The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 12, 2013

Internet lifts shroud of secrecy on adoption

(Continued)

In some cases, teenagers are reaching out to biological families without their adoptive parents knowing, said Jeanette Yoffe, director of the Celia Center, a Los Angeles-based group that counsels families about foster care and adoption. She urges adoptive parents to establish those relationships before their children reach their teens.

“If you don’t get involved, your teenager is going to do it for you,” said Yoffe, who as an adult found her biological mother in Argentina after her brother created a Web page on Yahoo.

As the Internet has propelled more openness in adoption, some parents are trying to work out legal agreements laying out how and when they will communicate, instead of avoiding any contact at all, said Widener University School of Law professor Mary Kate Kearney. Parents on both sides of adoption, birth and adoptive, told the Donaldson Adoption Institute that the Web made it easier and less stressful to connect.

Communicating online “offers a little bit of distance,” said Aaron Winkle, an adoptive father in Michigan who emails photos and written updates monthly to his daughter’s biological mother. “It brings down the sense of fear. We realize that we long for the same things.”

And thanks to that trail of emails, he added, “our daughter will never have to wonder, ‘Did my birth mom love me?’ ”

The Internet also has perils: Aggressive online marketing of children has further commercialized adoption, the institute warned.

One especially troubling practice — shunting unwanted adoptees into other homes — has been brokered through online bulletin boards. But for families such as the Stapletons, the ease of posting a photo to Facebook has helped bring their everyday lives closer to the moms that bore their children and paved the way for their kids to connect later if they choose.

“We know that kids have a lot of information at their fingertips,” Beth Stapleton said. “We don’t ever want them to be surprised about anything.”

———

©2013 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

----------

Topics: t000003144,t000027855,t000003142,t000197334,t000197336

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Poet takes his act to Las Vegas LAS VEGAS — The old poet is dressed in black, his platinum-blond hair rakishly moussed. He stands amid the hubbub, facing a stern test of his crafted words and carnival-barker delivery. The venue is a smoky lounge called Ichabod’s, east of the Strip.

    July 23, 2014

  • Minnesota race track to refund horse owners ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota race track manager says the track will refund horse owners after an audit found it shorted race purses by nearly $437,000 over four years. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/1p9mtEh ) the Running Aces

    July 23, 2014

  • Bodies of Malaysia jet victims leave Ukraine KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Two military aircraft carrying the first bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash left the embattled plains of eastern Ukraine Wednesday, while British investigators began work on a pair of "black boxes" to retrieve da

    July 23, 2014

  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014