Social Networks Change Adoption Quests

Saturday, Oct 19, 2013  |  Updated 10:48 AM EDT
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Social networks are changing how we live and how families are made. More and more, couples are now turning to the web in their quest to adopt.

Angie Goff

Social networks are changing how we live and how families are made. More and more, couples are now turning to the web in their quest to adopt.

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Social networks are changing how we live and how families are made. More and more, couples are now turning to the web in their quest to adopt.

There are success stories but also risks. News4’s Angie Goff talks about how social media is changing adoption.

Watching little Kyler turn 3 was a wish come true for his two adoptive dads. Frustrated with the long wait of a traditional adoption, Brad Letson and Brad Benton turned to the web.

“We still worked with agency but it is social media that helped connect us from the get go,” Benton said.

The couple created a website and posted an ad on Facebook.

“Six hours after we put our Facebook ad on Facebook, his birth mother saw it and sent us an email,” said Letson.

They stayed in touch with the expectant mom and finalized the adoption through an agency. When Kyler was born, Letson and Benton were there.

Experts say people wanting to adopt are using the web more than ever.

“The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys says this is a growing trend that's unavoidable,” Goss reported. “But it warns using social media should only be part of the process. Prospective parents should always work with an attorney or agency.”

Basic voluntary adoption laws vary from state to state and connections made on social networks aren't regulated. Susan Ogden, with Adoptions Together, said eager couples must be careful.

“Without the advice of attorney and agency, both parties are subject to potential scam, potential fraud, potential heart ache and potential loss of revenue,” Ogden said.

Goff said keep in mind, even after a birth mom gives consent for an adoption -- depending on the state -- she has time to change her mind.

In D.C., it is 15 days and 10 days in Virginia. Maryland gives the most time with 30 days.
 

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