The creation of the internet has had a massive effect on almost every aspect of the human experience, including, of course, adoption. In the past, birth parents and adoptive parents could only meet in person, through arrangements with their adoption agencies. Now, birth parents and adoptive parents alike can take the adoption search into their own hands.
However, not all of these changes have been good. Today we’ll discuss some of the positive and negative effects that the internet has had on adoption, both the actual process of adopting and on the adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees involved.
The Positive Effects of the Internet
First of all, the internet has made it far easier for potential parents and birth parents to connect with one another, whether the goal is domestic adoption or international. This means that both parties have the chance to really tailor the experience to exactly what they need, and it’s better for the adoptees as well, since it means that the match is more likely to be a good one.
In addition, the internet allows everyone to stay connected even after the adoption is completed. Open adoptions are very common these days, and part of the reason for that is that the internet allows adoptees and adoptive parents to contact birth parents remotely, and vice versa.
Not only that, the internet also allows all parties to find communities that understand and support them. There are countless online groups for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents, where you can go to talk about your experiences without fear of being ostracized. These online groups can help people find resources, get help, or just find a friend, which is invaluable.
Furthermore, the internet, with all the information contained in it, allows both birth parents and adoptive parents to get answers to their adoption questions without having to go through an agency. Sites like this one help to inform potential parents about their options before they even start looking for an agency.
The Negative Effects of the Internet
Unfortunately, even with all the great things the internet has done for adoption, there is always a catch. Yes, it’s easier than ever for adoptive parents to match with potential adoptees and birth parents, but it’s also easier than ever for scammers to take advantage of adoptive parents and birth parents alike, advertising services that aren’t real.
Additionally, in some ways the internet has taken away some of the human aspect of adopting. Adoption is a business, and has always been, but the internet has caused some companies to focus more on making money than on helping people, which should be the ultimate goal.
Finally, while it is great that the internet allows for birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees to stay in contact, it can also threaten adoptive agreements, particularly when the adoption was a closed one. Adoptees are able to go on the internet to find their birth parents, sometimes without the knowledge or approval of their adoptive parents, and birth parents or adoptive parents can do the same. This can cause legal issues.
Overall, the advent of the internet has had major effects, both good and bad, on all aspects of the adoption process, from the search to making connections afterward. Whether or not you think the internet has been harmful or helpful, however, it seems to be here to stay. Agencies, adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees alike will need to adapt and change along with technology.