Desperately Seeking Family: Ageplay Adoption Agencies in Second Life

by Alphaville Herald on 02/04/07 at 8:49 pm

by Muffin K. Smith

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Jaelle Akula of New World Adoption

Ageplay in Second Life has received a lot of media attention ever since early March, when Linden Labs distributed notecards to places that cater to people who seek sex with child avatars. The wording of this notecard, as reported in the Herald, includes the line “Linden Lab chooses not to allow the advertising or promotion of age play or related activities in any public forum — including in-world textures, classified ads, the Second Life forums, or parcel descriptions.” As a result of this rather vague sentence, many people who had child avatars, even those who did not use their avatars for sexual purposes, decided it was a good time for their avatars to grow up and thus ended their SL fling with a second childhood. One major aspect of this story that was largely overlooked, however, is the segment of the Second Life population that does not think that “ageplay” has to mean “sex.”

Second Life children are alive and well, despite the seeming ban on all things involving “ageplay.” A trip to B&R Family Services, Clinic, Foster Home, and Playground (Sunset Beach 105, 206, 23) will usually allow a visitor to find many Second Life children. Kiara Hudson, the manager of B&R explains that the agency enjoys good traffic and is a wonderful place to hang out because “It’s like our own little community, look around, everyone takes care of each other.”

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Kiara Hudson of B&R Adoption

As if to illustrate her point, the agency was then set upon by a couple of griefers who teleported in to heckle and harass the children. In an interesting display of solidarity, the adult avatars hanging out at B&R intervened, and the men were asked to leave by Miss Hudson. When they didn’t comply she ejected them. The whole thing was over very quickly and with little disruption in the discussion. “That’s a good example,” she came back to the interview to say, “I don’t know if you noticed, but everyone came around and helped me, and protected each other. The older kids look out for the younger ones.”

As to why anyone would want to play a child, Miss Hudson explains it very simply. “People play here as children the same reason we play as adults, to get away from RL. Maybe an inner calling, maybe a need to express themselves, maybe just because they miss being kids, everyone who plays a kid will have a different reason but the same basic idea- it’s a way to escape RL.”

Jaelle Akula, an employee of the New Life Adoption Agency (Tajmahal 23, 144, 21), sees the desire to play as a child in a similar vein, but adds that with “being a child in SL you can do child things, like colouring.”

Adoption agencies in SL do a booming business, and a quick search for “Adoption” yields at least 11 agencies that are currently open. Of these, the big three, B&R, New Life, and Family Ties, seem to be much in line with the idea that the words “ageplay” and “sex” have been intertwined in the minds of metaverse residents unnecessarily. “I’m glad the Lindens took a stand,” said Isy Esposito, owner of Family Ties Adoption & Daycare Center, “people do a lot of bad things with children, and what gets missed is that people are doing normal fun things too; hanging out and talking and just enjoying the company of your family.”

Family Ties Adoption & Daycare Center (Porcupine 148, 22, 130) was started by Isy Esposito because she loves kids and has had a wonderful adoptive experience in SL. “My twin sister Ivette (Television) and I were adopted into a wonderful family. We’re two of six kids, and we just hang out and have fun. It’s an old expression that you can’t choose your family, but here in SL you can, and that immediately gives people here a group they can belong to and feel a part of.”

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Isy Esposito and Ivette Television of Family Ties Adoption.

Esposito and her sister are not traditional adoptees because they do not “play young,” they became part of their family as adult avatars. “Our little sister though, she plays a child, and she said it’s a lot of fun to be a kid on SL but there aren’t many places to go play, so I created this place for kids like her, where they can feel safe and have a place of their own.” Looking around the Family Ties lot, it does look like a child’s dream come true with toys and activities for kids. “I’m proud of that,” adds Television, pointing to the “Child Safe” sign on the lawn.

Like several SL places made for child avatars, Family Ties has designated itself as Child Safe and displays a yellow sign, like a traffic sign, on its property. Clicking the sign yields a card that explains its function .” Places with the “Safe” sign are designated as place where you can be a youngster, tiny, babyfur — or whatever — and feel safe. If you find yourself being harassed by a person at a location displaying this sign, just tell the location’s owner: they will take action, including banning the offender from the property as well as filing an abuse report.”

“A lot of adoption places say they’re in business to help SL kids, and a few of them are, but a lot of them are in business to make money. We’re different like that,” says Esposito.

“Yeah, our fees definitely prove that,” adds her sister.

SL Adoption can in fact be a lucrative business. Parents wishing to adopt a child must usually pay the agency that facilitates the adoption. The fee can range from a few lindens to a thousand, depending on the agency. Family Ties, for example, charges 35 lindens to list yourself as a parent looking for a child, then, if you’ve found a match and decide to adopt, they charge you 200 lindens for an adoption ceremony and certificate. The two adoption agencies with the highest traffic, the slightly older B&R agency and the well established New Life Agency, charge significantly more. Parents can list themselves at New Life for either 400, 700, or 1000 lindens. The levels of payment are intended to demonstrate to prospective children the level of interest the parent has in finding a child. At B&R, listing is free, but the actual adoption costs 600 lindens or 700lindens depending on the method of adoption you choose.

For the most part, those who have been through the adoption process seem very happy with the family that takes them in. Mallaien Messmer, a child adopted into a family two weeks ago is very happy with his family. “It’s going good, I got into a big family that all adopt kids, so they’re around a lot. So if my mommy is not around I can stay with my Granpa or Auntie.” Messmer seems to understand the difficulty in maintaining relationships in SL and appreciates his good fortune. “I was lucky that the family I was adopted to has had kids for a long time and are devoted to raising kids but some of my friends are not as lucky. Some of my friends, their parents are around for a while then just seem to get distant.”

This was the experience for Tanzie Voight, who had been recently adopted and then abandoned by her adoptive mother. “She weft me awone at da skool. I don’t want a Momie anymore. They are mean. They dun want to spend time wit da kids da adopt. I dun know why i gotz adopie if den da want me.”

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Mallaien Messmer and Tanzie Voight

In the notecards given out by the “Child Safe” sign, the following sentiment is expressed. “Letting your inner child run free on Second Life can be a lot of fun.” Currently, thousands of people leave their grown-up real life bodies behind when they log into Second Life and adopt the persona of a child, complete with baby speak dialect and mannerisms. Thousands more log in and become adults that have adopted these children, and they spend their free time as a new entity; the virtual family. As in real life, some families prosper and some don’t. Some people find the families they never had in real life, while some just escape the dreariness of their day by being able to color again. Ageplay? Yes.

24 Responses to “Desperately Seeking Family: Ageplay Adoption Agencies in Second Life”

  1. anon

    Apr 3rd, 2007

    “She weft me awone at da skool. I don’t want a Momie anymore. They are mean. They dun want to spend time wit da kids da adopt. I dun know why i gotz adopie if den da want me.”

    Think that seriously annoying speech defect might have had something to do with it?

  2. Angel

    Apr 3rd, 2007

    >> Think that seriously annoying speech defect might have had something to do with it?

    Bling encrusted pacifiers and constantly wetting themselves the other 2/3 of the equation.

  3. Urizenus

    Apr 3rd, 2007

    You guys are sooooooo mean!

  4. HoJo Kilda

    Apr 4th, 2007

    Is there an agency for mutant childern?

    Or perhaps I can be knocked up and fed radioactive isotopes and psychotropic drugs, in hopes of creating a freak show family, ala “Geek Love.”

    Now we’re talking a good time!

  5. Cocoanut Koala

    Apr 5th, 2007

    lol – I read that book!

    coco

  6. Richard

    Jan 8th, 2008

    “Linden Lab chooses not to allow the advertising or promotion of age play or related activities in any public forum — including in-world textures, classified ads, the Second Life forums, or parcel descriptions.” There is nothing vague about this, it is a 100% ban on ageplay. Not just ageplay for sex, all ageplay. Anyone that uses a Child Avie or promotes ageplay can be baned by LL at anytime for braking the rules. Personaly I find Ageplay in SL to be anoying and report any I see.

  7. Mallaien Messmer

    Mar 6th, 2008

    Age Play has a definition, and that definition is how LL polices SL. I have have been on SL now for a year with this account. I am mentioned in the above article, im still here and no complaints lodged against me. I RP as a kid but I do not participate in age play by LL’s definitions so im not breaking any rules. I am still with the same family and will soon be celebrating my one year adoption anniversary!

  8. Seven Dix

    Apr 13th, 2008

    If adults wish to rp as kids in SL and it’s all good, clean fun what’s the problem? I personally don’t interact with kids on SL I find it vaguely creepy and sometimes annoying, depends on how regressive their speech is. But that’s just my own personal opinion, I know some are recreating their childhood or even working out childhood issues of neglect or abandonment. For those of you that jump all over it and link it to paedophilia and report a kid av just for being a kid av don’t be so uptight, unless o/c there’s evidence of sexplay as well.

  9. Arvelha

    May 6th, 2008

    This is sick, people…
    Don’t you see?

  10. M*** S*******

    Jun 16th, 2008

    Seven, Cocoanut and anyone else it applies to:

    Sick? Only in your own mind.
    There are people in SL playing Slaves (GOR).
    There are beachball-breasted strippers. There are BDSM clubs. There are guys pretending to be famous baseball/football players, pimps, gangstas, assassins, hakkas, sex slaves, etc etc etc.

    I am 7 in SL. I have a Mom and cousins and aunts and uncles who love me. I rollerskate, swing, make sand castles, go to school, practice ballet (and i work really really hard at it, on the animations, on getting it looking smooth and perfect).

    The people that i know protect me and do nothing that wouldn’t pass muster in a G-rated Disney movie. They enjoy the work I put in to make my avatar an excellent ballerina and they enjoy my recitals tremendously.

    SL is a place to enjoy being yourself, or exploring parts of yourself. What makes my game so much worse than the (sexual/slave/evil) games?

    I don’t change clothes in public, EVER. I don’t go nekkid ANYWHERE, except maybe my bubblebath, at home, with only my mom there.
    I DON’T go to adult clubs of ANY kind. I DON’T go off with strangers, esp adults. I DON’T talk like a little Lolita.

    I don’t have an Alt that I use to deceive friends or attack strangers, as many people DO in SL. I don’t play other characters specifically to GRIEF people.

    The problem is, you see a kid avatar and YOU can only think of NASTY things. When I play a kid, i AM a kid, and we don’t think of sex (at least at 7) or creepy adult stuff. The fact that YOU do means there’s more wrong with YOUR head than mine.

  11. Lester

    Apr 14th, 2009

    I am a single father of 6 children in Second Life, they are 3, 6, 8, 14, 19 and 24. Just as I choose to adopt children in SL and you all have the choice not to.

    You are free to live your SL as you see fit just the same as the rest of us. If you don’t like child avatars, and don’t want anything to do with them good for you. But it is their SL and they choose to be children, respect that.

    I have been in SL for a very long time, and have been adopted into a family as an adult. I have brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. My family members were all adults until I happened upon MAW (the best adoption agency in SL) while looking for a good fishing hole. My children have brought with them a new twist to my SL. They have brightened it in so many way, and I could not imagine life without them anymore.

    Maybe you should get to know a few kids and it will change your mind. They are the most tight knit group in all of SL.

  12. Molly A

    Jun 1st, 2009

    I play a 4 year old that has a twin sister in SL… we love being kids.. and yes like the above poster said, we are a VERY close knit group. At least we’re not walking around half naked and we aren’t having sex. We’re RPing like RL kids do… we color, rollerskate, dance, school, etc. the possibilities are endless in SL for kids! And if you have a problem I truly believe you’re the sicko that is probably luring on kids! Get a life. or maybe a second life as a kid and test it out!

  13. Allison J.

    Aug 29th, 2010

    I would love to do this in a very non-sick or twisted way. I think I will go make a SL as a kid now(: Know any good adoption agencies? i’ll probably try the MAW one that a poster above said…

  14. SheaBleac

    Nov 27th, 2010

    Well in Jan 2010 teens are moving to sl so they dont have to “RP” yay!! Cause we are still considered kids hahah yay us even though im 17 xD

  15. Yep

    Nov 27th, 2010

    So I hear. Linden Labs is going to have to start enforcing the adult content policies or just get rid of the slime when the teens join the main grid.
    In either case it does not affect me in anyway since most of everything that I do is PG any how.
    I suppose only the perverts have to worry.

  16. Annabella emerald

    Feb 18th, 2011

    Hi there my names annabella emerald(on sl) and I am looking for adoption my family I last had loved me so much until when they divorced. Mommy got a diffrent partner who hit me and told me of all the time and they would lock me in the house all on my own , so that night I left . I went to the adoption . Everlasting where I am now looking to be adopted . Please if you are a kind person please adopt me ! :( I am a 5 year old blond hair white and blue eyes. Xxxxx annabellaxxxxX

  17. Ken

    Apr 26th, 2011

    I just started playing s/l a few days ago and currently I find it extremely enjoyable to relive a childhood in sl. Been hanging out at amusement parks, kid clubs and other places that I either didn’t get to do when I was younger or missed doing. Anybody that have problems with kid av should re-evaluate their thinking because it’s not us the users of kid avs that have a problem the problem.

  18. Nelson Jenkins

    Apr 26th, 2011

    Why are people bumping this old-as-dirt article?

  19. Yep

    Apr 27th, 2011

    Go getem Tiger :P

  20. Kelsey Harmison

    Dec 28th, 2011

    Ummm yeah. SL is a place where we are free to be what we want. As a daughter of parents who own a big adoption agency on SL, this article is sort of insulting to the SL kids community as well as SL Adoptions. I been around since 2006, never engaged in any form of Sexual Ageplay AT ALL. It is grotesque, and I tire of being labeled as one of those people because I RP A kid/Teen. SL IS NOT ALL ABOUT SEX People, go look at some porn if you all believe thats what SL should be about. Just because some dirt bags went the whole pedophile route, does NOT mean all of us SL kids all do it.

    Anyway, come on down to Make A Wish Adoptions Come True Agency and take a look for yourself. It is a clean great place to go :) .

  21. L.O.L.

    Dec 29th, 2011

    Role-Playing on Second-Life in general is so bland.
    Folks that pretend to be kids(and are old as heck irl) can be either following:

    A) Annoying as heck
    B) Whinny
    C) Bibs? Wtf?

    Sorry but the western-audience stinks to high heaven on this. In Asia it’s a different audience with major cultural differences. Constantly associating yourselves to pedo’s isn’t helping either you know.

  22. Kyra

    Feb 20th, 2012

    having recently become a first time adoptive parent in SL to a 3 year old daughter, I can honestly say that this former anti-child in SL person is a convert. I did not go looking for a child to adopt. i met her through my photography business fell in love with her.
    Every business and RP in SL or any virtual world is a reflection of what we put into it. If someone wants to make it sick, they will, but I keep my daughter’s safe. (I also have a 21 year old who is married and lives with me along with her husband.) I make them tow the line and behave as I would my own children. i love them both and there is NOTHING sick about our relationship.
    My youngest daughter, when I met her, explained to me that she had such a horrible childhood in RL that she wanted to experience something positive and loving and that SL is an outlet for her to do so. I can’t fault her for that and she has, single-handedly converted me. I’m honestly considering further adoptions and have contemplated opening yet another agency.
    Sick is as sick does. If we aren’t sick, neither is our RP.

  23. Oliver Sebastain

    Jan 18th, 2013

    I’ve been playing a kid avi for almost 9 years,I’ve NEVER did anything a child of my rp age would do in rl,I don’t even go places where such things would or could happen.I’ve never had reports against me or anything.I think people who judge a person based on the fact that they play a child are self absorbed jerks.I don’t understand why people think that their way is the only way to be.I stand up against bullying.People come in all shapes and sizes..furry.kids.babies.adults.teens.vampires.zombies.lycans.whatever.The way you look doesn’t affect who you actually are,who the person behind the screen is.Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.In Rl I’m highly educated so I get very upset when people see me as a child on SL and assume I’m stupid or have “issues.” I play a child because,I love to have fun and rewind after a hard day’s work.I don’t want to have to worry about bills or “adult drama” when I log in.

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