So you're in the process of an international adoption, and you've been told you can't post the name of the country you're adopting from. Why is that? Do you know? Have you asked? What were you told?
Did you know it's OK to share the name of the country you're adopting from? It is NO SECRET that people are adopting children from countries like Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, Bulgaria, and many others. Those countries have agreements with the US to allow their children to be adopted by families here. So why the secrecy?
Here is what happened with our adoption, and what I suspect is probably the issue with other countries as well:
Our facilitator regularly checked in on our blog. A couple of times she asked me to change some information; like asking me to change "facilitator fee" to "country fees". Another time I had a news article posted from a public news site that mentioned the country name. She asked me to remove it. (I refused. It was a public newspaper made available online, there was no reason for me to remove it. ) I was also told by Reece's Rainbow that "Serbia" should not appear anywhere on my blog until my adoption was final.
Then, a few months ago an article came out about some issues in Ukraine institutions and orphanages. Many adoptive families posted that article on their blogs, then were asked by Reece's Rainbow representatives to remove them, myself included. I was told they didn't want to call attention to all the blogs by families adopting from Ukraine. They don't want the name "Ukraine" to appear on ANY of those blogs until the that family's adoption is final. That doesn't even make sense! "You can't post the name of the country your'e adopting from, because we don't want to......" What? You don't want to bring embasrassment to the country? (That was one of the things said to me.) Seriously? But wouldn't it bring the same embarrassment posting the same information AFTER the adoption? Yeah, it might not affect THAT family's adoption, but surely if it were an issue it could affect the NEXT family, right?
This all seemed very odd to me, and didn't make sense. But "everyone" was following the rule. Surely there was a reason.
Later, once the investigation of our facilitator became public knowledge, I found she didn't want me to list Serbia because what she was doing was illegal! She wanted "facilitator fee" removed from my blog because she didn't want government officials asking me who I was paying, because what she was doing was illegal. She was handing out private information about the children in the country, (pictures, names, birth dates, diagnosis, etc.) some of whom were not even legally available for adoption! So the secrecy was all about SECRETS. Not letting government officials know that PRIVATE information about their children was being posted all over the net. As a state employee it is illegal for her to be making money off the adoptions of children for whose medical care she was responsible. She sure didn't want the government officials finding out who I was paying!
Guess what? I am PROUD of the fact my child is from Serbia. Guess what else? The Government of Serbia has NO PROBLEM with my talking about the fact we've not only adopted from Serbia, but are hoping to adopt from Serbia again. What they DO NOT want shared is pictures of the child I'm adopting, nor the child's real name until that child is legally mine. I can talk about where I'm traveling to, what city I'm in, EVERYTHING!!!!
Serbia, Serbia, Serbia.
Now let me ask you this: Suppose I went to your blog, lifted a picture of one your biological children, and posted on my blog saying, "This is the child we're going to bring home!" I'm thinking if you discovered this, you would probably flip out a bit. The same is true with your adoption. Those children belong to the government responsible for their care (the fact the care their getting may not be the greatest is not a factor) These children are NOT yours and unless GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS gave you permission (not facilitators, not a US based organization, THEY have NO SAY in the matter) then you SHOULDN'T share the child's picture on your blog.
And, if you're new in this community of international special needs adoption, you may not know that quite frequently it has happened that a family makes a horrible discovery, sometimes not until they've arrived in country. OOPS! That child isn't legally available for adoption! Really? You mean Reece's Rainbow or another organizations had pictures of children listed who were not adoptable? Really? And they've allowed families to collect money for those children? OOPS!
Yes, it's fun to have the cute buttons with your child's face. It helps draw people into your blog, and helps you with your fundraising efforts. So many people compare their adoption process to a paper pregnancy. So, with a real pregnancy you can share details like your due date, how you're feeling, the doctor you've chosen, etc, but you don't get to see the baby's face until the day that baby is born. Think of your adoption the same way: It's a process, that you can share the details of, including the "due date", where its' going to happen, etc, but you can't share the child's face until it is yours to share.
Go ahead....say it...you can do it.