Archive for December, 2016

Finding Biological Family on Facebook: How the Internet & Social Media are Used Among the Adoption Triad [Infographic]

internet and adoption

The Internet is changing the adoption landscape.  Social media is changing the adoption search as we know it.  Open adoption is evolving in this era of Facebook.  Millions of birth parents, adoptive families, and adoptees all over the world are using the Internet and social media each day—for better and for worse.  Adoptions With Love has compiled the above infographic to show just how the Internet and social media are used among the adoption triad today.  We will walk you through the benefits as well as the pitfalls of social media as it relates to adoption, and show you where to find professional help.

Did you know that the phrase ‘find birth parents’ is searched in Google approximately 1,600 times per month?  Or that ‘find adopted child’ is searched nearly 500 times each month?  With millions of results generated from each of these searches, there is truly no doubting the immensity and capabilities of the Internet today.

On one hand, the Internet and social media have offered some advantages across the adoption triad.  Through these channels, adoptive families and birth parents are now able to acquire information relating to adoption.  They can connect with a greater adoption community and obtain any adoption-related support they need.  They are also able to make more personal connections online.  Through social networking websites like Facebook, adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive families can get to know one another gradually, behind the screens, without any being restricted by time or travel expense.

On the other hand, the Internet and social media platforms carry great risks for the adoption triad:

The risk of being exposed.

The risk of unmonitored communication.

The risk of false promises.

The risk of public comment.

The risk of getting hurt.

While there may be some anonymity behind the screen, it is important to remember that the Internet has the ability to expose people and private relationships.  Anything published on social media is open to public comment; any communication shared online is open to the public eye.

Many families are not aware of these implications.  Many adopted children do not understand the power and influence that the Internet can have on private, sensitive adoption relationships.  As a result, people are being found, and adoption agreement boundaries are being broken.

Over 10 percent of birth parents have been contacted by their children or the child’s adoptive family when it was not planned or expected.  Over 60 percent of adoption professionals have heard from adoptive families whose children have had unexpected or unmonitored contact with birth relatives.

Protecting the child is the utmost goal in any adoption, but with the rise of social media, this goal has become increasingly more challenging to accomplish.

Whether you are an adoptive family or birth family, social worker or clinical professional—we hope this infographic will help you consider different perspectives and challenges social media stirs among the adoption triad.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out by calling Adoptions With Love at 800-722-7731.  Or you may download our free eBook, “The Role of Social Media Among the Adoption Triad” below, for tips on how to navigate communication and searching online.

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30 Years of Building Loving Families: A Recap of Our Anniversary Celebration

As many of you know, Adoptions With Love recently celebrated our 30th anniversary as a private, non-profit, domestic adoption agency in Massachusetts.  Over the last three decades, we have helped bring over 2,000 children into loving, devoted homes through the positive act of adoption.

Since our beginnings in 1986, Adoptions With Love has worked to find the best possible homes for each child whom we have had the privilege of placing.  We have dedicated the last 30 years to providing the most compassionate, trustworthy, and personalized services to each member of the adoption triad – expectant/birth parents, adoptive families, and adopted children alike.  Each year, we learn something new.  Each year, we welcome more remarkable, courageous individuals into the AWL family.  We were truly blessed to have them celebrate this milestone with us.

The Anniversary Event

On September 11, 2016, on the greenery of Warren Center in Ashland, Massachusetts, hundreds of families came together to celebrate Adoptions With Love’s big thirty.  We spent the day connecting with both new and old members of the AWL family – those who came to us over 29 years ago and those who came to us just yesterday.  It was truly an event to remember.  The day was filled with laughter, great conversation, delicious treats, and activities for both the young and old.  Children, teens, tweens, and young adults gathered to swim.  Kayak and canoe on the lakefront, and even join in on a giant game of Jenga.  Many kids spent the day in our pop-up petting zoo or taking pony rides around the property.  All the while, we watched in sheer amazement at how supportive and vast the Adoptions With Love family has become.

We want to thank everyone who came out to celebrate this special time with us.  We want to thank our donors and advertisers who truly made our celebration possible.  The support you all have given us is immeasurable, and we are so blessed to have you be a part of both our 30-year journey and our forever family.  To view and share pictures of our 30th anniversary event, you may join our Facebook group here.

A View from All Sides

Adoption has changed greatly over the last 30 years, and we have seen it grow firsthand.  We have seen closed adoptions move to open.  We have helped expand the choices that are now available to expectant/birth parents making an adoption plan.  We have watched as birth families and adoptive families develop relationships with one another over the years.  We have built close relationships with these families, as well.

What many of you may not know is that, as part of our milestone 30th anniversary, Adoptions With Love embarked on a very special project.  Together with Stone Media Productions, we created a video tribute as a heartfelt testimonial to all the families we have worked with over the last three decades.

The video below features four remarkable birth mothers who discuss the difficulty of their decision and the positive outcomes that have come of open adoption.  The video also features several adoptive families who, before adoption, were not able to conceive a child.  We have also featured adopted children – some now young adults – who talk about their adoption experience and the love that they have for their birth families.

It is our hope that this video will live on in the history of our agency.  Most of all, it is our hope that this video will represent the unquantifiable, unconditional love that is among the adoption triad.  There is never too much love.

Every child deserves the best and that is what we hope to provide at Adoptions With Love.  Here is to 30 years of building loving families through adoption.

To learn more about Adoptions With Love, please call 1-800-722-7731 or visit adoptionswithlove.org/contact-us.