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Standard of Conduct

A key goal of FCC-Australia is to support families who have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, children of Chinese ethnicity. FCC-Australia is the sum of its members and volunteers. The support provided is a mutual act between its members either face to face or on-line.

Members support each other by showing respect and understanding for each other’s unique circumstances, experiences and beliefs.

Language used should be respectful and polite, in tone, language and structure. FCC-Australia does not tolerate language and behaviour, either on-line or face to face at its sponsored functions/events that are counter to this.

If members feel unable to share it has the potential to affect negatively the tone, nature and inclusiveness of the group.

Please respect other members, as you would ask them to respect you.

Each member will have unique opinions and experiences that they bring to the group. Sharing experiences will assist all members to learn and grow – no single person has all the answers on a subject as unique, complex and challenging as adoption and child development.

Members should be mindful when responding to other people’s posts that they do not attempt (or appear) to negate, trivialise or contradict the views of original or subsequent posters

Although someone else’s opinions may not match your own, their stating their opinion does not necessarily mean they are negating or minimising your right to hold your different opinion.

Supporting others does not mean simply agreeing or disagreeing with them Adoption, particularly intercountry adoption, is a complex issue. Each child’s adoption experience and reactions to having lived in an institutionalised setting will be unique. Children living in the same institutionalised setting may have vastly different responses, over a varying timeframe.

Families seeking support and advice may feel marginalised and unsupported, if others attempt to minimise their experience by simply replying that they themselves do not have an issue.

Responding that you also have a problem, while it does let the other family know they are not alone in their situation, does not assist them in determining options for dealing with the situation. Carefully examine what is being asked before responding.


Original post:
My child was in foster care and she now talks about missing her foster mother and says sometimes she wishes she was still living with her in China, not here. How can I best help her?

Response 1:
My child was also foster care – we have had no problems as she is such a good girl. My child would never be so ungrateful for us adopting her. Why any child would want to stay in China, rather than here, is beyond belief!

Response 2:
Why do we have to talk about negative stuff???– it gives people starting out the wrong impression about foster programs and adoption– there are so many positives we can talk about.

Response 3:
Yes, my child has expressed similar feelings and it is distressing.

Response 4:
I can understand how distressing it is. There are a number of things you could consider. You can let her know that it is fine to miss someone who cared so much for her. She might like to write or send pictures to her foster family (via the orphanage if you don’t have direct contact). There are also some really good books both for parents and children; I have also found some good websites – if you email me privately I can send you details of the ones I have found useful.

Response 1 is not supportive or respectful – it seeks to directly deny the original posters experiences and views.

Response 2 is also not supportive nor inclusive – although it does not directly attack the opinion of the original poster, it accuses them of being negative and seeks to exclude those people who wish to talk about the full spectrum of experiences. This type of response is frequently seen after some initial discussion of the original post has taken place.

Response 3 is supportive and empathetic of the original poster (so the original poster realises they are not alone) however it misses the point of the original post (i.e. seeking advice on how to deal with the situation). This style of response may also elicit ‘votes’ from others in either the distressing/non-distressing viewpoints.

Response 4 is supportive and empathetic and it seeks to address the core issue in the original post (seeking advice) – it offers some suggestion and some reading and possibly some further support.

Information shared by other members is often of a personal nature and as such may cause embarrassment or discomfort if shared, verbally, with persons outside this forum. If members feel unable to share it has the potential to affect negatively the tone, nature and inclusiveness of the group. Please respect the privacy of other members, as you would ask them to respect your privacy.

FCC-Australia reminds members that information shared on this forum is the exclusive use of FCC-Australia members and should not be circulated outside this group in any form, either electronic or hardcopy, without prior permission of both the original author and FCC-Australia.

Further information on privacy is contained in the Privacy, Confidentiality and on-site advertising policy which are circulated to the FCC-Australia yahoo group monthly.

While, members are encouraged to take discussions of a personal nature (e.g. discussing meeting up for a private social event etc.) or generally of no interest to the broader group, off-list (perhaps via a ‘reply to sender’ via the Yahoo site) such conversations if initiated via the Yahoo platform, Facebook and/or related to a discussion on the FCC-Australia site must be respectful and polite, in tone, language and structure.

In the online world, the use of uppercase is considered to be shouting and therefore rude. Please limit the use of uppercase (it is realised that sometimes one or two words in a post might be used for emphasis).

EMAIL IS AN IMPRECISE MODE OF COMMUNICATION Email is a very imprecise mode of communication – many people write an email as they speak however, unlike the spoken word, emails have permanence. This permanence allows people to re-read, analyse and dwell on what has been ‘said’ –while with the spoken word people may think that maybe they misheard.

Responses in the ‘heat of the moment’ often convey or are perceived to convey emotions that the writer may later regret expressing or did not intend to convey. It is often wise, when emotions are high, to draft a response and then let it sit for an hour or two and re-read it and where necessary edit it. Sometimes it may be better not to respond at all.

Use your delete button in a number of ways.

Firstly, re-read you emails and use the delete button to edit anything that may be perceived as impolite or which might otherwise have the potential to cause offence.

Secondly, if you receive an email that does not interest you, use the delete button – although the thread may not interest you, it may interest others. Requesting a thread be terminated because you don’t like it or is of no interest to you is not inclusive – if you don’t like it you do not have to read it.

However, if you believe that an email thread is ‘offensive’ or counter to the Standard of Conduct please advise the Moderators in the first instance.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS Different people post things in a number of different patterns – some of these patterns will be read as a ‘challenge’ to be responded to by other members. For example:

1. “Tomato sauce is the best, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a dope”
2. “In my opinion, tomato sauce is the best”
3. “Personally, I like tomato sauce the best but I do recognise that other people like other sauces”
Pattern one is a challenge – people who disagree with you will respond in kind. Pattern two is likely to generate votes for other sauces and may elicit a pattern one type of challenge. Pattern three may not even generate any response because people see it as your opinion but that you are open to and respect the fact that they might hold a different opinion. The way you structure your post may influence the nature and tone of the response you receive.

When posting to the group, if you are dissatisfied with the work or dealings of an individual or organisation do not name them on the site. Potentially defamatory statements are not allowed on site and may be removed by the Moderators.

Australia has strong defamation laws to protect the reputation of individuals. Libel is defamation involving a statement in a ‘permanent form’, (including emails) while slander is typically an oral statement.

The definition of defamation and defences vary from state to state. However, broadly defamation can be defined as a statement that tends to diminish an individual’s reputation in the estimation of others – it may affect the person’s honour or their capacity to earn a living or fully participate in society. Defamation laws typically allow an individual to claim some redress for a statement that is found to be defamatory.

FCC-Australia views any breach of the Standard of Conduct seriously and will take appropriate action, if such breaches are brought to its attention. These should be brought to the attention of the Moderators in the first instance.

If in the view of the FCC-Australia Moderators a member has breached the standard of conduct they may place a member on moderation. However they reserve the right not to inform the member or members involved – do not assume that simply because you have not been informed of this action, that is has not taken place.

Members, who in the view of the Moderators, have continually breached the standard of conduct, may be referred to the FCC-Australia Committee for consideration of further appropriate action.

The views expressed and information exchanged through this group is solely the views and information of the members. The Moderators manage access to the list based solely upon compliance with FCC-Australia’s constitution and policies – neither the Moderators nor the Committee of FCC-Australia endorse the opinions expressed by the members.

Thank you for your cooperation in making FCC-Australia a respectful, polite and inclusive environment for all members.


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