It used to take months or even years for an adopted child to track down her birth parents or vice versa, but now it can happen in just minutes, thanks to the Internet. Lisa Belkin of the New York Times recently reported on the growing number of adopted children reunited with their birth parents via social networking sites like Facebook, and the Today Show did a follow-up interview with one of the families involved.
“The Internet is changing nearly every chapter of adoption. It can now start with postings by couples looking for birth mothers who want to place children, and end years later with birth mothers looking to reunite with children they’ve placed. A process that once relied on gatekeepers and official procedures can now be largely circumvented with a computer, Wi-Fi and some luck,” reports Belkin. Indeed, it's hard to fully imagine how this might impact families and individuals at the computer screens on either end of the Internet connection.
Plus: Answers to Obnoxious Adoption Questions
Of course, there are plenty of happy reunions made possible by the Internet, but there are also some troubling stories being reported as well, like children as young as 13 approached by birth mothers online, as well as kids being contacted prior to being informed that they were adopted. Belkin also mentions the horrifying story of one mother convicted of having sex with her 14-year-old biological son after locating him on Facebook once his adoptive family stopped sending yearly updates.
Plus: One Mother’s Story of Open Adoption
If you are an adoptive parent, does this news change the way you’ll eventually handle your child’s questions about or search for her birth family?