The Internet is changing the adoption landscape as we know it. Social media is transforming the adoption search. Open adoption is evolving in the face of Facebook and other social networking websites. Online connections between birth parents, adoptive families, and adoptees are becoming more common.
In many ways, the transformative relationship between social media and adoption has in fact been very positive. Not only have social channels like Facebook made open relationships between the adoption triad more fluent, but they have also helped to eliminate the stigma and secrecy that adoption once carried.
Just decades ago, the majority of adoption plans were closed. Birth parents did not have any say in where their child would be placed, who would raise their child, or what kind of life their child would live. They could not choose, let alone meet, the adoptive family. They could not keep in touch with their child over the years. Similarly, adoptive families did not have much (if any) knowledge regarding their child’s birth parents. They could not contact their child’s birth family with questions or updates.
Nowadays, open adoption is the norm. In fact, about 95 percent of domestic, infant adoptions have either open or semi-open plans for ongoing contact. This means that the majority of adoptive and birth families today have made arrangements to stay in touch, whether through letters and pictures, emails, phone conversations, Facebook exchanges, or in-person visits. Many adoptees have access to the answers they need; many birth parents can stay up to date with their child as he or she grows. Social media helps facilitate these kinds of open relationships.