Nightlight requires families to sign a social media policy where they agree not to post “information concerning the child or your particular adoption case in chat rooms, discussion boards, websites, and online journals/diaries” with the exception that “a family may create a by-invitation-only page for the purpose of updating family and friends about the adoption.”
The reason Nightlight has this policy regarding Facebook groups and social media is not because we want to prevent families from talking to each other and getting information. Instead, we implemented this policy after a decade of observations, which include:
- These groups evolve into an “us versus them” environment, pitting families against adoption agencies. We want to remind families that we are on your side. We are your advocate. We are on the same team. We exist for you, and cannot exist without you.
- Families begin to compare and contrast their timelines. But every case is unique. It has been said that “comparison is the thief of joy” and we find that these comparisons becomes an unhealthy environment for everyone involved.
- The expectation we have of our staff is that they spend quality time with you on the phone or on Teams/Zoom, rather than just email. That’s because we want our staff and our families to see each other as PEOPLE; not impersonal voices on the computer. We want our staff to be direct with families. Similarly, it is healthy for families to be direct with our staff and to build trusting relationships.