Adoption has come a long way. Practices have been around for centuries, but it is much different today than it was back in the day. Even within the last 20 years, adoption has evolved to accommodate our ever-changing ways. There is one major way that adoption is different today: the internet.
It has made adoption fun, interesting, popular, attainable, and almost easy. It has opened up a world of marketing that was never possible before. My husband and I found our consultant agency through Facebook and many the other agencies we contacted before them. Facebook and Instagram bring awareness to adoption and foster care as no other avenue has in 20 years. It brings people together who are struggling with the same types of issues concerning adoption. Whether you are in the paperwork/pregnancy phase or the trauma/behavior phase, there is a group of people out there who share the same feelings. And let’s not forget that you can have an online profile to share on your social media when you’re in the hoping-to-adopt phase.
The Internet and social media make it so easy to fundraise for an adoption. I see T-shirts on my Facebook newsfeed on a daily basis. “Buy my T-shirt and fund my adoption.” T-shirts, wall art, garage sales, photo sessions, car washes, dinners, and, so many more unique ideas are shared through the internet every day. There is also an increased awareness of and access to grants and loan options online. So many companies and nonprofits are offering funds to adoptive families that apply. It is an incredible help to families that long to adopt, but money is hindering them from that dream.
I believe that the entire conversation in regard to adoption has grown increasingly better in the past 20 years since the topic hit the web. I think that people are more willing to be open and discuss the real issues that surround adoption. I also think that where some things in the past had been hidden, we are now wanting to engage in hard conversations. Transracial families, older child adoption, special needs adoption, and adoptions after a broken adoption are in an age of more and more acceptance. People are more willing to help, willing to listen, and willing to discuss all that entails adoption.
There are so many blogs, so many well-written books by experienced moms and dads, and so many support groups that offer a listening ear to families in the trenches. It is such a sweet relief to listen to, read about, or hear from another family who knows exactly how you are feeling. Some of my favorites are:
- The Connected Child by Karen Purvis
- Millions of Miles
- Not Just Hair: The intersection of Hair/Skincare and Transracial Adoption Facebook page
Twenty years. That’s a long time. It is just long enough to create a whirlwind of information and support for families going through one of the greatest events of their lives.