December 17, 2012 @ 5:07 PM

By staff

The internet has changed the lives of everyone regarding access to information, and the same is true of its role in adoption. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a highly respected organization, has issued a detailed 70 page report on the subject, authored by Jeanne A. Howard, Ph.d., covering how it impacts independent, agency and international adoption, from family formation to birth parent searches.


For the full report go to: PDF Full ReportThe article, released in December 2012, concludes that social media and other elements of this modern technology are having both positive and negative "transformative" effects on adoption policy and practice, touching millions of people’s lives, while raising serious legal, ethical and procedural concerns.

On the negative side, the report talks of growing "commodification" in adoption on the internet. We've all seen the banners and large ads on the home pages of adoption sites which purport to be informtional. True, information is provided on such sites, but the purpose of the sites seem to clearly be for financial gain when viewing the percentage of ads on each "informational" page.

On the positive side, however, are the growing number of websites offering helpful information about planning ethical adoptions and avoiding fraud and illegality. It is now much easier to research a state's adoption laws, find attorneys and agencies and other resources.  The article also cites the growing numbers of opportunities for affiliation, support and information-sharing that would be impossible to achieve without the technology and reach of the Internet and, in particular, social media. Additional observatons in the article include the growing ease to find people, and this includes adoptees searching their birth parents, and visa-versa, leading to the reality that adoptions are becoming more and more open in today's open-information world. In fact, the report recommends that states with closed adoption statutes in certain types of adoption be changed in consideration of this new reality. 

The full article is viewable here: "Untangling the Web: The Internet’s Transformative Impact on Adoption"

Thanks to the Evan B. Donaldson Institute for publishing the article.