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Birth parents posting photos in Facebook

(30 Posts)
JohnPA Wed 15-Jan-20 20:29:53

Hi,

So the biological parents of our children keep posting old photos of them in Facebook and creating several profiles with their photo as a profile picture. I was wondering if anyone also experienced this and successfully requested Facebook to delete these pictures. I found a way of reporting unauthorised photos of children being posted, but not sure if anyone has ever used this option for adopted children.

OP’s posts: |
donquixotedelamancha Wed 15-Jan-20 21:16:29

I would not do that.

1. They won't do anything. The BPs have the legal right to use those photos however they wish.
2. Presumably facebook will contact the BPs and this would antagonise them and perhaps disclose info about you.

If they are posting anything which is a security risk (e.g. 'help find this child') then contact SS.

I've had the same frustration. It's ridiculous that (in my case) someone who didn't give a shit about their kids should post such rubbish about how much they love them. On the plus side it allowed me to see some info which was helpful*.

Your kids will look completely different in a year. You will settle into normal parental life and you honestly won't care. I imagine losing your child is probably the worst thing in the world and they are probably not the best at accepting reality. Let them have their SM nonsense- it's all they have left.

*N.B. I do not condone snooping on BPs in general, there were reasons at a specific time.

jellycatspyjamas Wed 15-Jan-20 23:00:23

What’s making you look at their social media? Honestly I’d leave it well alone, unless there’s an actual direct risk to your family (as @donquixotedelamancha sats eg they’re asking help to find the child). They’re entitled to use photos they have of their child any way they choose, they’re entitled to their opinions about social work, their child’s new family and anything else they choose. You won’t know to fret about it if you don’t look and honestly, your child is yours, there’s very little they can do to put him in harms way.

If there’s an actual risk if speak to whoever is proving post placement support with evidence of your concerns. Otherwise their social media use is none of your business and I’d leave them to it.

OurChristmasMiracle Thu 16-Jan-20 08:58:19

I echo this- it depends what they are using the photos for. If it’s just on a social media account in their name and they are photos they had of the child before the child was adopted then I don’t think Facebook or the local authority can really do anything.

If they are trying to trace that child then that’s different as it puts the child at risk and needs to be reported

I don’t agree with snooping at birth parents social media although mine is very locked down anyway and I don’t post anything too personal on there, a birth parents a lot of our personal information has already been shared and it’s for this reason that on social media I don’t use the name that my sons parents would know me by as I feel I have a right to privacy. They have no reason or need to know where I live/work/holidays etc.

JohnPA Thu 16-Jan-20 14:52:18

@jellycatspyjamas birth parents published one of our letters at some point and then deleted it after we talked to social services. Hence I sometimes check their profile. I don’t have a personal facebook profile, but simply a blank anonymous one. Birth parents regularly create fake profiles with the names of our children and their photos as profile pictures.

OP’s posts: |
ClArabelle67 Thu 16-Jan-20 15:54:17

If they are creating fake profiles I would report it to SS. Is there a contact agreement in place?

donquixotedelamancha Thu 16-Jan-20 16:17:41

Birth parents regularly create fake profiles with the names of our children and their photos as profile pictures.

You mean a profile in your child's name, with their details on? Yes this is definitely something to get SS to deal with. I don't think I'd be keen on contact if they were doing that, but worth a go at resolving, if possible.

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 17-Jan-20 10:00:48

I had this happen but BM was posting the photos I had sent her as part of our letterbox contact agreement.

I was tipped off about it by a trusted extended member of the birth family so I was able to call SS and they told BM to remove the photos and warned her that if she does it again she will receive no more photos. She has complied completely since then and I think it was just a temporary lapse of judgment .

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Fri 17-Jan-20 16:45:38

Do you know the reasons the children were removed? They may have contested the adoption vehemently - the photos they own are theirs to do with as they will surely? Perhaps they want the children to know one day that they weren't wanted and not forgotten?

JohnPA Fri 17-Jan-20 20:15:07

Thanks everyone.

@itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted I would prefer not to reveal the reasons why they were removed. However, the birth parents stopped visiting them while they were looked after children and didn’t bother to show up to the countless court hearings until they were adopted. They basically gave up on them, so we adopted them without contestation.

OP’s posts: |
defaultusername Fri 17-Jan-20 22:26:30

I'm going to disagree that the BPs have the legal right to do what they wish with those photographs. I suspect it's never been challenged, but I suspect legally that actually, as legally BPs are now strangers (legally), and APs are the sole people with PR, and are the only parents (legally), that BPs have no rights to publish images that are of unrelated (legally) children.

However, I would think the risks of communicating with facebook (and that they would likely ask for proof of PR), and then them passing that on to BPs may mean it isn't worth it. However, facebook should communicate the wishes of those with PR to have images removed without breaching AP's data.

I would be concerned that it would provoke BPs to potentially more difficult behaviour, off regulated SM, for example websites etc.

I would also stop contact immediately if any contact content was shared.

I would also change my children's names, if they were publishing them.

Our children have a right to privacy. And whether the BPs contested the adoption, or didn't, whatever the reason for removal, the children come first.

I think you could report to facebook, with the risk BPs would then up their behaviour, and do you want that risk? Presumably they're old photos? Only you can weigh up the risks. I would ask SS advice, but then weigh that up, as SS don't have to pick up the pieces on this. It's so difficult.

donquixotedelamancha Fri 17-Jan-20 22:58:14

I suspect it's never been challenged, but I suspect legally that actually, as legally BPs are now strangers (legally), and APs are the sole people with PR, and are the only parents (legally), that BPs have no rights to publish images that are of unrelated (legally) children.

@defaultusername What law are you referring to here?

If the kids are nude in any of the photos the 1978 Child Protection Act would apply. I know of no other which might.

jellycatspyjamas Fri 17-Jan-20 23:19:50

I suspect it's never been challenged, but I suspect legally that actually, as legally BPs are now strangers (legally), and APs are the sole people with PR, and are the only parents (legally), that BPs have no rights to publish images that are of unrelated (legally) children.
There’s absolutely no law that says you must be related to children to post photographs of them, if there were a significant number of parents would be in hot water for posting the annual nativity play.

And legally birth parents aren’t strangers, they’ve had parental rights removed. Any photographs, I assume are of the children pre-adoption and belong to the birth parents who can do with them as they please. The vast majority of birth families pose no risk to children post adoption, and in the minority of cases where there’s a specific risk there are usually safeguards in place.

On a final note, I’d remind you that we have a number of birth parents on the boards, who provide a valuable balance to the boards. I find it incredibly disrespectful to refer to them as strangers to their children, and I imagine it would be quite hurtful for those posters to read.

ifchocolatewerecelery Fri 17-Jan-20 23:40:06

*I suspect it's never been challenged, but I suspect legally that actually, as legally BPs are now strangers (legally), and APs are the sole people with PR, and are the only parents (legally), that BPs have no rights to publish images that are of unrelated (legally) children.

@defaultusername*

The only laws that would apply here are those around child protection which would mean it would have to be an indecent image of some kind or copyright. The parents would've had PR and been able to consent on their child's behalf and if they've taken the photo then legally they own the copyright and can publish it on any media, public or private, that they choose.

An organisation like Facebook would only get involved in the case of an indecent image for anything more you'd need some kind of court order.

Final point to consider is this:

Whatever course of action you decide on at some point you will have to explain it to your child. Some children will see it as unfair or even a betrayal for their adoptive parents to monitor their birth parents social media or actively try to intervene in this way.

defaultusername Sat 18-Jan-20 00:21:36

I thought the legal fiction of adoption re-wrote history (hence the new 'birth certificate'). It's not about copywrite, it's about PR. Facebook don't allow images of kids if those with PR object. And only APs have PR. Facebook will remove images of kids if parents request it.

defaultusername Sat 18-Jan-20 00:26:37

Legally, birth parents are strangers. They are legally unrelated to our children, hence inheritance laws.

Facebook have their own policies that those with PR can request removal if those without PR post photos. So, yes, you can request any photo of your child (birth or adoption) is removed from facebook. That's not a legal thing. The PR is.

Birth parents don't have PR. Nor any legal relationship to their children any more. I understand that sounds hurtful. But legally, that's what adoption does in this country. It severs that relationship, and that's why it's 'draconian' and a last resort, in legal speak.

I'm not referring to laws around the photos (that's facebook's policy- those with PR can get pics removed), I'm replying to whoever said the BPs have the legal right to post their kids, as they had PR at the time. I'm saying I don't think that's correct.

defaultusername Sat 18-Jan-20 00:27:21

An organisation like Facebook would only get involved in the case of an indecent image for anything more you'd need some kind of court order.

Not true.

donquixotedelamancha Sat 18-Jan-20 08:33:18

I thought the legal fiction of adoption re-wrote history (hence the new 'birth certificate').

Adoption is not a legal fiction. Back when a new birth certificate was issued, many years ago, that certificate was an example of a legal fiction.

I'm not referring to laws around the photos (that's facebook's policy- those with PR can get pics removed

That's clearer- you are not relying on law but Facebook's discretion.

I am very sceptical FB would remove photos posted by BPs (that seems foolishly messy territory for a private company) but would need to see the policy you describe. Can you link?

ClArabelle67 Sat 18-Jan-20 14:25:14

@defaultusername, there is nothing in law that describes birth families as ‘strangers’ and your comment is both erroneous and hurtful to birth family members.

Adoption removes parental responsibility, i.e the right to make decisions about the child. It does not severe emotional attachment and that is acknowledged by the previous and current head of the family courts in relation to the outdated notion of post adoption contact

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Sat 18-Jan-20 18:31:54

I agree with @ClArabelle67

Adoptive parents might wish that adoption "re writes" history but at the end of the day many adopted children were and are wanted by their birth parents and had them forcibly or erroneously removed. Or the parents simply weren't able to care for them.

They might be strangers in a physical sense but at the end of the day they conceived birthed and in most cases loved and wanted those children or in many cases at least their extended families did (how many grandparents do we see in the news fighting to keep children who were ultimately forcibly adopted)

OurChristmasMiracle Sat 18-Jan-20 20:23:39

The issue is legally if the photos were taken whilst the birth parents had parental responsibility then at the time they had the right to make that decision to place them on social media at that time surely?

Also it brings the question- what when a child turns 18- if they then have the right to make these decisions (which is what parental responsibility gives a parent- the right to make decisions on behalf and in best interest of the child) then surely all parents should have to remove or get consent to leave all photos of their children come their 18th birthday?

defaultusername Sat 18-Jan-20 21:18:10

I'm not saying adoptive parents "want to re-write history", and I think miracle's question is valid, and I don't know the answer. My understanding of the way adoption has been traditionally interpreted in the courts is that it's 'as if' the APs had PR from birth, but this may be changing. I was making no comment on ethics, or morals, or emotions. I was talking about the fact that APs have PR, BPs don't have PR, and Facebook's policy (you can google that) is that those with PR can get photos of their children removed from facebook on request. And BPs would be treated as Mrs Bloggs (a stranger), or as an aunt or whatever, on this, as anyone without PR.

Adoption severs any legal ties between birth family and child. Obviously it doesn't change emotion, love, or what's right of the child. But legally birth parents are no longer related to that child, and denying this doesn't do anyone any good. It hurts. And it's awful. But probably less awful than the alternatives. I'm not saying that adoption severs the legal tie to be mean, I'm saying it because that's what it is.

I'm not advocating OP goes to facebook requesting removal. I was saying that facebook would remove based on the person who has PR. However, I am not clear on miracle's question of the timing, and thing that's a question that hasn't be tested yet. I'm not suggesting OP tests it.

defaultusername Sat 18-Jan-20 21:33:49

Also it brings the question- what when a child turns 18- if they then have the right to make these decisions (which is what parental responsibility gives a parent- the right to make decisions on behalf and in best interest of the child) then surely all parents should have to remove or get consent to leave all photos of their children come their 18th birthday?
I think this question will be asked more widely soon, probably 2022 onwards!

However, I suspect the current policy is about child protection. So only those with PR can consent (or unconsent actually, as it's a removal rather than asking on uploading) to child images on facebook.

donquixotedelamancha Sat 18-Jan-20 21:42:13

Adoptive parents might wish that adoption "re writes" history

I have never met an adoptive parent who wants that. In this case the BPs are creating profiles with the kid's info and OP is worried and wondering what to do- they may be making an error of judgement but hardly wanting to rewrite history.

many adopted children were and are wanted by their birth parent

Of course this is true, there are a wide range of reasons for adoption. I am familiar with birth families who can't provide adequate care through no fault of their own. Sadly this is a minority of adoptions (assuming wanted includes not deliberately hurting your child) because by far the most common reason is abuse and extreme neglect.

and had them forcibly or erroneously removed

There is nothing wrong with 'forcibly' (by which presumably you mean involuntarily) removing a child from a situation of abuse. People on here can provide a litany of details on where the system is imperfect, but it works to protect huge numbers of children from terrible situations. Every one of us would want to see more money put into supporting BPs before adoption becomes necessary.

While there have certainly been errors (some caused by professional failures, some an inevitable consequence of such difficult decisions) they are vanishingly rare. What is not rare is abusers, who don't necessarily even want their children back, putting on a performance of distress and innocence. Child abusers are very manipulative.

Sadly the cases where children are harmed by parents because they were not removed in time are all too common. I deal every day with awful parents who are 'good enough' that SS won't remotely consider removal.

Please go peddle the 'forced adoption' stuff elsewhere. DD2 will never see properly thanks to her 'mother', she's lucky she can walk. Many here deal with far worse. To bring such nonsense here is unkind.

donquixotedelamancha Sat 18-Jan-20 21:48:00

So only those with PR can consent (or unconsent actually, as it's a removal rather than asking on uploading) to child images on facebook.

Facebook allow you to request removal of a photo of a child under 13. I can't find this detailed policy you describe. Can you link please?

I think this question will be asked more widely soon, probably 2022 onwards!

Are you talking about facebook again or are you seriously thinking the law will go from a situation where no-one has the right to control someone else's photos (except in regards to copyright) to a situation where children control all photos of themselves at 18?

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