Professional Advice

BPN's mission is to support parent-to-parent networking, and is intended as a forum for parents to share advice and reviews with other parents in the community. Professional advice is not accepted on BPN, not even from professionals who are parents. 

BPN's policy about professional advice

It is OK to ask about other parents' experiences with a particular problem. But if you are seeking advice about how to proceed on a legal issue, or looking for informed medical advice, BPN is not the right place to post. BPN does not accept questions that an expert should answer, including advice about legal, medical, scientific, or financial issues. Please instead consult with a doctor, lawyer, financial advisor, etc.  The BPN website has many archived recommendations for professional services. You can ask for a new referral by posting a new question - click Post a Message in the main menu.

Why only parents can post reviews and advice

BPN's mission is to support parent-to-parent networking. All advice and reviews must be posted in the spirit of one parent helping and advising another.  Professional advice is beyond the scope of BPN. We do not accept questions from parents who are seeking advice from legal or medical professionals or any other type of professional expertise. We do not accept professional advice posted by community subscribers. If you are a community subscriber and also a parent, you can post reviews and advice as a parent, but not as a professional.

  • But aren't parents missing out on helpful advice from a fellow parent who has special expertise?

Yes, sometimes.  BPN parents who are also doctors, attorneys, therapists, CPAs, and other professionals really do want to help their fellow parents by posting information they might not have access to otherwise.  But we don't accept professional advice on BPN for the following reasons:

  1. BPN's mission is to support parent-to-parent networking. Seeking advice from professionals, or giving advice based on professional experience, is beyond the scope of BPN.  

  2. BPN has no way to know whether the person giving you legal or medical advice has the training and background they say they have, and neither do you. We don't want subscribers to get inaccurate information that could affect their child's health or their family's finances from a well-meaning subscriber who is not actually trained in the law or medicine. 

  3. BPN subscribers who *are* lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc. cannot give you sound advice based on a brief message you posted to BPN. In fact, many professional organizations specifically prohibit this, because such issues are often complex, and require a more in-depth and in-person consultation to give accurate advice.

  4. BPN's Policy on Advertising and Promotion restricts community subscribers to specified listings such as Announcements. Businesses may not post advice or recommendations that benefit their business in any way, including mentioning the name of the business, or offering to chat or give a free consultation. BPN's reviews and advice have higher value than other consumer review websites because they are unbiased.

  • You used to accept advice from schools and business owners. Why the change?

We made this change in 2015 when we became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and moved to a new website. Previously, anyone who was eligible to subscribe, including business owners, could give advice or recommend themselves in response to a parent's query. However, as the years went by, some discussions on BPN began to be dominated by subscribers recommending themselves and their businesses. Parent participation declined as the newsletters began to resemble a collection of free advertising posts from local businesses and private practices.  When BPN was granted nonprofit status, we decided to return to our original mission of parent-to-parent advice and reviews. We still allow community members to publicize their child-related programs on BPN, but they must purchase a community subscription and post announcements rather than participating in Parent Q&A. The fees from these community subscriptions ensure that BPN will continue as a community resource for years to come.

Questions that are NOT accepted:

BPN does not accept questions that require professional expertise or training to answer. This means you may not ask for legal advice on BPN, or financial advice, or advice about how to treat a particular medical condition.

Examples of questions we do not accept:

  • Can I get full physical custody if my ex is an alcoholic?
  • Do I have to pay income taxes for my nanny?
  • How can I maximize income on my investment?
  • Are vaccinations safe?
  • Does my neighbor have a legal right to use my driveway?

Questions about Vaccinations

BPN does not accept posts asking whether to refuse or delay vaccinations. Vaccinations protect not only your child but also our entire community. BPN's mission is to support the parenting community, therefore we support vaccinations. If you believe there is a medical reason why your child should not be vaccinated, please discuss this with your doctor rather than posting to BPN.

BPN also does not accept recommendations for "pediatricians who support not vaccinating or delaying vaccinations." To our knowledge, there are no pediatricians in the area who do NOT follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. BPN does not want to publish parents' recommendations for pediatricians that parents say are "anti-vax friendly" who do not actually hold that view.

From the American Academy of Pediatrics website, January 2017:

"Vaccines protect children's health and save lives. They prevent life-threatening diseases, including forms of cancer. Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are the most significant medical innovation of our time.... Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease. Vaccines keep communities healthy, and protect some of the most vulnerable in our society, including the elderly, and children who are too young to be vaccinated or have compromised immune systems." See for more information