to run the risk.

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  2. This is one aspect of fostering that bothers me the most. Of course, if we were allowed to share pictures during the process, I would have every privacy setting on all of my social media on high, but I still wish we could share. My family lives 4.5 hours away and in another state, and I rarely see them. I want them to share in the joy of having grandchildren (even if they are reunified)

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    1. I hear you - its a tough rule to follow. :(

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  3. Interesting questions... my daughter lived with me for 6 months as a foster child before we finalized her adoption. The rules with our agency were very vague, but (to be safe), I didn't post anything about her online until after finalization (SO hard because she quickly became my life!). I also swore my whole extended family to online secrecy, so when finalization rolled around and the ban was lifted, her pics would be out for the world to see even if I posted none. Of course, though, I couldn't help myself. I do post photos on Facebook now, but I usually make photo albums of specific events and then "lock" them after a month or so. And I use a nickname for her most of the time on Facebook too. If nothing else, it makes me feel better. I'm curious to hear other perspectives on this issue...

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    1. Smart moves - my facebook is locked down hard too, but I have a feeling that once I start posting, my family will too...

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  4. For my parents and in-laws, etc, I use picasa web albums set so that only people with allowed access can see. That way they can see pictures each month, but they aren't out there for everyone to see.

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    1. Is that what you for all your kids?

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    2. I'm not sure what you are asking? This is what we have done for all our kids so far. (which is only two placements-four kids)

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    3. I wasn't sure if you had bio kids that you posted photos more publicly or just posted all your kids photos on picasa album (which is a great idea btw).

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    4. We don't have bios so it is just fosters for us. If we adopted, I would probably post a picture here or there on fb, but keep the majority on the picasa.

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  5. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to foster and not be able to share those photos. We keep a scrapbook of printed pictures at home that we make everyone look at...I mean, that we share with family and friends. But it's so not the same! I always imagine that when we adopt we'll post pictures like crazy, but maybe not. I like the idea of making albums that only close friends and family can see.

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It'll be a pleasure hearing your thoughts. Alisa