Social media helping more parents with adoption


Holding, singing and kissing Theo, their newborn son, was a dream come true for adoptive parents Molly and John Connolly.

"We found and connected with our son by using social media," said Molly Connolly.

Soon after the Connolly's posted a website and started a Facebook group expressing their desire to adopt, Theo's then-pregnant birth mother saw it and emailed them.

"Our hearts just jumped out of our throats practically," said John Connolly.

They finalized the arrangements through an adoption agency, and the day Theo was born they traveled across the country to meet the little boy and his birth mother at the hospital.

"She was holding Theo and she told him how much she loved him, and she loved him so much that she picked the perfect parents for him, and she gave him a kiss and put him in my arms," Molly said.

More and more people are going online, using social media to post their plight to adopt. And they're hoping to stand out in a competitive selection process.

There are Facebook posts with links to endearing pictures and heartbreaking stories of infertility, and there are thousands of adoption profiles on YouTube.

"What we're seeing really is historic changes," said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

Pertman is studying this brand new phenomenon. And as more prospective parents test out social media, he hopes to soon establish some "best practice standards."

"We really don't know about all this stuff. It is inventing itself before our eyes," said Pertman.

Posting online may sound like an inexpensive way to go about things, but the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys urges would-be parents to work with an attorney or agency before they post, just to be sure they are following the law. There are also adoption scams that experts can help weed out.

The Connolly's say the risk was worth it. They actually still use Facebook to keep in touch with Theo's birth mother.

"It changed our lives, so I think it's something people should do if they want to start a family this way," said Molly Connolly.

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