Parents Giving Away Adopted Children Online, New Investigation Reveals

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A Reuters and NBC investigation revealed an Internet subculture in which parents "re-home" or give away adopted kids they no longer want.

Most of the time, but not all of the time, the adopted children were first adopted from foreign countries, and they typically range in age from 6-14.

Over a five-year period, Reuters found one child a week, on average, being "re-homed." What would drive parents to seek such a drastic measure?

The parents usually want to rid themselves of kids who came with unexpected behavioral issues, which the parents apparently can't deal with anymore.

The ads often sound like listings for unwanted pets. Wrote one "mother" (term used loosely), "I am totally ashamed to say it, but we do truly hate this boy!"

Others take a different, more positive approach to the same goal.

One more enticing ad read: "Born in October of 2000, this handsome boy 'Rick' was placed from India a year ago and is obedient and eager to please."

Through Yahoo and Facebook groups and other sites, parents and others advertise unwanted children, either with little government oversight or illegally.

It is a largely lawless marketplace where the needs of parents are often put ahead of the welfare of the orphans they brought to America in the first place.

One government official alerted child protection workers across the United States that the growing practice is “placing children in grave danger.”

Even so, no laws specifically address “private re-homing,” a term typically used by owners seeking new homes for their pets, and no agency monitors the boards.

Not surprisingly, sometimes children end up in worse situations than before. Other times they are tracked down and returned to their adoptive parents.

Under the circumstances, it's hard to say if that's necessarily better.

Without question, adoption is a process involving a great deal of unknown variables, and requires immense emotional and psychological energy, and finances.

Still, doesn't anyone who signs up for it know that?

Whether you're having biological or adopted children - but especially with adopted children - you're not always in control and don't always get what you want.

Frustrating, sad and depressed as this might make you, letting a stranger on the Internet take a human being off your hands seems nothing short of insane.

Tell us, THGers: Have you ever heard of such a thing? Would you ever consider doing this? Do you know someone who has? Sound off in the comments.


I think it is terrible that adoptive parents must turn to the internet for relief in an unfortunate situation with their child. More resources need to be made available to to those dealing with children with "issues." If the parent feels they can no longer parent a child they have adopted, instead of forcing them to continue on as a parent, which could lead to disaster for the parent & the child, the parents need to be able to safely hand those children over to child protective services without question. Rather than judge the parents, we should be thinking of the child's best interest. It's easy to place blame & judge someone, but it doesn't solve the problem, which is how can an adoptive parent safely surrender a child they are unable to parent? All controversy aside, the child's wellbeing & how that can be acheived in an appropriate & easier manner through support from child protective services is what should really be discussed. As it stands, CPS will not take a child unless their is evidence of physical abuse or neglect.......thus kids being offered up on the's sickening.


This is a breeding ground for sex offenders and pedophiles. How awful. These people know they take a chance with adoptions and the kids they aren't perfect.


All the more reason to encourage & provide free birth control. Fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer situations like these. What a shame. (I wonder if biological birth parents get wind of this practice, how many would participate in this re-homeing...)

@ zita

I agree. They make it hard to get birthcontrol for women.


So incredibly sad. These "parents" have a special place in hell waiting for them. It's too damn bad their Downy commercial expectations of parenthood didn't pan out. They had to know they were risking getting kids with issues... Guess the whole "it won't happen to us, we're too perfect" mentality obliterated common sense. Any of these people caught trying to wash their hands of these defenseless kids should be charged with child cruelty, child endangerment, and a felony charge of utter stupidity. (Made that last one up;))


I am originally from Russia, but live in Canada. A while ago, when Russia passed the adoption law, not allowing americans to adopt russian kids, everyone viewed is a political tactic, an anti-Magnitsky bill. Everyone in North America was furious over this, when in fact that was the story pushed by the western media, a form of anti-russian propaganda. What nobody seemed to know about, was how neglected many of the adopted kids were. There were at least 19 deaths(leaving kids in cars in summer, starvation), and the Russian adoption agencies had no way to keep track of the kids well-being once the were on the American soil. Although there are many great people that make great parents, and adopt for all the right reasons, many do not. A lot of parents who end up seeking for a child internationally, were rejected by US adoption agencies in first place. Although its terrible that less kids are getting adopted in russia, at least there not being offered off like pets on the internet.

@ russki

Thanks for the educated info - I think when it comes to kids from anywhere (Russia, China, USA, etc.), if they are not currently in a life-threatening situation then it is always better to err on the side of caution. The trafficking of children is very real, and as offensive as the Russian government's actions may have seemed from the outside, if it was necessary to protect the children then it is worth it.

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