Social media has revolutionized so many aspects of everyday life. For adoption, social media can be an absolute game-changer. Social media can offer everything from research, support, fundraising and more. It can even be a platform for you to match with a child for adoption. On the other hand, social media can provide some downfalls in the adoption process and open you up to both scams and criticism. It will be using social media to your advantage and knowing how to do so that will make all of the difference in your adoption process.
There are many different forms of social media and each will be used in a different way. One of the most popular uses of social media in adoption would be Facebook. Facebook has a design that allows for multiple uses when it comes to adoption. People can not only create personal profiles but pages and groups about their adoption journey. Prospective adoptive parents could even possibly solicit donations from others using the Facebook platform. With platforms like Twitter, which utilizes short text communications, prospective adoptive parents could keep their followers updated on their adoption journey or follow influencers in the adoption world.
Photo social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat also have a place in the adoption world as well. Both are a great way to update followers on the adoption journey. Both of these platforms are also a place to display the everyday life of a prospective adoptive parent. When a birth parent is looking at adoption profiles, it is very likely that they may search through the social media presence of those prospective adoptive parents. It is advisable to make sure that your social media is presentable. It is important to show real life, but also to make sure that it is showing you in the light in which you want to be portrayed.
Many prospective adoptive parents use social media as a way to create an adoption profile. They may choose to create an adoption page or group that will allow not only for their family and friends to stay updated on their adoption, but as a sort of advertisement that they are open for adoption. It is important to be careful and find out if advertising is allowed in your state. This doesn’t mean that you cannot create a profile, but it may hinder the way you word things or the ability to purchase any sort of ad in your area. Advertisements are a highly debated topic in adoption, so it is really best to speak with an adoption professional before doing any sort of advertisement about your adoption.
Using social media to create an adoption profile can be very productive. You can post updates about your adoption, post more about your family, and even share photos of your daily life. This can give a lot of birth parents a better idea of the person you are day to day. It also helps get the word out that you are adopting. There have been stories time and time again where people have been matched with a birth mother because someone whom that birth mother knew saw that someone was adopting and shared their information.
It is important that if you do create an online profile that you are careful about what information you include. While you can include what state you are in, it is best advised to not include any sort of confidential information. Avoid providing contact information, full addresses, or real phone numbers. Some people have gotten Google Voice numbers or set up some sort of voice mail for someone to call if they have any questions or are thinking of placing their child for adoption. Others will include their adoption professional’s information so that the person can work directly with the agency. Adoption profiles are one of the main places where people encounter adoption scams. Having your information on the internet is a double-edged sword. While you may get some very positive and legitimate leads, you will also get messages from people who are just trying to scam prospective adoptive parents out of money. Be sure to look out for the signs of an adoption scam and run any sort of lead through your adoption professional before pursuing it.
Social media is also a great way to raise funds for your adoption. There is really no better way to let people know that you are adopting than through social media. In today’s world, people are so connected due to social media. We literally have the world at our fingertips! Social media is the quickest way to reach people. It is the most efficient way to let the largest amount of people know about your intent to adopt and about the money you might need in order to move forward. Many people use sites such as GoFundMe, however, they share these fundraising opportunities through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Sharing will allow others to share and to expand your call for support.
Instead of sending out letters asking for monetary donations, people can put in a call for people to conveniently send money online if they so choose. You may be surprised at the number of people who are willing to support you in your adoption efforts. People can also advertise if they are doing local fundraisers for their adoption. Asking for monetary donations through social media also makes the process of adoption a lot more personal. People can ask questions about your adoption and receive relatively immediate answers. You can share pictures and post updates about your adoption so that people feel more invested in the adoption process. You may share stories about why you have chosen adoption and more personal information about your story.
Many adoption agencies and professionals have rules about fundraisers, so it is good to touch base with your adoption professionals before doing any fundraisers. It is also important that you keep any information about the birth family confidential. Check with your adoption professional before making any moves on your adoption through social media and bring them any communication you may receive through this avenue. If you are going to fundraise, social media is fantastic to use as a platform to get the word out.
Social media is also a great way to find support for your adoption. This may be support from family and friends. Not only can you fundraise on your personal page, but it is often helpful to know that people are praying for you or wishing you well. Any extra encouragement can mean a lot in the hard times of the adoption process. You may also be able to get advice from others and also recommendations for adoption professionals or other aspects of your adoption process.
You may be able to connect locally with people who have adopted in your area. I was easily able to find local adoption groups in my area. I was even able to find an adoption group associated with my church that I did not previously know about. It was nice to have others to turn to and to meet with in person if need be. I was able to connect with these people on social media and I’m still able to stay in touch with them for advice on raising children who are adopted. I was able to use these groups to find local adoption professionals and have good reviews on different adoption services in my area.
There is a wealth of adoption groups available that will allow you to connect with other prospective adoptive parents. You can ask any question that you can think of and pose it to those groups. It is amazing the support and the information that we have access to with social media. There are groups that exist like the I Love Adoption group from Adoption.com that will allow you to not only find information in articles about adoption, but you can also interact with people throughout the world who have adopted. You can find very specific information and very specific answers to need-to-know questions.
It is great to use social media for so many aspects of your adoption process. You will find an incredible amount of groups on social media for adoption all the way from deciding whether or not you would want to adopt, what type of adoption you’re hoping to pursue, the adoption process, and even into post-adoption. You will find groups about raising a child who has been adopted, transracial adoption, and multiple other categories. There is little you cannot find on social media for adoption, regarding the adoption process. There are so many platforms to ask questions and find community.
It is also important to note that even with the support groups, you will find multiple anti-adoption groups. These groups can be really disheartening and really informational at the same time. Be aware as you are searching for groups when you come across these groups. It is better not to engage and to just read along if you are interested in their perspective. Many of these groups are formed by adoptees who have had a poor adoption experience, which, unfortunately, does happen. You may also find stories of parents who have had their children taken away from them and placed for adoption. Many of their stories are heartbreaking.
However, you may also find that people from these groups will inundate your messages and adoption profile. Some may leave incredibly hateful messages or comments on your adoption social media presence. With any social media, it is good to utilize your privacy settings and also to not be afraid to block anyone who is bringing negativity to your page. While I do believe wholeheartedly that it is incredibly important to understand the perspective from which anti-adoption groups are operating from, it is not purposeful to engage nor is it helpful in your adoption process. Take the comments and messages that are sent by these groups with a grain of salt. They are coming from a place of hurt. It is important to hear from all perspectives, but understand that it is not about you directly. It is about flaws in our system and about hurting people hoping to hurt others. It is best to delete, block, and ignore negativity throughout your adoption process.
Using social media for adoption can be a risk as you may encounter some negativity with an online presence. However, the positive reactions and support that you will receive on social media often largely outweigh the negatives. To have the ability to get the word out about your adoption to a large number of people at once is a huge accomplishment and asset to have at your disposal. If you are able to advertise in your state, there is such a huge net that you can cast with social media. It will allow more people to know that you’re adopting and allow more people to get the word out. You may even be able to pay for ads that target a specific age group and area along with other criteria. Many people have matched on social media and know that it is a great avenue through which to find a match. However, it is also very likely that you will encounter scams and that is a risk you will have to take.
Be sure to speak with your adoption professional about your social media presence and also speak to others who have used social media during their adoption. They may have some really great advice on how to use social media to your greatest advantage and how to deal with negativity should you be unfortunate enough to experience it. Researching before you create any social media presence and getting the advice of others who have been in your place before will be the major tools that you need to have a successful presence on social media for adoption.
Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/.