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I have a question and need advice on how to handle this.
We adopted our daughter in 2016 from foster care. We have had her since birth and the birth mother got only minimal supervised visits one hour a week until parental rights were terminated. Bad situation, birth parents blamed everyone except themselves and were very angry with us for adopting their child (even though they lost parental rights due to refusing to work their case plan.) They have not seen her nor seen us in years.
Recently I looked at the birth mom's facebook page. I noticed she has a picture of our daughter as her cover photo with the caption "My baby ❤." Problem is I don't know how she got the picture as it was a private picture I took at our daughter's birthday party. I did post it to facebook but my account is set to private so the only people who can see my posts are friends. I only add people I personally know. I am guessing we must have a mutual friend who gave her the picture. Also I purposely don't ever post my children's pictures as a profile or cover photo because I don't want strangers having access to pictures of my children. Now my child's picture is out there as someone's cover photo without my permission. I am debating what to do. Yes I posted it to facebook but with privacy settings for a reason. I could report it to facebook as a violation or let it go.
What would you do? Am I over reacting?
Yes you’re over reacting she’s the birth mum and will always see her as her daughter no matter what and if you’ve put it on Facebook then it’s already public you’re just reacting to the reality which is she’s not your biological daughter she is another women’s daughter.
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Yes you’re over reacting she’s the birth mum and will always see her as her daughter no matter what and if you’ve put it on Facebook then it’s already public you’re just reacting to the reality which is she’s not your biological daughter she is another women’s daughter.
Yikes. Kere it does not sound like you have a realistic idea of the dangers of broadcasting kids photos if you really think this is about an adoptive mother just being bitter. You don't even know the family of origin or what level of risk they represent. "...angry with us for adopting their child..." should give you serious pause; foster parents don't make decisions about TPR so this family of origin is clearly laboring under misconceptions and not thinking clearly about what happened in their household over three years ago.
Terri, this situation would be a grave concern for me as well. Many people do not realize the danger they are inviting into kids' lives by featuring their photos online. Personally we do not post kids' photos to social media at all. Sharing only with your personal friends, with privacy settings, is a reasonable middle ground that many parents choose, and that deliberate choice has been violated by one of your facebook friends (probably with good intentions).
Bio mom likely has no idea of the risks. From the info you provided, it seems like she has not been able to find closure and understand boundaries. I have compassion for that, and it sounds like you do as well, but I would not put it above my child's safety. There is a real danger in an unstable person, clearly resentful and mentally unhealthy, having access to current photos of an adopted child. Many adoptive parents send photo updates to bio families using out of date photos for this very reason. If you're not in an open adoption, there was probably logic behind that; courts these days don't decide that as lightly as they used to! That being said, you are the best judge of how much of a risk bio mom is. Most bio families are not dangerous.
I think my first step would be reaching out to bio mom and talking about the issue. Perhaps just request she remove the image from the cover photo location. Maybe you could agree to send her photos of your choosing, if that's something you are comfortable doing, with the understanding that she is not to share them publicly.
I would definitely report it through facebook if bio mom is not receptive to communication. I would also try to figure out who is passing bio mom photos and speak to that person about privacy and security concerns. If you can't figure out who the mutual connection is, perhaps you could write a quick message to your social media friends explaining why it's so important that folks respect the privacy settings you use - assuming your circle of facebook connections is close enough that this would be taken respectfully of course. If this happened more than once, I would honestly consider speaking to the police.
If someone unrelated to a child did this, it would concern most reasonable people. We all take great pains to be considerate of families of origin, but the tough truth is that they no longer have a legal relationship with the child. If you do not have an open adoption, that decision was made for a reason and any contact, photo sharing, and information passing should be at the discretion of the adoptive parents and not the discretion of family of origin or mutual facebook friends. And THANK YOU for being a parent who takes the security of children's photos seriously.