Every year , across the state of Arizona’s classrooms fill with anxious minds excited to learn and expand their knowledge. Inevitably, at some point in their education, usually sometime between the first year of middle school and the last year of college, students are given social school assignments that are based on reports written by the student that are focused on issues such as abortion and adoption. They may have a choice of social topics, based on a future debate, or perhaps the assignment has to do with career choices, and the educator has required the students to gather information on requirements for a career in adoption via phone interviews . Nonetheless, the calls pour in.
Because we are a national service , we don’t just take calls from students in the state of Arizona that are requesting our time and information. We are forced to take calls from students in 50 states ! The calls are always the same. “Hello my name is __________________, and I am a student at ___________________school. I have a school assignment which requires me to interview an adoption agency to find out what the process of adoption is ….or how many children are placed for adoption annually ? …or what are the qualifications to own an adoption agency ?” The callers have almost always been extremely respectful and lovely , other than one or two screaming parent calls when I was unable to accomodate their children’s requests for interviews. Every time a call like this comes in I feel terribly guilty. We can NOT assist them in fulfilling their assignments. Taking these calls, as a smallbusiness, requires us to tie up our phone lines and possibly reject calls from women that are in distress. In addition, the search engine searches that these students make to find the business that they are required to contact are almost always using an adwords campaign, so these calls can cost businesses thousands of dollars a year.
There is no reason to ever have to contact an adoption professional. We understand that 30 years ago this was the way things were done. Information was garnered via encyclopedias, which could become outdated very quickly for the information sought , and doubtful that information on how to open an adoption agency could be readily found . Calling businesses was the only option back then . These days, any relevant information can readily be found online . If the educator is adament that information that pertains only to that one professional be accessed, maybe they should use the opportunity to show students how to contact local businesses without using adwords or other paid ads search engines , so that the business isn’t forced to pay for that contact. Then , rather than calling these establishments and demanding time from someone who may be in the middle of a crisis , consider sending an email that can be responded to when it is convenient , rather than at peak business hours.
Although we have focused this post on topic of adoption, we believe that we speak for thousands of other professionals that are victims of our educational system , and hope that educators will rethink these assignments for all professionals, not just adoption professionals. We have contacted every federal educational group that we can find to explain the issue, but to no avail. These assignments are not fair to business owners , nor are they fair to the students.
Please, if you know an educator, pass on this message.
Jennifer Ryan – Director