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Privacy for kids - how do other adopters cope?

(16 Posts)
AdoptiveDadof2 Thu 26-May-16 18:24:29

Hi all, newbie here so forgive me whilst I work out what all the abbreviations mean (by which I mean that for some time I'll probably sound like my own dad, who spent months signing off SMS messages with "LOL" thinking it meant "Lots Of Love"....)

Anyway - and maybe this is more one for an AIBU thread (hey, I worked one out already!) - but how do other adopters cope with situations where they potentially have to deprive their kids of fun because of privacy concerns?

We have a couple of events at the moment that are needling us. One is a group trip to one of those trampoline places. After paying, my wife was than asked to sign a waiver for our kids to participate, which involves allowing the location to take any photos or videos that they want to, to share those wherever they want, and even to identify the people in those photos or videos (!)

Our feeling is that we just can't do that. Not only that, but even for non-adoptive families, it just seems an incredible invasion of privacy.

Has anyone else had similar experiences? What did you decide in the end? We're struggling a bit here because the gut emphatically says NO, but the heart doesn't want our kids to miss out...

tldr Thu 26-May-16 19:49:43

I've always just said 'no' and it's mostly been okay. Once after a party I had to get in touch with the entertainers to ask them to take down a video that shouldn't have been up. With clubs and orgs we have an arrangement that they can take photos but not post any with them in online. School is not allowed to put them online.

How old are your children? Because I found that by the time they were at school I couldn't control it anyway, other parents snapping away, posting on FB etc.

I'm not absolutely okay with it, but I don't really know what else to do either.

RatherBeIndoors Thu 26-May-16 20:45:49

Wow strikes new trampoline type places off my list that waiver sounds extraordinary. I wouldn't sign, and I would keep a close eye on the company's website/FB page in case they ignored my wishes.

Aside from that, it has to be a balance or I'd go mad. I say no to all school photos including performances, because if they were shared unwisely it would give away my child's regular location. They are not the only child in school with a genuine concern, which helps a bit. I try not to freak out about photo-fests at birthday parties (although someone gave me a good tip - stay away from the birthday child, to minimise getting "caught" in loads of pics) but I do sometimes decline birthday invitations at places like soft play, in favour of ones in a community hall or house - purely because the location won't be as identifiable in the background of images. My child is young enough that they're largely unaware as yet.

If it comes down to a situation where my child would really miss out, I think I would swallow my fear and let them do it, judging each situation as it comes. I confess I live in dread of them getting into a successful sports team - agh, the team photos! Might as well say "Find me at X football ground from 2pm every Sunday" on the shirts...

undersoap Thu 26-May-16 20:57:17

Not got any real experience of this, but I imagine that if you refused to sign the waiver (and explained why if absolutely necessary) that they wouldn't necessarily refuse you entry but probably would just refrain from taking photos during your DC's session. I can't imagine that the they would refuse entry because you wouldn't let them publish photos? How did it turn out with the trampoline place in the end?

Italiangreyhound Sat 28-May-16 00:24:54

Re "After paying, my wife was than asked to sign a waiver for our kids to participate, which involves allowing the location to take any photos or videos that they want to, to share those wherever they want, and even to identify the people in those photos or videos (!)"

I'd immediately ask for my money back and then write a stongly worded complaint letter. In between I'd find something fun for kids to do.

It's unreasonable for any family and I'd just explain to the kids, sorry it's not possible for us to go on it.

By videoing kids and using the footage hey are basically using kids as extras in their adverts, unacceptable big time.

My only brush with with this is class photos and photos of school plays and we've allowed ds (adopted) to do this as our family situation is very low risk (as far as we know). If there was a risk, i'd have to keep him off for class photo every year and made sure he was dressed as a donkey for every play!

It's tough but that seems to be the best way to me.

Italiangreyhound Sat 28-May-16 00:26:07

donkey - e.g. = disguised/un-identifiable!

Threesocksnohairbrush Sat 28-May-16 08:51:15

Been there done that (I would not recommend AIBU by the way. This topic kicks off regularly and 90% of people just don't understand why there's an issue).

I think you have to consider your child's circumstances and make as realistic an assessment as you can of the likelihood of birth parents trying to trace them/ successfully tracing them/ the potential fall out if they did. For my two, the answer to all those is 'possible but not that likely/ not that horrendous an outcome'. I'm therefore careful but not paranoid.

School know no photos on website or in press, and no named photos. The DC who does a team sport is not allowed to be photographed and can't be in the team photos on the club FB page. If we are asked for photo consent in a public place I say no.

I got myself made safeguarding governor at the kids school this is not obligatory and made sure we had a policy on event photos. Ours is that parents can take photos but must not put on social media. If this is abused consent will be withdrawn. Not perfect as impossible to police but OK compromise at present for my kids and for the other LAC and adopted kids in school.

I try and be quite active on social media myself so I know how it works and can spot any rogue photos. For instance the reception class photo in the local paper, that another parent tagged us in - luckily I had already asked that DC wasn't in that!

On the other hand I don't stay awake at night much worrying about random cameras and social media. A photo clearly linked to a school, sports club or other location where the child couldn't be by chance is the greatest worry.

The trampoline park is legal but very bad practice. Legally there is no copyright in your own image, so I could snap any random person and put their image on social media, with no comeback. But it's good practice and customer service to recognise that not everyone wants their photo taken, sometimes for very good reason, and to seek consent. I would refuse to sign, explain why, and complain if you're put under pressure.

jellyfishschool Sat 28-May-16 20:44:15

I think many parents whether children are adopted or not would not sign the waiver if they felt uncomfortable, and that is why they have the waiver drafted up as they are aware that it is an issue. I was recently asked to sign something to do with horses and I was happy to do so as the dc had hats on and there were no names mentioned. I usually wouldn't.

thefamilyvonstrop Sat 28-May-16 20:54:51

We've asked for no school pics but it's impossible to stop other parents whipping out phones at every event so sadly, like Italian, our son tends to be at the back row and dressed as a sheep regularly. It's something we consider often but the risk with relaxing our position feels too high at the moment. I do worry about how it might single my child out as he gets older.

I would have major issues with something like a children's play area having the type of policy you have mentioned. It way too indiscriminate and totally out of your control.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Sun 29-May-16 20:06:03

We had this a couple of times where an event for only a few children to go to from each local school has been organised by a local business and they have wanted the publicity from the event.

On both occasions the class teacher has talked with us quietly beforehand and explained they would be unable to prevent photos being taken / used. On both occasions we have said please don't select our child to go.

AdoptiveDadof2 Mon 06-Jun-16 15:58:35

Thank you all for the comments and feedback.

I went in to speak to the manager about it and explained the situation. To be fair to him he was new in role, but he simply would not be drawn on signing a waiver with that clause removed, so we agreed to a refund. As much as I warmed to the guy I couldn't accept the standard "I'm going to assume you don't know very much about anything" bull** approach which was that it was all to do with CCTV, security and preventing accidents (I pointed out the wording that clearly stated it was for promotional purposes, not security or accident prevention and training!).

On the morning, as agreed with the (duty) manager, my wife called to arrange refund to her card (she booked). There was a different manager who took a very different line; there was to be no photography that day anyway, and they hand out yellow wristbands to kids whose parents don't consent to photography for promotional purposes. Why they didn't publicise that beforehand I don't know, it would have saved a LOT of worry and hassle.

Anyway, long story short, the kids went along after all and had a wonderful time :-)

Kr1stina Tue 07-Jun-16 17:08:50

That's for updating us. I'm glad the kids had a good time , and hopefully that company will be more informed for next time they have a customer with this issue.

leaveamessageatthetone Fri 10-Jun-16 10:20:56

adoption board namechanger here. Have been thinking about the internet security thing over the last few days - is anyone's 'policies' for their children influenced by the geographical location of BP? We're currently in a link where BP live a good 3-4 hours from where we are, and I'm wondering to what extent that might allow us to be a bit more relaxed about their photos. Would really appreciate hearing people's thoughts on this.

Yolande7 Fri 10-Jun-16 14:51:31


There are a few factors involved, distance being one of them. Others are:

- do the birth parents actually pose a safety risk?
- have they made threats?
- are they so determined, together and internet-savvy that they could find you?
- have they made previous attempts at finding the child, for instance shown up at foster carers, put child's image on internet with "stolen child" info or the like?

Depending on your answers to these questions, your risk in- or decreases.

We have a high safety risk, but several years into our adoptions nothing has ever happened. By now I am pretty calm about it and am fine for my children to be photographed and filmed as part of a group but not individually. Their images cannot be used for marketing purposes. That is working well for us.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Fri 10-Jun-16 14:55:48

Good idea to group these. Another would be the child's age at placement. Our ac was placed at 10 months and now at 2.5 is probably only recognisable if you know it's the same child iyswim?

mailfuckoff Sat 11-Jun-16 20:51:43

Another one who's dc are always wearing masks in school plays and have a no photo rule at school and the team sport they play, which includes me pulling my dc out of organised photos and bring that parent. I don't care, I've explained to dc my reasoning and that's it. All family and friends know not to put pictures on social media and everyone is very hot on it. Some on my fb friends probably don't know I have dc!

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