I think you guys are confusing a couple of separate issues together...
Dave, Carl's list is blank for most of us, as Carl's profile is private and we are not on his trusted list. Apparently you are generating a different list.
When using the Find menu's Find -> Orphaned Profiles, you are presented with a list of profiles that have no manager -- they are all orphaned. So no need to highlight any of them. The same when selecting a specific surname.
However, there is also a link on that page to find orphaned profiles in one's own family line (it adds "&p=xxxxxxx" to the url, where "xxxxx" is a unique db id for your user account). This list will contain a mix of profiles that may or may not have a manager. If any does not have a manager, then they will be highlighted in yellow.
Now, once you find an "adoptable" profile, if that profile is set to "Private", then it is actually not possible to adopt it without admin assistance. Clicking the "adopt this profile" link does nothing.