Just going into any bookstore, one may notice just how many texts are available on child care. Realistically, raising children is no small chore. Of course, adoption is just a subset of this larger category. Irrespective of this, adoption has its fair share of books available for birth parents and those considering adoption.
As Internet use becomes more common and easier, the possibility of finding valid information on adoption and adoption agencies grows. Depending on the kind of adoption sought and one’s source, different types of information may be available. If one is interested in adopting domestically through foster care, naturally, he or she will want to visit the website of the Department of Social Services, DYFS or any other State agency appointed to see transfer of a child’s custody through adoption for more information about the process, scheduling a home study, or viewing a photolisting.
Internet forums devoted to adoption give all the benefits of the community support group. Nonetheless, adoption forums may have their distinct disadvantages, too. For one, though adoption forums are generally populated by more savvy people, some individuals who readily dispense information may just as well be ill-informed about the subject they profess to know so much about.
Overall, Internet forums are not considered as trustworthy for factual information as official websites of licensed, accredited adoption organizations. In addition, while most members of a forum community will be more understanding of legitimate concerns one may have, there are those proverbial bad apples in forums that will hide behind the cloak of anonymity and threaten to ruin the forum experience by speaking derogatorily toward others. If reported early and often to forum administrators and moderators, though, those who abuse the site may be removed temporarily or banned outright.
Weblogs, which consist of long-form entries on a particular topic arranged in a chronological order and usually owned by a private individual or public corporation, can serve as a personal journal of sorts for the writer or a more purpose-driven news and business-minded informational resource. Adoption weblogs are no different, and thus, can encapsulate the anecdotal experiences of their blogger/writer with being an adoptive parent or adoption events in the area run by the blog’s sponsor that may be of interest to the audience.
Compared to other sources of information, blogs would definitely seem to have their limitations. Unlike a forum, a blog will almost certainly feature less opinions to inform any parents or prospective parents seeking advice, and alongside official websites and credible news sources, the amount of factual information a blog stands to provide may be understandably less.
This notwithstanding, some aspects of adoption blogs may more than make up for shortcomings alongside other media. While adoption blogs more than likely will lack the quantity of voices of a large Internet forum on adoption, the quality of a blogger’s writing and research should also be expected to be better than that of the average forum user, especially if he or she is paid to be a writer. To boot, the overall entertainment and fun value of a blogger’s presentation may easily exceed that of departmental websites who are writing for technical purposes.
Truly, personal blogs are not bound by codes of accuracy, but that said, they are also not bound by the constraints of a corporate mission or informational reference language. Furthermore, coinciding with the idea of entertainment of fun in an adoption blog, some blogs/vlogs (video blogs) will engage the reader more directly (and obviously, more visually) with personal photos and videos from the site’s owner.
An advantage centers may have for prospective adoptive parents next to other informational resources is that they have a physical location staffed by adoption experts to back up their knowledge and handouts through their site. Some adoption centers might even agree to a free consultation with someone who is considering an adoption, though this is far from a guarantee. Plus, not only are these staff members licensed adoption agents, and thus, more trustworthy than random Internet sites, but they can also give people instant feedback on any questions or comments they may have regarding adoption. If one decides to continue using a paid service that gives you this initial consultation, it goes without saying that you should carefully review any contract or other document you are asked to sign.
In all fairness, online adoption resources and websites of adoption resource centers may be very convenient for accessing general information on adoption in a short span of time. Even so, when it comes to initiating the adoption process or meeting with someone face-to-face to discuss the intricacies of State statutes on adoption, meetings with local officials are likely going to be more rewarding for couples and individuals ready to take the plunge.
Probably the first point of contact for moving forward with an adoption would be the central adoption agency (or agencies, in cases of interstate adoption) with jurisdiction over public adoptions, likely the State’s Human, Social, Family or Child Services offices. As well as being a source of information for prospective adoptive parents, State Governmental bureaus may help applicants decide if they want to adopt a child, be a foster family to him or her, or not take him or her in at all. They may also be able to direct prospective parents to sources of financial aid.
Local officials may also be of considerable assistance to prospective adoptive families for non-monetary reasons. For one, representatives of public agencies are trained in all facets of the adoption process. This includes the home study assessment, a necessary prerequisite for all adoptions to and within the United States.
Furthermore, they will almost certainly be the ones to to administer training to adoptive parents in particular content areas relating to adoption and family life, such as meeting developmental needs, teamwork, family cooperation, dealing with change, recognizing signs of abuse, and respecting the culture and family origins of a child, the last one being particularly relevant to international adoption.
In many districts, this is called PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) training, but as with names of overseeing State departments, the monikers of training programs in individual states may be different from place to place.