Nancy & Gabe
Urban Legend? That's what we thought when we read peoples' success stories about meeting a birthfamily within weeks of joining parent profiles. And yet, that's exactly what happened for us. We signed up in January and within a week we'd made a match to a great couple in a neighboring state. We traveled to visit them in mid February and were still sort of "feeling one another out" when we were contacted by the woman more ...
Modernly, adoption and the internet go hand in hand, and they complement each other in many ways. The internet has provided a way for all members of the adoption triad--birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents--to find information, connect with each other, and share their stories. Adoption triad members or those searching for information can find entire websites, blogs, and forums dedicated to adoption topics, issues, and information. While the internet provides many benefits, it also has many negatives and potential hazards of which to be aware. These hazards can include misinformation, adoption scams, and those looking to hurt anyone they can.
You'll read more about the hazards of the internet, as it relates to adoption, throughout this section. Below is a list of the subsequent pages you'll find:
Adoption Scams: Because the use of the internet has flourished, it has provided scammers with one more way to deceive others. Adoption scams are everywhere. Unfortunately, many people fall for these scams, which can cause emotional, financial, and physical pain. The most common adoption scams consist of someone pretending to be pregnant and placing, a long-lost birth parent or adoptee, or an agency promising adoptive parents the children of their dreams. While the most obvious reason for scammers to play these roles is for financial gain and support, there are also those who lie and pretend just to hurt someone emotionally. Usually because of the pain in their own lives, some decide it's fun or funny to trick people into believing something false. Sometimes the whole purpose is to cause confusion, pain, and fear.
An awareness of adoption scams can help protect you during your journey, whether you are an adoptee, birth parent, or adoptive parent. Once you're able to sort through the falsehoods and the truths, you'll be far safer than you were before--emotionally, financially, and physically.
Things to Watch For: Now that you know about some of the common adoption scams, this section details little red flags to watch for. The first thing to watch for is if you're being pressured for information, whether that's your social security number, birthday, or your address. Some scammers will pretend to be someone they're not by enticing you to give important and identifying information that they can use to make you believe their stories.
Also, watch for anything suspicious. This could include changing stories or information, desperation or intense anxiety when you question something, or your questions being turned around on you. If something doesn't feel right, trust your gut. Sometimes we sense lies or danger, but our minds don't want to believe it. If anything is suspicious, check up on it. It can save you a lot of heartache and pain down the road.
Internet Safety in Adoption: Even though there are risks when using the internet for anything related to adoption, there are ways to keep yourself and your family safe. Firstly, never give out identifying information. Or, if you feel you need to, save some important information that both parties would know. You'll be better able to identify when someone isn't who they say they are.
If you decide to meet someone in person, make sure you go to a well-populated area, like a busy park, shopping center, or restaurant. Again, don't give out any sensitive information that can be used to hurt you later, like financial details or things like your social security number. If your children use the internet, make sure safeguards are in place to protect them and their private information.
However, even with all the adoption scams out there, the internet is a wonderful tool to use. It can help you find the adoption support you need, important information you can use, and can connect you with those for whom you're searching.