Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | January 31, 2013

The Internet and Adoption

This morning I read a story by Good Morning America about a young lady named Jenessa who was adopted as an infant domestically in 1991. Armed with only her birth date, the hospital of her birth, and the name (Whitney) that her birth parents gave her, she set out to find her birth parents through means of using Facebook.

Her post was shared 124,000 times in just three days. A woman who went to school with Jenessa’s birth mother saw the post and forwarded it on to the birth mother, thinking that it might be her. The woman then contacted Jenessa.

Jenessa was leary at first, but then the woman showed Jenessa pictures of her as a baby that Jenessa’s adoptive parents had sent to the birth parents. Jenessa hopes to soon be able to meet her birth mother.

This is such a wonderful story, but does pose the question of how the internet and social media websites are changing adoption. This is not the first story that I have heard of birth parents and adopted children utilizing social media to locate one another. Our culture is a “plugged in” culture, with there being more devices (iPhones, iPods, cell phones, computers) connected to the internet than there are people on this earth.

With this increasing use of the internet, and a literal spider web of distant connections, it is becoming more and more probable that an adopted child and birth parents can find one another.

What is your opinion of this? Do you think it is a negative aspect of social media? Or do you think it is a useful tool that should be used more? How do you as an adoptive parent protect your child from relationships that they might not be prepared for via social media?

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