I mentioned earlier that I had found adoptive parents’ videos on YouTube. The videos these parents posted showed mothers and fathers meeting their sons and daughters for the first time outside an orphanage in Africa or in a Chinese organization or in a U.S. airport. I felt a bit intrusive at first. These people were complete strangers, yet, I still felt connected to them. I kept thinking of how my parents must have felt when they first held me in the parking lot of a Mormon church somewhere in what was then known as Western Samoa.
I did not, however, search out these personal Gotcha Day videos. The relationship between YouTube and adoption was highlighted in a CNN article online:http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/03/10/adoption.internet.advertise/index.html
In the article, a birth mother found the parents to whom she would later give her son, a baby boy his parents named Caleb. I thought, “how interesting that parents would turn to YouTube as a way to market themselves to expecting mothers!” I never would have associated YouTube with being a means for connecting hopeful-parents with birthmothers… as I said earlier, I think of YouTube primary as a way to post college memories that at least one person would feel embarrassed about but still proud of whatever feat was displayed (nod to an April Fool’s Day trick of 2004). But here was a heartwarming story and a family’s creation – all through YouTube. Once again, says the old soul inside me, the Internet and Social Media are astounding!
2 Important highlights from the article
- Young mothers are more “tech savvy” today and are drawn to Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc…
- “Karen Greenberg, president of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a national association of adoption lawyers, warns that advertising on Craigslist and Facebook can be a “hotbed for scams.'”
I wonder how things would have been different for my parents if the Internet, Web 2.0, Social Media, etc. had been at their fingertips in the 1980s. My adoption came about through a series of crazy events, the first being, I was promised to a different couple entirely. When the mother became pregnant, the adoption was called off, and I became the subject of multiple phone trees – word-of-mouth versus a video gone viral. My mom picked up the phone at the right time in the right place. If she hadn’t, she would have been crossed off the list and the caller would have moved on.
Prior to that phone call, my parents had gone to support groups – in vitro fertilization groups, adoption groups, and more. I don’t believe their interactions with agencies led to much, so they really were going only by word-of-mouth – something I still believe can help hopeful-parents significantly.
I’ll end with Maria and Nathan’s video, a profile of a couple hoping to be parents (included in the CNN article):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb7PT0s9FiE