Social media has transformed all aspects of adoption. It can be an important avenue for recruiting families and raising awareness about the need for adoptive parents for children in foster care, or it can help children and youth who have been adopted find and stay connected with their families, including birth siblings who may be living in foster homes or with other adoptive families. With many social media platforms available, it also creates potential for ongoing relationships and communication between the adoptive parents and birth parents. This climate of increased connectedness has many benefits, but it can also raise questions about how families can prepare for contact and what services are available to support them if communication begins before all parties are prepared or doesn’t go as planned.
This section provides resources that promote the use of social media for an agency or organization, describes how social media and technology have changed adoption, discusses the value of social media networks for communication, and offers additional information to help engage parents and caregivers involved in adoption.
Resources for professionals
A Handling Social Media and Birth Family Contact With Your Adopted, Foster, or Kinship Kids
Creating A Family (2021)
Provides tips for adoptive parents on how to communicate and support adoptive children with social media usage and contact with the birth family.
How Can Behavioral Science Be Used to Recruit Foster and Adoptive Families?
Casey Family Programs
Discusses ideas on how foster and adoptive parents can improve the recruitment process by utilizing social media networks and technology.
How Has Social Media Changed Adoption?
Discusses the various ways social media has impacted adoption overall, including how it can positively and negatively effect postadoption, support groups, and open adoptions.
The Internet's Effect on Adoption
Creating a Family
Examines how the internet has affected adoption, including how the internet can be either a force for good or for exploitation and how the internet and social media can help build adoptive communities. The website also lists adoption resources relating to social media for adoption professionals and parents.
MARE Cares About Social Media: Here's How and Why We Use the Various Platforms (PDF - 1,444 KB)
The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) (2017)
Explains how MARE uses various social media platforms and tools in its work in engaging prospective adoptive families, waiting children and youth, adoptive parents, child welfare workers, and others.
Use Social Media to Find Family Members
Child Welfare Playbook
Gives an overview and recommendations on how family members can use social media as a valuable tool to find family members of youth in foster care.
Resources for parents and caregivers
26 Tips for Using Social Media for Adoption
Provides information on using social media in adoption for birth and adoptive parents as well as specific advice for birth parents. It also discusses what birth parents and adoptive parents should and should not do.
The Impact of Technology on Adoptees
Addresses the impact of the internet, social media, and technology on adoptive families in the pre- and post-adoption phases.
Keeping Children You Foster and Adopt Safe Online
Identifies the risks posed to children online and offers tips, strategies, and resources for adoptive parents to help keep children safe online.
Social Media Etiquette in Adoption
Shares some tips for social media use in cases of adoption that both adoptive families and birth families should consider when they use this form of technology.
What You Need to Know About Using Facebook When Trying to Adopt
Summarizes some tips for prospective adoptive parents who would like to use Facebook as a tool in their adoption search.