Tag Archives: Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

Finding an Adoption Agency Online

The idea of making a profit from the adoption of babies turns my stomach but that’s how it works in many states. Illinois, my home state, deserves some credit for taking action to keep the profit out of the adoption process.

The state’s Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, has filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against the Adoption Network Law Center, a for-profit adoption provider that reaches families far beyond its home state of California. Prospective adopters in Illinois and elsewhere can find the Adoption Network Law Center quickly with a few clicks of the mouse.  The company is not approved by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to place children, according to the lawsuit.

The Illinois case calls attention to the Internet’s vital role in the adoption process. It’s not an overstatement to say the Web has transformed just about all aspects of adoption including the way parents find babies to adopt.

It’s tempting for eager would-be parents to jump online to fast track their plans to build a family.

adoptive family for blog on choosing adoption agency
Courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Adam Pertman advises parents to slow down.

“Educate yourself,” says Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. “Don’t just do it by clicking on a mouse. Go to an adoption agency for an educational session. Become a more informed person. Understand this is a big important life decision that requires a process. It’s a process rather than just a transaction.”

You can love the Internet or hate it but you can’t avoid it so learn how to use it intelligently. The Internet is teeming with adoption agencies and other adoption providers – good ones, bad ones and everything in between. Weeding out the bad guys is not always easy for parents. The Adoption Institute offers a list of questions for parents to ask to assess the integrity of the providers.

The Adoption Institute is also conducting research on the Internet’s role in adoption.  Adopted adults, adoptive parents, birth parents and adoption professionals are sought for this project. Check out the surveys  (online of course). Each one takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Finding Biological Family on Facebook

In the Huffington Post, Courtney Hardy recalled accidentally finding out she was adopted as a teenager. As a young adult, she used official sources and Facebook to track down her birth parents and other biological relatives.

Hardy’s journey to find family took her to San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, Ireland and England. Luckily, she got a warm welcome from everyone she met along the way. It’s an interesting story that apparently had a happy ending for the adoptive and biological families and especially for Hardy.

Photo courtesy of Keoni Cabral

“Meeting my relatives has given me perspective on how profoundly lucky I am to have such wonderful and supportive parents, as well as an extended birth family in my life,” Hardy wrote in the Huffington Post. “In a way, through getting to know them, I feel like I’ve finally gotten to know myself.”

A growing number of adults who were adopted are using Facebook to find family members who share their DNA, according to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, which conducted a comprehensive study on the Internet’s profound impact on adoption. The Adoption Institute believes the laws that make it difficult for people to access important information about adoption, including statutes that prevent adopted people from obtaining their original birth certificates, should be repealed.

According to the Adoption Institute, the Internet obviates the rationale for the laws, which was to keep the affected parties from learning about and finding each other. Makes sense to me.