The fact that you’re reading this means you know the Internet is a great place to find information and resources about open adoption. In fact, for many prospective adoptive and birth parents, it’s the first place they look when they’re researching or starting the process.
But apart from that, it’s also a great place to become part of a larger community. Before Web 2.0, discussion forums and listservs were the places where hopeful adoptive families and expectant parents hung out or met. Nowadays, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, just to name a few, are the places to be.
With an endless array of platforms and tools to choose from, making an adoption connection has never been easier for waiting parents and women with an unplanned pregnancy. So, without further ado, here are 8 reasons why you should join an online open adoption community today — if you haven’t already.
1. You can connect with people who “get” open adoption
This is by far the biggest benefit of joining an online open adoption community. Even though one in six people in the U.S. is touched by adoption, most people still don’t understand it. Not so on online community groups. People not only “get” open adoption. They live it.
2. You can get practical actionable information
Open adoption information is everywhere. But good information is hard to find. Through your online community, you can find first-hand information from people who have gone through the process, allowing you to reach your goal faster and easier.
3. You can share your experiences and expertise
Being part of an open adoption network can give you insights into what other people have done. But it can also give you a platform to share yours — including some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way. Help yourself by helping others.
4. You’ll feel less alone
Open adoption can be a lonely journey. It’s hard not to feel isolated and to want to keep your story to yourself. Online, on the other hand, there is no shortage of people who are ready and willing to lend you an ear and a hand, if you need it. Introductions are nice, but unnecessary. After all, most people you meet online have a pretty good idea about where you’ve been and where you want to go.
5. You’ll have a place to share — and to vent
Adopting a child or placing a child for adoption is nerve wracking and stressful. Frustrating, too. If anything can go wrong, it will. Taking your troubles online gives you a chance to let off some steam and find out what others have to say.
6. You’ll always find someone to talk to
Ever have a burning question for your social worker but are unable to reach her? Ever go blank about something you wanted to ask your adoption professional only to have it come back to you the minute you leave her office or get off the phone? Online, you never have to worry about that. After all, in the 24/7 world of online communities, there are always people around who can give you the answers you need, when you need them.
7. It’s convenient and easy to use
Thanks to smart phones, you can take your community with you wherever you go. Connections are only a click away, letting you can tap into advice and recommendations from people you know and trust.
8. It’s free
Open adoption isn’t cheap. Everything, even the waiting process, costs money. By contrast, joining an online community is free. The only investment you’ll need to make is your time. But even that’s worth it when you consider how much time you’ll save thanks to the connections you’ve made on the Net.
Adopting a child or placing a child for adoption is difficult. What’s even more difficult is trying to explain your decision to someone who’s never done it. Joining an online adoption community eliminates the need to do that, allowing you to connect and share with people just like you.
So if you’re looking for information and support, don’t forget to sign up with a community. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and to check out the Internet-based adoptive parent and birth mother support groups on our website.
What online open adoption communities do you belong to? How have they helped you? If you have a favourite open adoption community or network please tell us about it in the comment section below.
(Photo credit: Gary Knight)