Social media has transformed all aspects of adoption, from recruiting and preparing families to providing postadoption services. Social media helps children who have been adopted stay connected with their families, including birth siblings who may be living in foster homes or with other adoptive families. These connections can help adoptive parents fill gaps in their child's medical history and other birth-family information. With many social media platforms available, almost any adoption has the potential for ongoing relationships, allowing direct communication between the adoptive family and the child with the birth family. This climate of increased connectedness raises questions about how families can prepare for contact and what services are available to support them if communication begins before all parties are prepared.
Social media networks are also an important avenue for recruiting families and raising awareness about the need for adoptive parents for children in foster care. 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.
Adoption Trends Today
Social Work Today, 15(6)
Discusses how the field of adoption has changed and includes a section on the impact of the internet and social media. The article describes how the internet and social media have created some positive changes in adoption and how they have revolutionized adoption in many ways.
The Internet's Effect on Adoption
Creating a Family
Examines some of the effects of the internet on adoption, including how the internet can be either a force for good or for exploitation and how the internet and social media 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 the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) uses various social media platforms and tools in its work engaging prospective adoptive families, waiting children and youth, adoptive parents, child welfare workers, and others.
Social Media and Community Outreach: Communications for Adoption Professionals: Communicating for Adoption With Excellence [Webinar]
Osborne, Lanter, & Leibmann (2016)
National Council for Adoption
Offers a video webinar for adoption professionals on how to use social media and some best practices for how to communicate about adoption.
Supporting Adoptive Families Through Facebook Groups
Boo, Blade, & Romo (2015)
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Explores how adoption organizations are using Facebook groups to enable adoptive parents to join online networks of support. The article reviews the value of online support groups and describes how to start a Facebook group, how to create group rules, how to conduct outreach, how to maintain groups, and more.
6 Ways the Internet Has Improved Adoption
Describes ways the internet has improved the process of adoption for prospective adoptive parents. Some examples include easier adoption agency research, access to personal stories, information on trauma, support for rare diseases, access to photolistings, and networking through online communities.
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 some do's and don'ts for both birth parents and adoptive parents.
From Face-to-Face to Facebook: The Role of Technology and Social Media in Adoptive Family Relationships With Birth Family Members (PDF - 570 KB)
Black, Moyer, & Goldberg (2016)
Adoption Quarterly, 19(4)
Examines adoptive parents' engagement with their child's birth family on social media and discusses how best to engage birth families using technology, how to manage these relationships, and how to set appropriate boundaries for children and youth.
The Impact of Technology on Adoptees
Addresses the impact of the internet, social media, and technology on adoptive families in the pre- and postadoption phases.
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.