Social media is transforming all aspects of adoption, from recruiting and preparing families for adoption 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 (also referred to as openness in adoption). 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 and additional information to help engage parents and caregivers involved in adoption.
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.
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.
Partnering for Permanency: Promoting Adoption Through Effective Communication Efforts (PDF - 556 KB)
AdoptUSKids, National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment
Provides information for child welfare agencies about using social media tools to promote awareness campaigns and for recruitment and communication with potential families for children in foster care.
The Role of Social Media in Adoption
National Council for Adoption (2013)
Explores how adoption professionals are finding ways to balance changes in technology and online information exchange with the need to communicate and maintain high ethical standards. It also includes information about effects on birth parents and adoptive parents.
Untangling The Web: The Internet's Transformative Impact on Adoption
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (2012)
Policy and Practice Perspective
View Abstract and Document
Examines the Internet's impact on adoption, both positive and negative, and presents the key findings related to adoption policy and practice.
Adoption and Social Media: The Effects of Social Media and the Internet on Child Adoption (PDF - 3,523 KB)
Adoption STAR (2012)
Discusses how the Internet and social media sites can affect relationships between birth families and adoptive families as well as tips for adoptees on using social media safely.
Adoption and Social Media: Recommendations for Healthy Ongoing Communication
Includes tips on what to consider before conducting an adoption search online and developing a plan for postadoption contact via social media. It also provides recommendations for those parenting older adoptees using social media and general recommendations for all parties involved.
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.