Almost every aspect of our lives have changed with the advent of the internet and the prevalence of social media. There is no telling how many pictures, posts and tweets we read on a daily basis, and each one has an effect on how we view the world and those around us.
The rise of social media also raises some particularly troubling questions for the parents of adopted children. Do you let your kids add their birth parents on social media like Facebook and Instagram? Should you, as a parent, add the birth family on social media?
There is no clear-cut answer to these questions, as with most other issues of parenting. There is only gray; there is no black and white. It is important to examine and critically view your specific circumstances when considering your answer to the above questions.
The Role of Social Media Within the Family
Social media can be a powerful tool for connecting us with friends and keeping up to date with the latest happenings in the world. Sometimes, however, people may take to Facebook or Twitter to express their anger and act irrationally towards others. When this affects members of the family, a conversation needs to be had in person to address the issue.
Social media can be unhealthy if used in excess, and it should never be used to make relations within a family worse. Keep things friendly online and try to give your child a sense of freedom as well.
Connecting With Birth Families Over Social Media
It may be natural for an adopted child to search for their birth parent or birth relatives on social media sites. It’s important to understand why they are doing this and not judge our children if they reach out to their parents.
With that being said, if the adoption is closed, there should not be a change in your stance towards interacting online from interacting in person. The best advice is to allow your child to contact their birth family the same way you would let them do so in person. As for you, the adoptive parent, it is your decision on whether or not to add the birth parent on social media. It can be healthy to adopt some sort of correspondence with the birth parent if you think this is appropriate.
Search and Reunion
Finding members of an adopted child’s birth family is much easier with the availability and affordability of social media. However, when searching for birth family members, you or the child may find things that were not expected. Seeing pictures and information about birth parents can also create a sense of separation and loss in the child that can be hard to deal with. It is recommended that both parents and children emotionally and mentally prepare for the results of using social media to search birth family members.
There are a number of ways social media has affected the adoption process and parenting as the mother or father of an adopted kid. If your child is from another country, reaching out via Facebook may be an extremely useful way to get in contact for little to no cost. But the downsides can be just as significant, so it’s important to be intentional with your use of social media and the internet.