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.