Adoption agencies have been inundated with calls from distressed adoptive parents whose children have been contacted out of the blue by their natural parents using social networking sites.
Sites such as Facebook and Myspace make it easy for natural parents to flout the usual safeguards of adoption. As it stands, most official adoption contact is usually mediated by a social worker who delivers a letter and photographs from the adoptive parents to the natural parents each year. If the birth parents wish to respond they also have to go through this process.
However, with social networking sites in their prime it is now becoming increasingly common for biological parent’s to track down their children using small pieces of information such as date of birth or location ,leading to unplanned communication with often distressing results.
Jonathan Pierce, chief executive of Adoption UK has said it is now becoming increasingly difficult to guarantee confidentiality to adoptive parents and their children.
Agencies have stressed that the existing rules are there to protect the extremely vulnerable as now almost two thirds of adopted children are removed because their parents have abused or neglected them. Many of the above cases are disputed by the birth parents who place the blame upon social services.
In the report from the Guardian one particular cited incident involved a teenage girl contacted by her biological mother who put her in touch with her birth father. The girl had no knowledge of her father having sexually abused her as a young child.
Though there are no concrete figures which detail just how often this happens, agencies have become so concerned that next month the British Association for Adoption and Fostering is to send out new guidance to social workers and adoptive parents.
Facebook has recently announced a move to simplify privacy settings to make it easier for users to ensure their privacy.
If you have been involved in circumstances similar to the above then you might find it beneficial to talk to an outside party. A counsellor will be able to help you understand the confusing feelings you may be having and will help you to put them in perspective. To contact a counsellor in your local area please visit the homepage of this site.