More than ever A Gift of Hope is seeing our birth parents and adoptive parents maintain contact through some form of social networking (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc). I see this trend in a very positive light, as I think it is a great way to share photos and updates on the child’s life and maintain contact information in case of a move. For adoptive parents and birth parents who may not be able to talk regularly, it gives the peace of mind of a somewhat regular update without feeling intrusive. However, it is important to consider both parties’ comfort level with information sharing prior to “friending” each other. Some questions to consider:
- Did you originally want to keep your address private?
- Do you want the other party to have access to all of your friends, business contacts and family members?
- Do you really want to know the day in/day out details provided by status updates?
If you do, great, friend each other, tag photos and don’t hesitate to tell everyone about the fantastic mess your child made today. However, both for adoptive parents and birth parents it is crucial to be sensitive to the other’s comfort level, and this might not be appropriate in all situations. Birth mom may not have told everyone she’s ever met about the adoption, and may want to keep some of those details private. Adoptive family may have nosy friends or family members who would not keep the child’s personal story for them to tell. Rather than not utilizing the advances in social networking that are available, many of our adoptive families have found that setting up a separate profile or page specifically for the purpose of “friending” birth family works well. Birth family has access to photos, updates and private messaging without feeling like everyone they’ve ever met will get to see those things as well. Adoptive family has access to the birth family still without all of their friends and family having the same level of access, so they control the information released. It’s also a good resource in case of a move, or the need to get a hold of the other quickly for questions about medical history. So utilize social networking in the way that works for you, and remember not to be intimidated by contact in adoption. A child can never have too many people who love him/her.
FYI, A Gift of Hope Adoptions has both a Facebook page and group, as well as a MySpace group. Go “like” (what used be a fan page) AGOHA on Facebook for updates and links to news articles regarding adoption.