Listserv Policy

  1. The Florida Adoption Council listserv is a forum for Florida Adoption Council members to share and disseminate information pertaining to the practice of adoption in the state of Florida, including but not limited to legislative changes and updates, legal questions, sharing information relating to available adoptive matches and placements, networking for adoption services, education in the field of adoption, and the prevention of adoption fraud.
  1. Membership in the Florida Adoption Council is required to participate on the Florida Adoption Council listserv. Members are expressly prohibited from making any queries or postings on behalf of non-members, including, but not limited to, queries and postings pertaining to birth mother inquiries, birth mother alerts, adoptive families needed, requests for assistance, requests for information, etc. Participants will be removed from the listserv if their Florida Adoption Council membership lapses or they are no longer a member in good standing. Participants understand that the use of the listserv is a privilege of Florida Adoption Council membership, which privilege may be suspended or revoked by the Florida Adoption Council for breach of the listserv policies.
  1. At the time of a member’s initial application for membership, or renewal of membership, in the Florida Adoption Council, the member shall sign a form acknowledging receipt of Policies for Participation in Florida Adoption Council’s Listserv and agreeing to follow and comply with the policies contained therein.
  1. All members acknowledge that this listserv is considered to be a private forum wherein all listserv postings are confidential and for Florida Adoption Council members only. Listserv participants are prohibited from forwarding or disseminating in any manner any listserv message to anyone not a member of the Florida Adoption Council. Administrative staff of Florida Adoption Council members may access and receive listserv messages or forward listserv messages to Florida Adoption Council members, but are similarly restricted from disseminating this information. Improper dissemination of listserv postings will be deemed unprofessional and grounds for sanctions. including but limited to immediate suspension revocation of Florida Adoption Council membership and/or immediate suspension or revocation of access to the listserv.
  1. Postings on the Florida Adoption Council listserv shall be limited to matters relating to adoption. Use of the listserv for commercial purposes or promotion (i.e. marketing items for sale, charitable activities, etc.) is prohibited. No member shall post or forward to the listserv any information regarding a prospective adoptive family seeking a child, nor shall any member advertise adoption services through the listserv unless the referenced family or services are in direct response to an inquiry from another member.
  1. Members shall insure that their personal use of the listserv does not cause unnecessary spam or nuisance email to other members. Any member whose computer becomes infected with a virus or other undesirable computer infiltration shall immediately notify the person maintaining the listserv of the problem.
  1. The Florida Adoption Council may, but generally does not, screen posting content prior to posting by the member and, therefore, does not approve, authorize, censor, edit or otherwise exercise any discretion over the content of the postings to the listserv prior to the posting. The member posting any e‐mail is therefore solely responsible for the content of the posting and agrees to be individually liable for any posting originating from the member’s e‐mail address. By utilizing the listserv, members agree to hold harmless and indemnify the Florida Adoption Council from any liability associated with any member‘s posting(s) to the listserv.
  1. Listserv participants shall conform to appropriate standards of conduct at all times on the listserv. Any obscene, offensive, inflammatory, libelous, or derogatory statement, or any personal attack, in a message is strictly prohibited. Derogatory or disparaging information or comments pertaining to birth parents are also strictly prohibited, as are postings in violation of Section 11 below. Any posting in violation of these policies will result in sanctions. Unless otherwise directed by the board, the first violation n o t determined to be serious or blatant will result in a private warning via e‐mail. Unless otherwise directed by the board, any violation after the initial warning will result in at least a 30 days suspension of membership(which includes a suspension of listserv privileges). However, any violation determined by the Board of Directors to be serious and blatant may result in immediate temporary suspension of membership and listserv privileges, or permanent suspension or revocation of membership and/or listserv privileges, regardless of whether there has been a previous warning. Unless otherwise directed by the board in any instance, sanctions for listserv violations not determined to be serious or blatant are as follows:
    • FirstViolation: Private e-mail warning from FAC secretary or president on behalf of the board;
    • Second Violation: At least a 30 days suspension of membership, which includes a suspension of listserv privileges during any period of membership suspension;
    • Third Violation and Subsequent Violations: Sanctions as determined by the board, which include, but are not limited to: fines; private or public reprimands; probation periods, during which all postings to listserv must receive prior approval; temporary or permanent suspension/revocation of membership and/or listserv privileges; etc.
  1. All listserv postings shall include a subject heading (i.e. Legislative Update, Legal Question, Criminal Actions, BirthMother Inquiry,BirthMotherAlert, Adoptive FamilyNeeded, etc.) sufficient to enable members to quickly identify the content of the posting.
  1. The following definitions shall apply:
    • “Birth Parent Inquiry (“BNH”),” Any posted inquiry by a member seeking to determine if any other members have heard from or communicated with a birth parent communicating with the posting member.
  1. “Be On the Lookout For”(“BOLO”) Any posted inquiry by a member seeking to warn or advise other members of behaviors of concern by a birthparent. All BMI’s and BOLO’s postings to the listserv shall be posted in the following form:
    • If WITHOUT Written Authorization Of Birth Parent – Absent written authorization from a birth parent to disclose identifying information via e-mail, listserv or other media, listserv postings relating to birth parent inquiries or alerts shall only contain non‐identifying information which shall include the birth parent’s first name, and the first letter of last name, anticipated due date or date of delivery, and city and state of residence or expected/actual place of delivery, (i.e. Susan D. due 2/8/09 in Jacksonville, Florida; or Jennifer B., delivered 12/4/08 in Tampa, Florida). No other identifying information may be included.
    • If WITH Written Authorization Of Birth Parent – Postings from members who have written authorization from a birth parent to disclose identifying information via email, listserv or other media postings relating to birth parent inquires or alerts may contain the birth parent‘s first and last name, anticipated due date or date of delivery, and city and state of residence or expected/actual place of delivery (i.e. Janet Thompson, due 4/14/09 in Jacksonville, Florida; or Samantha Smith delivered 10/15/08 in Daytona Beach, Florida). Any post identifying a birth parent by more than first name and O N L Y the first letter of the last name must state “WITH written permission.”

NO other written commentary or information about the birth parent or the status of his/her adoption plan shall be posted with the inquiry or alert (i.e. “watch out for”, “matched and receiving support”,etc.). If a member wants further information about a specific alert or inquiry, they should telephone, privately e‐mail, or otherwise privately contact the member making the post.

If the Florida Adoption Council should provide approved forms to be utilized for postings, then each member must utilize the form provided by the Council.

  1. All listserv postings shall include the name and telephone number of the member making the post to enable members to sufficiently identify the member making the post.
  1. Members of the PAC shall refrain from engaging in solicitation of birth parents who are currently working with another member.\
  1. Florida Adoption Council members shall extend every possible professional courtesy to other Florida Adoption Council members and to the clients of other members. If a Florida Adoption Council member learns that a birth parent has previously made an adoption plan through another member, is receiving actual financial assistance from another member, or actually received financial assistance from another member, concerning the same pregnancy or placement, the member shall forthwith contact the other member to confer regarding the matter. If appropriate, the newly contacted entity should attempt to assist in reconciling any misunderstandings or miscommunications that might allow the birth parent to return to the prior member and/or prospective adopting parent(s) with whom the birth parent had been matched. If this is either impossible or not agreeable to the birth parent, then in circumstances where the birth parent has received assistance with living and/or medical expenses from a member or clients represented by that member, the newly contacted member shall extend every professional courtesy to other Florida Adoption Council members and to the clients of other members, by attempting to secure financial reimbursement of said living and/or medical expenses to the entity or person(s) who incurred said expenses on behalf of the birthparent, so long as the reimbursement represents legally permissible and reasonable expenses as provided in Chapter.63 of the Florida Statutes.
  1. Members of the Florida Adoption Council shall refrain from initiating any unsolicited contact with any birth parent who the member knows, or has reason to believe, is currently working with another adoption entity and encouraging or discussing with the birth parent changing adoption entities or considering other prospective adoptive parents for their child. This includes any member that has previously worked with said birth parent, or any member that has represented or worked with, or is currently representing or working with, a prospective adoptive parent that has previously adopted a child from said birthparent. In instances where the member feels that maintaining sibling contractor placement of siblings together is a possibility, the member shall contact the adoption entity believed to be currently working with the birth parent directly to inform the adoption entity of the possibility.
  2. Policies for Participation in the Florida Adoption Council’s Listserv shall been forced by the Florida Adoption Council Board of Directors, based upon the recommendations from the Grievance Committee, in such manner as the board shall determine. The Board of Directors has the authority to temporarily suspend or permanently revoke the membership, and/or listserv access, to any member who violates any of the provisions contained herein, and the board’s decision shall be final. The board may also delegate to such officer, member, or committee, as it deems appropriate, the authority to immediately suspend a member’s membership and/or listserv privileges for up to 30 days without prior board approval.
  1. Questions or complaints regarding the suitability of a listserv posting should be addressed to the Secretary of the Florida Adoption Council, or such other person(s) as the Board of Directors shall designate.

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Policy 3