Meet Elizabeth. She’s 10 years old. She likes colouring, drawing and writing. Her favourite colour is pink and she loves chicken noodle soup and pizza.
Those boys sitting next to her? They’re her brothers. Brian (to the right) is 7 years old and he likes playing with cars. His favourite colour is red. Noah (to Elizabeth’s left) is four. He’s a talkative little boy who loves Batman, Superman and chicken fingers.
There are other ways to identify these kids. Elizabeth is known as 82301628111. Brian is 82301628112 and Noah is 82301628113. Their collective number is S8230216870.
I assume they’re the numbers the state uses to keep track of the siblings who are “very bonded” and want to stay together – according to their profile on the US website, AdoptUSKids.
We found the website yesterday after journalist and author Caroline Overington tweeted this link:
The website is almost reminiscent of an online dating site. Or buying a house. Search for children by gender, and race. Select the number of children you’d like to take (up to 12) and their ages (0 to 21)
An open search yields 234 pages of results for children – some with siblings, some without – looking for homes.
Here are some examples:
Then there this video that also runs on the site. (Warning: after you watch this video you might want to jump on a plane and adopt all the kids. We were halfway to the airport before common sense prevailed)
In Australia the situation in different. We’re a lot less transparent about adoption, according to Dianne Harris, the CEO of National Adoption Awareness Week. Children would never be ‘advertised’ like they are in the US, and if they are it’s only when there are no other options available. If it is done – it’s discreet so kids aren’t recognised.