Over the last week or so, my Facebook page has more than once popped this article about how Facebook has changed adoption for ever, originally posted by the Guardian back on the 19th June 2010.
It covers a subject that I know both hubby and I are well aware of and that we will have to deal with at some point with our young man. It shares a reality, that I think many adoptive parents like us may or may have not thought of. Until social media platforms like Facebook became available, the process of reconnecting with your biological family as an adoptee was strictly managed by social workers. No malicious intentions, but more for the protection of both families. It’s has all changed now.
As humans we’re naturally curious beings. We’re never all satisfied with the “status quo”, we want to know more and understand why. The curiosity isn’t always from the child but from the biological parent(s) too. They have been known to want to find out where their biological child is, who they have become etc. It is all very normal, I believe. How you go about it, like the article mentions, is what is extremely important. It isn’t just two or three lives that are affected but many more if the process isn’t carefully managed.
For open adoptions, you will find that at least one biological parent is aware of who the adoptive parents are. They may receive regular updates, either from the adoptive parents directly or via the social worker. When the appropriate time comes, a meeting can be arranged for a reunions .. at least that’s what I’ve become familiar with.
With closed adoptions, the day the child is placed with the adoptive parents, the biological parents can request for regular updates for the next 24 months and even request to see the child within this period. These meetings are however all supervised by the social worker.
Social Media has now changed all this, whether we want to believe it or not .. it has. When we reach our teenage years we begin our search to find out who we are as individuals. Access to social media has made it all so easy. You know how you are when you first meet someone new, be it for business or pleasure, you search for them on the various social media platforms to see if you can find out more about them. It isn’t surprising that adopted children / biological parents, then seek to use the same platform to attempt to discover their biological family.
Personally, I don’t think we can avoid this scenario playing out. However, through an open relationship with your child and open conversations with them you can address these hurdles as they come. Allowing you to manage, to a point, these needs carefully along with the emotions that come with it. That said, not everyone follows through with their curiosity. For many it’s a “high-level” kind of curious, not something they would like to follow through to the point of making actual contact.
Whichever way our young man decides to follow, he will have our support. We can’t stop him from finding out more about his roots, but we can guide and be with him through that journey should he ever decide to embark on it. He will be made aware that it can be both a positive or a negative experience at the time, and that he should be mature enough to deal with either outcome.
We can protect him from getting hurt for so long.
It will also be a very emotional period for both hubby and I, should it happen, but one we can’t avoid but be supportive of our young man.