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Technology is changing the face of adoption

The Internet has changed the way people in Colorado and across the U.S. view adoption. The Donaldson Adoption Institute conducted a survey of different people involved in adoption, including birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees and professionals in the field. They found a number of benefits from using the Internet, such as the availability of information and support groups. However, instances of fraud, manipulation and attempts to control others, especially pregnant women, could mean undue pressures on someone who is thinking about adoption.

The president of the agency, a non-profit group that champions adoption awareness, also reported that false promises, black market adoptions and commercialization were some of the issues that come up with the availability of technology. He doesn't think that lawmakers and law enforcement officers are effectively addressing the issue. For example, the problem of 're-homing" in Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida puts adopted children into different families; this is dangerous to the children because no one oversees this process.

The study also found that adopted individuals sometimes use the Internet to track down members of their birth family. They can remain in contact through the use of technology. Some people also use social media to follow the lives of family without their knowing; however, the number of unwanted intrusions were minimal.

Technology has changed the way family law, including adoption, works. Many adoption professionals aren't aware of the options that involved parties have in Internet use. In turn, they can't adequately help birth or adoptive parents when it comes to Internet use. A family attorney might be able to provide prospecting parents with safety considerations when using the Internet and give helpful counsel for adoption.

Source: USA Today, "Internet has turned adoption on its head, report says", December 12, 2013

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