Saturday, September 14, 2013

Never do this young therapist. Never.

Yesterday I wrote about an adoption agency that posted photos and protected health information about children who were in a disrupted adoption (their adoptive parents were going to sign them away to another parent because things didn't work out). Through the efforts of many individuals, Wasatch International Adoptions was pressured to take the information down.

I found the blog of the Wasatch International Adoptions.
We use the internet to post a story about the child, using a false name, but using real photos. Our Second Chance Facebook site has over 10,000 members, and when we post a child, there are 10’s of 1000’s of cross posts. Our administrative page shows that we often have 100,000 or more people view the post! It has been as high as 300,000 views of a child.

I'm just floored that a licensed social worker would appear to have such little understanding and knowledge of the ethical codes and laws which govern their practice. Maybe I'm being generous in my assessment. Perhaps these licensed social workers are wantonly ignoring the expectations of privacy that the ethical codes of Social Workers demand.

Licensed therapists don't show real photos and real stories about their clients. There is no excuse for this. There is no reason for this to happen. Ever. There is absolutely no reason to display a client's picture and personal story to 10,000 facebook members, who cross post that information 10s of 1000s of times, making a child and their personal experiences displayed to 300,000 strangers.

How would you feel if your therapist told everyone in the city of Anchorage Alaska (population 298,610) or Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (population 305,704) about what you talked about in therapy last week? What would it feel like if the population of Valladolid Spain (312,434) knew that your mother sexually abused you? Would you be comfortable if I told the everyone in Suncheon South Korea (population 304,528) that you had problems with inappropriate masturbation?

This is just the kind of information that this adoption agency displayed on the internet--intentionally displayed on the internet--and acted as if it was ethical, legal, and the right thing. The agency felt that because they had a release of information from the parents of the children (parents who want to abandon their adoptive children), they had discharged their ethical duty to protect their patients privacy, dignity, and confidentiality.

Never do this young therapist. Never. 


  1. Thank you for posting this Jason. As an adoptive mother, social worker, and person who has worked in the adoption field for many years, I continue to be outraged by the unethical, inhumane, and completely disrespectful manner that professionals in the adoption field practice. International adoption is slowing closing it's doors country by country because of Hague laws tightening up for obvious reasons. Agencies like these, people who send children back on planes with notes attached, and groups of people who seek to adopt as a mission of "saving" children give adoption a bad rap. It also, and most importantly disservices and damages already vulnerable children. Thank you for standing up for these children and doing right. I am ashamed of the social work profession right now and as you said....please young therapist do not do this. In fact, please human beings do not do this. DO NOT support any Facebook page that "promotes" and "advertises" specific children. Go to an agency and talk to them directly and confidentially.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jodi. I was just aghast at this whole situation.