For couples trying to adopt a baby, Facebook has become the go-to platform to share their story and connect with a prospective birthmother.
With unparalleled reach and an audience of more than 150 million users, it is by far the most popular and powerful online networking tool for waiting parents wanting to give their outreach efforts an extra boost.
Just ask Ray and Megan Simmons, a couple who turned to domestic adoption after struggling with infertility.
Recently, the Dalton, Georgia prospective parents did a photo shoot to announce their plans to adopt.
After the photos were posted on Facebook, their message went viral and made them an overnight social media sensation.
So far their post has been viewed more than 7 million times and their journey has been shared tens of thousands of times.
But going viral was the last thing on their minds when they initially came up with the idea of their baby adoption announcement.
“Honestly, our intent was never to publicly share our story,” Megan told ABC. “We had the photos taken, and I made [a] video to document our journey for the adoption agency.”
Megan, who has been trying to have a baby for two years, adds that sharing their adoption story publicly meant “we had to be vulnerable, expose our struggles, and subject ourselves to critique and judgment.”
Their photographer is as surprised as they are about the reaction their photos and story have generated.
“They are in complete shock,” Logan Kilgore says. They “want to adopt within the U.S. so we had her hands making a heart over North America. Also a play off a maternity belly using the globe. I just thought it would be cute for the ‘adventure’ theme.”
Although other prospective parents have done similar shoots in the past or have shared photos after adopting a baby, Ray and Megan want to set their message apart by using objects with a personal connection such as a bunny with an embroidered ear.
“A friend of mine purchased the bunny for us early on,” Megan says, “as she knew how excited we were about becoming parents. The bunny has just sat in the nursery alone for a long while now.”
In another photo the quilt they used is a double-wedding ring quilt that Megan’s grandmother made for her when she was in high school.
“She knew she was getting very sick and would not be able to gift it to me when I would get married,” Megan says.
After the amazing response they got to their Facebook post, the couple decided to take their adoption networking up a notch and created a Facebook page.
In two weeks it chalked up more then 12,000 followers.
Although the couple are still waiting to connect with their future baby’s birthparents, they consider the campaign a success because of the huge number of people people it has reached and how it’s raised awareness about infertility and adoption.
Ray and Megan’s Facebook campaign just goes to show that for waiting adoptive parents hoping to stand out from the crowd, a little creativity can go a long way.
“We have seriously just sat in awe at how God can take such an ordinary story and ordinary couple to reach and impact so many people,” Megan says.
“People who are battling infertility but also all walks of life. We all have struggles, but it’s when we are vulnerable and willing to allow people to see the raw side of our heart that we can relate and support each other through those times.”
She says that while their journey to adopt a baby has been challenging and is far from over, ‘I can honestly look back right now and be thankful.”
Do you have an open adoption story? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.
Help us remove the stigma surrounding open adoption. Like us on Facebook.