The Dangers of Blogging During an Adoption


Blogs…we love them, we hang on to their every word, and we can’t wait to see what happens next. Blogs have made their way on to the pre-adoptive family’s top reading list. Families search the internet looking for other adoption stories from Nicaragua or adoptions from Bulgaria, or whichever country they have chosen for their international adoption journey.

While there are benefits to following the footsteps of those who go before us – such as what to expect when it comes to the culture, the process, and the emotions of international adoption – there are often many drawbacks as well. Many families simply share too much information without realizing the implications. For example, I remember a family whose adoption was stopped because they were venting about the country and the local officials. While I understand their frustrations, blogging about it while in country was not the right time. They put little thought in to how it could affect their process or those that would come after them.

Another drawback to blogging during the adoption process is the assumption that the family’s adoption journey will be the same for every family. I cannot stress enough that every family’s journey will be different despite having the same basic process. For example, there are many variables that impact the adoption process. The people all along the way such as the social worker who completes your home study, Immigration and the ladies at the Secretary of State who will apostille or authenticate your documents, or the judge reviewing your case. More variables include the child’s background, the time of year, the issuance of the new birth certificate and passport, and the list continues! Are you starting to get a sense of how things can differ? Each individual along the way and every step you take will affect your adoption, therefore making each journey unique.

Sharing too much information can also put your child at risk for child trafficking, or a lost referral. Families do not realize by sharing the photos of their beautiful child and revealing the orphanage, this presents people with an unfortunate opportunity. Another risk may be that someone unscrupulous may see and try to pursue that child – this can result in losing the potential match.

Lastly, when families are so emotionally involved it is hard to see the adoption journey with perspective. Things that may be perfectly normal are exaggerated due to emotion, and the reality of the situation is blurred. When others read the blog they may make the decision that they could not go through such a terrible process and choose not to adopt from that specific country or not adopt at all. The worst part is that a child in need of a forever family misses the opportunity.

We all love a good story, along with a happy ending and a sneak peek of how our process will be. We have to be mindful that blogging comes with many risks and disappointments, so I suggest to those of your eager to blog to take a different route. Try instead to keep a journal about your process, and emotions. Time brings perspective. Just as the “horrors of child birth” dissipate once the child is in the mother’s arms, so do many of the “traumas of the adoption process”. One of the families I have worked with put it like this, “In a day that international adoption is often criticized with cynicism and skepticism, let’s make every effort to be that light and walk out any process necessary to meet a need without cutting corners. If you can’t sign on to this process (and I get it if you can’t), I just suggest not doing it.”

Photo Credit

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

Lydia Tarr works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Bulgaria and Ukraine. She is the adoptive mother of four children from Ukraine and was recognized as a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Program.