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How the Internet has changed adoption

California residents may be interested in a recent study that examined how the Internet has changed the adoption process. In addition to facilitating more adoptions, the study found that the Internet has made it easier for adopted individuals to locate their birth families. Although the study found that the Internet has had a mostly positive impact on adoption, it also raised concerns about the possibility for cases of online fraud and exploitation.

The adoption study was conducted by the Donaldson Adoption Institute and was based on information that was gathered from surveys of 2,000 people with personal experience in the adoption process. The people surveyed included adopted adults, adoptive parents, birth parents and professionals in the field of adoption. According to the study, one of the positive impacts that the Internet has had is the ability to make connections.

The National Adoption Center, or NAC, says that adoption records were once sealed and that birth parents had no access to their birth child's information. With the increased use of the Internet and social networking sites, it is now easy to follow someone's online life without that person's knowledge. Because of these changes, the NAC has commented that it is now important for adoption agencies to prepare clients for the impact that the Internet may have on their lives.

Because a legal adoption requires specific documentation to be filed correctly, a person who is hoping to adopt a child may choose to contact an adoption attorney for assistance. The attorney might also inform the involved parties of both the positive and negative aspects of open and closed adoptions so that they can make an informed decision.

Source: USA Today, "Internet has turned adoption on its head, report says", Michelle Healy, December 12, 2013

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