Adoption, Secrecy and Facebook
Back in August last year I wrote about the potential effects of social networking sites, primarily Facebook, on adoption. Now I see Victoria Macdonald in the Observer and under the not understated headline; “Adopted children face anguish as birth parents stalk them on Facebook”, has discovered the same issue. Her take on this is how dreadful it is for biological parents to attempt, through Facebook, to make contact with and upset the lives of the offspring they could not care for and who are now happily settled in adoptive families.
On the other hand I am aware of children taking the initiative and using Facebook to communicate with parents and relatives who they are not supposed to have contact with either because of court orders, care authority decisions or adoption. There is at least one web service which offers to trace records of birth parents and other birth relatives for adopted people. You have claim to be 18 or over to use this service although whether any checks are made about age I do not know.
And then there is this. It is reported that A Maryland couple have adopted a child through Facebook. “The couple [discovering they were infertile] then decided that adoption would be their best route. A friend of theirs on Facebook knew someone who was pregnant and wanted to give her child up for adoption. They hooked up with this person via Facebook and began talking…”.
And then this: “The couple, Jeremy and Christy Nueman, wanted to adopt a baby after struggling with infertility for five years. But instead of relying solely on newspaper ads or bulletin board fliers to increase their chances of connecting with a birth mother, they created a short YouTube video to show who they are. Upon watching the video online, Amanda immediately connected with a snapshot of the Nuemans’ adorable miniature pinscher named Penny. … [and] picked the Nuemans to become the adoptive parents of her baby.”
BAAF (who have their own Facebook site) say in the intro to their upcoming conference Facing Up To Facebook on June 24th: “The growth in the use of social networking sites such as Facebook has generally been an exciting and positive development in helping people of all ages keep in touch with each other. However, the unthinking and poorly informed use of social networking can produce a range of unforeseen consequences… ”
BAAF don’t seem to have any comment about Penny the pinscher.