S. Megan Testerman, A World Wide Web of Unwanted Children: The Practice, the Problem, and the Solution to Private Re-Homing

67 Fla. L. Rev. 2103 |

Abstract

A deplorable practice has emerged in the world of adoption. Adoptive families are now using the Internet to give their unwanted adopted children over to complete strangers, some of whom are traffickers, pedophiles, child pornographers, or worse. This practice is known as private rehoming. Through the use of online message boards and a simple notarized power of attorney document, adoptive parents are circumventing the adoption system—including its home study and background check requirements for prospective parents—and placing children in great danger. Because only a handful of states have enacted legislation directly targeting private re-homing and because no such legislation exists at the federal level, this Note calls for drastic change to protect the best interests of adopted children. This Note also proposes a model state statute to combat private re-homing. Without regulation or restraint, private re-homing will perpetuate a world wide web of unwanted children. The dangers that this practice poses for adopted children and the severity of its consequences demand the holistic solution that this Note recommends, which includes taking steps at both the state and federal levels to prevent and prohibit private re-homing.

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