Today the use of social media is the “norm.” However, it is a new forum for those who are touched by adoption…allowing us to “find” each other on social media sites and stay in touch can provide both positive and challenging experiences. Before using social media as part of your adoption journey it is important that you educate yourself on the pros and cons of such a venture.
The Internet and social media sites are definitely incredible ways for prospective adoptive parents and expectant birth parents to connect with each other. In addition these same venues enables all parties to keep in touch if you “mutually select to do so.” This is the key. Do all parties feel comfortable with staying connected by way of social media? Have all parties discussed this between themselves before the connection occurs?
- If you are a current social media user, before delving into your adoption journey, you need to rethink the ways you use social media sites. Do you currently share your confidential information on your profile? What type of posts do you typically make during the week? What type of political or humorous statements or links do you tend to post? If someone searched for you, and they are not currently an online friend of yours, what might they see on your site? Recognize that you may wish to utilize these social media sites differently than you have been.
- If you are not currently a social media user or not a frequent user, then become very familiar with these sites and forums before you utilize them to begin your adoption journey.
- Social media sites allow for immediate communication between parties, sometimes such communication may be exciting at first but can also be misinterpreted or unwanted or overwhelming.
- E-mail communication while still an e-connection is a bit more private and personal.
- Consider the use of private websites and blogs before engaging in adoption searches via social media sites.
- Once you are “matched” be careful about sharing the news on a public forum. Also the comments replying to your announcement are available for others to read and you may feel comfortable or uncomfortable with such comments.
- Be careful to not share information about the adoptive/birth family particularly on public posts. This is important because this will ultimately become your child’s story and once it is viral, it is no longer private and no longer your child’s story to learn about from you as she/he grows.
- If you are not comfortable sharing photos publically of your children than choose to send these via other online sites through private invitation only.
- If you have older children who utilize social networking they must be guided about how to use it if they wish to engage in searching for their birth family members as well as guided, should they be contacted this way by members of their birth family. Being prepared will help you deal with any challenges should they arise.
Written by Hayley with Information taken from: http://www.adoptionstar.com