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Adoption Through Facebook

Courtesy of Melissa Segal and Seth Edlavitch

"Loving, professional couple looking to adopt a newborn in the U.S. Melissa has been a fourth-grade teacher for 11 years, and Seth works in public health. We want to build our family through adoption with love, laughter, fun and passion."

So read the flyer Seth Edlavitch posted on his Facebook page one night in late November 2008. Seth, at the time a Facebook newbie with only 40 friends, had heard of the social-networking site's viral effect, and decided it certainly couldn't hurt. After five years of trying to conceive, the loss of twins at five months after successful in vitro fertilization (and then countless more rounds of in vitro after that), Seth and his wife, Melissa Segal, were ready to adopt and wanted to spread the word. “We had already sent out the flyer in a mass e-mail to our family and friends, and started a blog where we uploaded it along with our pictures and a toll-free number. For Facebook, I converted the document into a PDF so I could post it on my wall,” says Seth.

In his status update, he encouraged friends to pass it around. Seth's close friend John was one of the first to leave a comment, asking if he could post the flyer to his wall, which he did. “We had no idea if it would work, but we figured that the more people who knew we were looking, the better,” says Melissa.

In early December, a friend of John's whom he hadn't spoken to in more than 20 years called Seth directly because she had seen the flyer. “She explained to me that Lisa, the wife of one of her employees, was eight months pregnant. The couple already had several children and wanted to place the baby for adoption but didn't have a plan yet,” says Seth. Phone numbers were exchanged, and Seth and Melissa called Lisa that same night. Since she lived only a few minutes away, they made a plan to meet at the local Starbucks.