Social has had a profound and powerful impact on adoption relationships over the years.  Today, social media offers birth parents and adoptive families an easily accessible avenue for sharing information. Today, you can receive real-time updates from your child’s adoptive family, view pictures of your child as he or she grows, and chat with your child at the click of a button. You can stay connected even when far away.

This type of accessibility and contact was not available to birth parents years ago. In the past, adoptions were primarily closed. Birth parents could not keep in touch with their child’s adoptive family over the years. They did not receive letters or photos to give them some peace of mind. They did not even have the option to choose an adoptive family or meet them in person.

Today, over 95 percent of adoptions are open plans, meaning that contact between the adoption triad exists in some shape or form. Birth parents can now keep contact with their child’s adoptive family through letters and pictures, phone conversations and texting, email and Skype, Facebook and other social media platforms.

As an open adoption agency, Adoptions With Love has helped birth parents all over the country maintain connections with their child and their child’s adoptive family over the years. We can also help you to create and navigate an open adoption plan.

Whether you are in the midst of making an adoption plan or have already placed your baby with an adoptive family, it is never too early or too late to start thinking about social media: What role will it play in your adoption plan? Will you be in contact with your child’s family online? If not, how will you react if your biological child contacts you on Facebook?

If you are still considering open adoption or are ready to make an adoption plan, it is first important to contact your adoption counselor. Together, create a pre- and post-adoption plan for social media use and decide how you would like to be contacted by your child’s adoptive family, and how you would like to be able to contact your child. Do you see Facebook in that plan, or would you prefer that it be left out? Having a plan and specific boundaries regarding social media will be an important part of your open adoption agreement. You may consider making this adoption plan with your child’s adoptive parents, too.

Be sure to share this plan with your child’s birth father, as well as other friends and family members who have been touched by your adoption in some way. Make them aware of the boundaries you have established as well as how you prefer them to act on social media when it comes to adoption. For example, do you want your parents adding your child’s adoptive family on Facebook? Do you want friends commenting about your adoption journey? Think about what you are comfortable with being shared on social media by others.

If you have already placed your child for adoption, here are eight tips on how to use social media appropriately in an open or semi-open adoption.

Friending the Adoptive Family:

Open Adoption Communication on Social Media:

Posting on Social Media:

If you are unsure how to move forward with online communication or have questions about social media and open adoption, please call Adoptions With Love at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. For more advice about using social media pre and post adoption, please download our free eBook below.

This content was originally published here.