The growing influence of technology has allowed for universal connectivity. Since technology has made its way into every area of our lives, it is no surprise that it has a profound effect on the adoption process. Technology has both positive and negative consequences for all parties involved, but it has perhaps the greatest impact for adoptees. This article will discuss some of the major positive and negative outcomes of technology during both the pre and post-adoption stages.
Technology in the Pre-Adoption Phase
- The internet shortens the adoption process through websites designed to market to birth parents and prospective parents.
Pros: The internet helps birth parents match with adoptive much more quickly. It also increases the likelihood of finding homes for older children, siblings, or special needs children because information for those looking to adopt is much more accessible.
Cons: Because it is online, there is a greater risk for scams and exploitations. The growing marketing techniques also have the ability to make the focus less on finding families and more about creating a business, which distracts from the important goal.
- The Internet allows for adoptions across state lines.
Pros: Since children are not limited to local/in-state adoptions, there is a greater chance that they can be matched with a loving family. It provides many useful tools for parents who are waiting to adopt at the domestic level.
Cons: Online adoptions pose some ethical and legal issues. Adoption across state lines can be difficult if there is not a firm understanding of the process because different states have different rules and regulations for their adoption process. We recommend working with a licensed adoption agency like Adoption Choices to ensure legal and ethical processes.
Technology in the Post-Adoption Stage
- Helps families and adoptees connect with communities.
Pros: The internet provides additional support for both adoptive parents and adoptees. They are able to connect with people who are in similar situations and talk about their shared experiences.
Cons: Adoptees are also finding ways to gain access to original birth information that they might not have been supposed to access. Social Media takes away some of the privacy limitations that adoptive parents/ adoptees want.
- Adoptees have an easier time with contacting birth parents.
Pros: Adoptees have the option of contacting their birth parents, which could help them with personal and identity growth and perhaps cultural growth as well. Connecting with their birth parent can be important for development.
Cons: Adoptees are able to find and connect with their birth parents often without their adoptive parents’ consent. This can lead to some conflict especially depending on the adoption agreements.
- The internet has revolutionized resources for adoptees and their families.
Pros: Different websites post information that helps adoptive families navigate the post-adoption process. Psychologists and lawyers have pages to help both the birth and adoptive parents and adoptees gain information and help.
Cons: There is a greater chance that people will try and take advantage of adoptees and their families by giving false information and data. Some women even fake pregnancy in order to take monetary advantages from prospective parents.
Ultimately, technology has had profound effects on the adoption process in both positive and negative ways. It has become an integral part of the process at both the pre and post-adoption levels. As technology keeps advancing, adoption laws will have to expand to best serve people.
Healy, M. (2012, December 13). Internet is changing adoption-for better and worse.
How the internet is revolutionizing the adoption process. (2012, December 19).
Kim, J. (2014) New report highlights the positive and negative impact of the internet and social media on adoption.
Julianna McKenna is a college student at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana double majoring in English Writing and Psychology. She is passionate about adoption and foster care and is considering a career in adoption law or counseling. In January 2019, Julianna became an intern for Virginia L. Frank and joined the Adoption Choices Inc., team. She is incredibly dedicated to promoting children’s rights and is excited to research and advocate for children.