I say over and again that finding a high-quality, ethical, experienced agency is essential. And bloggers writing openly about their agency experiences would be a great way to circulate that first-hand information to help people make informed decisions. In the context of a blog, you have a better sense of the writer's values and principles and can measure them against your own. It would get the word out, for better or worse, about smaller regional agencies that tend to get overshadowed in search results by the bigger agencies. Yet I know I'm not contributing to the conversation, because I've never named the agencies we've used outright.
I'm not criticizing myself or anyone else who doesn't name names. There are good reasons not to, especially for those working with the foster system. I'm just curious about what our different reasons are, partly because I'm re-evaluating my own.
Do you name names yourself when talking about your adoption experience? Why or why not?
I'll give you my data points to start things off. We've worked with two agencies and two adoption lawyers, a different pair for each of the adoptions (as the adopting party, obviously). I've always shared names in person or with people who have emailed me asking, but I've never named them on-blog. I think there are a few reasons:
- I'm fairly protective of my online anonymity (although I'm beginning think that's a lost cause) and wonder if naming the agencies, especially the smaller one, would be too identifying.
- Several years ago an online adoptive parent friend was pretty vocal on her blog with criticisms of their agency. The agency contacted her child's birth mom and outed the adoptive mom's blog to her. I think that sort of potentially very damaging meddling in an open adoption relationship is an extreme example and hardly the norm, but I've certainly never forgotten it.
- I've noticed that one of the agencies is very aware and protective of what it out there online about them, probably because it is a key part of their marketing strategy. I've witnessed two examples of them contacting bloggers who wrote about their negative experiences and asking them to remove or edit the posts. I haven't wanted to deal with that kind of noise.
So, how about you? Do you openly talk about your agency/facilitator/lawyer experience online? Why or why not?