Social media connects people from all across the world in ways that simply were not possible before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the rest. It makes sense that adoptees are using social media to find their birth parents. Every so often, there is a news story about an adoptee that had success.
PilotOnline.com has a story about 52-year-old Preston Jones who successfully found his birth mother via social media. In addition, he also contacted health departments, called adoption agencies, and petitioned courts.
He created a video called “Where are you Mommy?” and uploaded it to YouTube. Preston Jones also posted on Facebook that he was searching for his birth mother. He searched through yearbooks and used Ancestry.com in the hopes that these resources would give him information.
Eventually, after a long series of twists and turns, Preston Jones and his mother were reunited. They connected via telephone and were able to talk to each other. At the time the article was written, they had not yet met in person, but there was a family reunion planned for the two of them.
This story ended successfully. Preston Jones was able to contact his birth mother, who was very interested in reconnecting with him, all these years later. This isn’t always the way things turn out. That is definitely something that an adoptee should consider before using social media to try and contact a birth parent.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more. They have some helpful information for adopted people.
They have a section that advises adoptees about searching for birth relatives Some of the advice relates directly to the use of social media to find birth parents. It notes that social media is free to use and enables people who live far away from each other to have a conversation.
It also notes that not every birth parent is going to be emotionally prepared for a surprise contact from a child that had been adopted by another family. Information brought up through an online chat can take time to process.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway points out that instant messaging does not allow time for well-thought-out responses. They suggest that reunions are more likely to be successful in the long term when initial contact is made gradually. Social media can move things along very quickly, and this isn’t always ideal for adoptees and birth parents who are just getting to know each other.
Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr.
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