Social media can be a great way to get your personal story out to a lot of people. But it also opens you up to everyone’s opinions. With any social media, you may need to monitor your page very carefully. The more your page is shared, the more exposure you have. That’s a good thing, but at the same time, it also opens up more opportunities for problems to arise.
Here’s what you should know before you make an adoption Facebook page:
1. When you put something on social media, everyone feels entitled to share their opinions.
Whether it be your third cousin’s sister’s best friend’s cousin twice removed, everyone will have an opinion. Some will be that you didn’t try hard enough for your “own” (aka biological) child. People will question if you “really” tried every avenue to get pregnant (even if a pregnancy was never in your family plan).
2. Your employer will potentially see your profile.
You never want your boss or HR department to find out you are trying to have a baby from anyone but you. Yes, it is illegal for them to treat you differently based on your parental status, but it still can happen and especially for women, having a child can impact your career.
3. There is a large anti-adoption force on the internet.
It is comprised largely of women (and men) who either placed children for adoption against their will, were promised open adoptions that were closed, or are adult adoptees who either had bad family situations or just feel that they never knew who they really were. While most of the people who fall into these categories are truly just trying to change adoption for the better, there are a few who are just nasty and have harassed people in the past.
4. You cannot control where your page is shared or what is said about you personally.
Even those without any interest in adoption may share your page just to be trolls to make themselves feel better. Your family photos and “looks” may be torn apart and berated. It can take a thick skin to handle some of these horrible comments.
5. Adoption scams are especially prevalent on Facebook.
For some reason some people feel the need to fake a pregnancy and contact hopeful adoptive parents pretending to be considering adoption. There have been cases where parents flew to another state only to arrive at a hospital and find out that there is no woman there delivering a baby. Some hopeful adoptive families send money to help with expenses just to find no baby ever existed, or if the woman was pregnant that she never considered placing her child for adoption. And even when you think you are smart and ask for proof of pregnancy, there are online sites where you can order fake pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and medical records that could fool anyone. Always take care to confirm someone is who they say they are when meeting someone on the internet.
Many, many families have successfully adopted through contacts made on social media. And not every person you meet is a scammer or someone out to hurt you. But it is important to remember when using social media for anything, adoption-related or not, that you do have to be careful who you share information with. The person behind a Facebook page may not be who you think they are.