The search for an adoptee’s birth family has evolved with the Age of the Internet. What was once a decade-long search with a small guarantee has become a very possible and frequent scenario. Along with all the access the Internet has provided, open adoptions have eliminated the need for many adoptees to search altogether. The evolution of the adoption reunion has helped reunite thousands of adoptees with birth families over the past few decades, more than any other time previously. Thanks to the advances of the modern age and a shift in cultural values, more adoptees are finding the answers they’ve always searched for.
Trending: Open Adoptions
Up until the 1980s, birth mothers had very little input in the adoption process. Adoptive parents and birth mothers rarely knew each other and never met. Many adoptees grew up unaware of their adoption, but always feeling like they didn’t belong. But then, in the 1990s, beliefs about adoption started to shift and a trend of open adoptions began. Today, almost 60-70% of adoptions are open adoptions. Adoption professionals encourage adoptive parents to inform their child about their adoption. They even encourage open or semi-open adoptions if possible.
Furthermore, there are a number of benefits in choosing an open adoption, especially for the adoptee. The idea of having two sets of parents may seem strange to someone that is unfamiliar with adoption and all its complexities. But for an adoptee, being able to communicate and bond with both adoptive and birth parents can help with the struggles that every adoptee faces. One of the major benefits of an open adoption for an adoptee is being able to ask and understand why they were placed for adoption. This leads to fewer questions and less confusion. That being said, open adoptions are not for everyone so be sure to research the differences between all types of adoption to decide what’s best for you.
With open adoptions becoming incredibly popular, the need for reunions with birth parents has greatly decreased. Many adoptees today not only know who their birth parents are but have met them and have continued a relationship with them over the years. The trend of open adoptions has helped to normalize adoption in our society making it easier than ever for those touched by adoption to seek the answers they are searching for.
Evolution of the Adoption Reunion: Thank you, Internet
Before the Internet, searching for birth parents could take decades. Between the legal issues and the lack of information, you could potentially spend your entire adult life looking for a birth parent or relative. However, with today’s technology, even those individuals that had a closed adoption have a much easier time reaching family members.
Websites like Ancestry.com and Facebook play a huge role in the increase in accessibility. With Ancestry.com, you can use your DNA to find relations all over. With Facebook, you can connect with family that may live far away. Utilizing the Internet for adoption search and reunion saves many adoptees and birth parents a lot of money. Hiring a lawyer or private investigator is extremely expensive. The Internet has provided a way for people without access to those sorts of professionals, the ability to conduct their own research and connect on their own terms.
In addition to Facebook and Ancestry.com, more traditional adoption reunion resources have begun to pop up online, making them more accessible. In some cases, you may not ever need legal assistance. Adopted.com, for example, is an online adoption reunion registry that provides a variety of services to help you find your birth family.
Search and Reunion: Better than Ever
Despite all the progress, traditional adoption registries and legal professionals are still an absolute necessity for many in their search. Even with the Internet and an increase in open adoptions, there are still plenty of people out there that are unable to find family members in more modern ways. Closed adoptions are still very much a thing, and searching online can only get you so far in some cases. Our country has made great progress in providing support and resources for adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents alike.
If you’ve decided that you want to pursue an adoption reunion, you should be happy to know that searching in the 21st century has made things much simpler. Fortunately, adoption has been widely normalized and resources are popping up all over the place to help connect families of all kinds. Thanks to the Internet and a trend of open adoptions, more and more families are being bought together to heal and prosper. The evolution of adoption reunions has led to more openness and acceptance for adoptees and birth families. Hopefully, this trend will continue as we learn more about the unique realities of life as an adoptee.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Devon Thornton is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. She has recently moved from Orlando, FL to Clarksville, TN, and is pursuing her writing career with Adoption Choices and also writing personal essays in her free time. Devon is an avid reader and a big Harry Potter fan.
When she’s not curled up reading a book, you can find her somewhere on a hike or a camping trip. She loves her cat, Minerva, and considers herself a true animal lover. She hopes one day to publish a book of essays and to maybe meet J.K. Rowling.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2018). Searching for birth relatives. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau
“Adoption Statistics.” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies, https://adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-statistics.
Haralambie, Ann M. “Use of Social Media in Post-Adoption Search and Reunion.” Capital University Law Review, 2013.
“‘What Does Adoption Mean to a Child?”.” American Adoptions – Open Adoption, https://www.americanadoptions.com/pregnant/general_open_adoption.