Is the internet good for adoption and infertility? I thought about this while I watched Amanda Hess’s insightful video, Why the Internet Wants Your Baby to Fail. Hess points out the troubling trend of parents recording babies and children on YouTube to create a sensation, resulting in the commodification of kids. But there is a positive side to exposing parenthood unabashedly, too. Vloggers not only record their babies, but their pregnancies and pregnancy losses as well, which has opened up the discussion of once taboo subjects like miscarriage and infertility.
The internet has opened up the discussion of adoption also, and has helped remove decades-old shame and secrecy. Vloggers like Angela Tucker, who gained national attention with her documentary, Closure, about searching for her birth parents, advocate compassionately for adoptee rights and connection between birth and adoptive families.
The internet has opened up the discussion of adoption…and has helped remove decades-old shame and secrecy.
Gone are the days when birth parents and adoptive parents entered sterile adoption agencies through different doors, never meeting or exchanging vital information. Much like online dating, with smart phones making the internet easily accessible, a pregnant woman seeking an adoptive family for her child now can connect online with parents hoping to adopt. The positive side of this opening of adoption is that adoptive parents and birth parents can establish a positive relationship with each other and provide critical information for an adoptive child without secrecy. A dark side is the proliferation of scammers online extorting money from vulnerable hopeful parents.
So is the internet good for adoption and infertility? I believe it is. Despite some negative aspects, the internet’s opening of pathways for discussion and connection is overwhelmingly positive.