Social Media in Adoption
Social media is transforming all aspects of adoption, from recruiting and preparing families to providing postadoption services. Social media can help family members, including birth siblings in different placements, stay connected. These connections can also help adoptive parents fill gaps in their child's medical history and other birth-family information. With the many social media platforms available, almost any adoption has the potential to be opened, allowing direct communication between the birth and adoptive families and the adopted person. This climate of increased openness raises questions about how families are prepared for adoption and what services are available to support them if communication is opened before all parties are prepared.
Social media networks can also be an important avenue for recruiting families and raising awareness about the need for adoptive parents for children in foster care. This section provides resources and information that promote the use of social media for an agency or organization and provides additional resources to help engage parents and caregivers involved in adoption.
Using Social Media in Recruitment and Retention
Offers resources that can help child welfare professionals decide if their agency is ready to use social media as a tool for recruiting and retaining families, including tips and best practices to get the most out of a Twitter profile or Facebook page.
Adopt RI Uses Social Media for Recruitment and Support (PDF - 4,526 KB)
Explains how Adoption Rhode Island uses various social media platforms and tools in its work engaging prospective adoptive families, waiting children and youth, therapeutic groups, siblings, teens who have run away from care, the community, and others.
Enhancing the Reach and Outcomes of Child Welfare Programs Through Social Media (PDF - 15,770 KB)
Ledesma & Casavant (2011)
CW360: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue, Special Issue: Child Welfare and Technology
Highlights the use of social media by AdoptUSKIds to increase public awareness of the need for foster and adoptive families and to assist States, Tribes, and Territories to recruit, retain, and connect foster and adoptive families with children. Key lessons that informed its approach to using social media are explained, as well as fundamental rules of engagement that have been critical in the management of the AdoptUSKids' social media presence.
A New Chapter in Adoption History: For Millions of People, the Internet is Changing ... Everything
Discusses the findings from a new report on the Internet's transformative impact on adoption. The article includes recommendations for using the Internet to best serve children and families.
Untangling The Web: The Internet's Transformative Impact on Adoption
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (2012)
Policy and Practice Perspective
Examines the Internet's impact on adoption, both positive and negative, and presents the key findings related to adoption policy and practice.
Resources for parents and caregivers
Adoption 2.0: Finding Mom on Facebook
Explores the use of social media for adopted children searching for their biological parents. The article also addresses some of the challenges in searching and offers steps on how to approach a search in ways that will make all parties feel safe.
Social Media Connects Adoptive Parents and Birth Families
Adoption Center for Family Building (2012)
Presents an adoptive father's experiences using social media to connect with the birth parents of his two sons. The blog discusses the benefits of interactive communication with birth families and offers helpful tips for social networking with birth parents.
Should I "Friend" Our Birthmother?
Adoptive Families, 44(1)
Explores the impact of Facebook on birthparent contact and provides practical tips for setting boundaries, advice on navigating the emotional side of virtual contact, and talking points to guide difficult conversations.