Yesterday I reported on how Facebook and other social media sites are being used by people seeking to adopt babies and birth parents looking for parents to adopt their offspring. Today I came across another fascinating case, reported on the CNN Belief Blog, involving a Roman Catholic church that used Facebook to find prospective couples to adopt an unborn baby believed to have Down syndrome.
In a message that appeared on the church’s Facebook page, the Rev. Thomas Vander Woude of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville, Va., said a couple was pregnant with a child diagnosed with Down syndrome. If they did not find a couple willing to adopt the unborn baby by the end of the day, they would abort it, according to the priest, who happens to have a brother with Down syndrome.
According to the church, the message prompted hundreds of couples to contact the church with adoption offers. A local adoption agency, after screening the prospective adopters, presented the pregnant couple with three possible families.
Increasingly, families are using social media to find children with Down syndrome to adopt, Diane Grover, founder and president of the International Down Syndrome Coalition, told CNN. After confirming that the story involving Vander Woude’s plea was true, the coalition helped get the message out using social media. That effort generated hundreds of calls.
I am amazed and moved by the response from the families. I also wonder what sort of counseling, training or professional advice was offered to the potential adoptive parents?