"Swipe right to parenthood with Adoptly, the world’s first adoption app," declared a highly suspicious pitch to SFist last week. Vaguely outraged at the illegal-sounding idea of adopting children through an app that billed itself as Tinder for, like, kids or whatever, we didn't write about their Kickstarter, but now we are, because that was suspended. They emailed to say that had happened, and that they were now on Indiegogo. That, too was suspended. What's going on here?
The Verge called Adoptly indistinguishable from parody, questioning whether the company's employees were in fact real. We hoped, for all our sakes, that Adoptly was a hoax — and we still do. Ideas this crazy and odd usually turn out to be: Recall Qoopy, for instance, a parody of startup that proposed an Airbnb for chicken coops "launching" in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Bernal Heights, SF. Oh and remember Peeple, the short-lived (though ostensibly real) Yelp for People?
But then there's murkier territory, occupied by the likes of Pooper, which claimed to be Uber but for someone picking up your dog's poop. As that supposed company said in a statement "From the start we planned on a marketing first approach with the app as a way to build the brand and showcase the tech," which is to say it wasn't a parody, but it wasn't exactly real, yet either.
Adoptly appears to be a Pooper, or else at least longer con or joke than Qoopy. Even though the idea has been greeted with skepticism and outrage, Adoptly told Fox News "there’s been a widespread misunderstanding and [we've] insisted that there is nothing illegitimate or sardonic about the app."
Even if it isn't "sardonic," Adoptly isn't quite legit. “The concept is absolutely real, what we’re proposing is real,” Alex Nawrocki of Adoptly told Digital Trends. “But only through proper support and getting funding can we make this an actual reality." I'm relieved to hear the market, and hopefully laws, too, will decide this one.
"To be honest, we’ve been totally shocked by this unexpected turn of events,” Nawrocki, who is either easily shocked or still kidding, added to Digital Trends. “We feel it’s really unfair that KS would take down a legitimate idea, like Adoptly, just because some media outlets were debating it’s validity or felt uncomfortable with such an innovative and disruptive idea. Furthermore, we are really disappointed in [Kickstarter] for not reaching out to us beforehand. It was really distressing because there wasn’t any due process in taking our account down — just a very basic email notification.”
So, you're saying this ad is for real? Really.
Update: "Adoptly" isn't "a Pooper" it's THE Pooper: The same hoax artist creators, whose names I won't even mention here because their work is so bad and dumb, made it to ask facile questions about technology. As they write, their work "satirizes our tech obsessed world and our cultural desire to make everything faster, easier, more convenient, and instantly gratifying, and raise questions about where we draw the line, or whether we do at all." That's, like, deep, if you're incredibly shallow and dumb.
Our intention was not to in anyway attack or belittle those working in the adoption industry, or parents looking to adopt. The decision to present adoption in a Tinder-like format was purely meant as a jarring affront to everyday tech-users, and not as an assault on the adoption industry itself. Of the few positive reactions to the app, we did hear that although Adoptly may not be an elegant solution, the goal of modernizing and networking more agencies to improve adoption rates is a good one. Some folks also mentioned that anything that gets people talking about adoption and thinking about its issues is ultimately helpful, as it shines a light on area that doesn’t get nearly enough attention and support.