The Internet is changing nearly every chapter of adoption. It can now start with postings by couples looking for birth mothers who want to place children, and end years later with birth mothers looking to reunite with children they’ve placed. A process that once relied on gatekeepers and official procedures can now be largely circumvented with a computer, Wi-Fi and some luck.The article profiles several families, very interesting read.
“It used to be a slow process,” says Anya Luchow, a psychologist who facilitates an adoption support group in Bergen County, N.J., that includes the Dorfs. “And when the children were minors, it was one that their adoptive parents could control.”
Now, says Leanne Jaffe, a Manhattan therapist (herself an adoptee) who specializes in adoption issues: “Kids, at the most vulnerable time for developing identity, are plugged in online. Either they are savvy enough to find their birth parents, or they spend time in places like Facebook, where their birth parents can find them.”
There are stories of children as young as 13 approached by birth parents online, and of children being contacted before they had been told they were adopted. Among the most cautionary of tales is that of Aimee L. Sword, who was convicted of having sex with her biological son, who was 14 at the time, and whom she found on Facebook when yearly updates from his adoptive family stopped coming. “It’s uncharted territory,” Dr. Luchow says. What are the new rules? They are being made up as the participants — adoptees and their parents — go along.
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