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People increasingly turn to Internet to adopt

When two people want to be parents, they will do what they can to make their dreams come true.

One of the avenues that people in Louisiana and across the U.S. pursue is adoption, either foreign or domestic. For domestic adoptions, the first step is to go to an adoption agency, but now, many would-be parents are turning to the Internet to try to find a child. A new study tracking adoptions said the Internet is connecting birth mothers and prospective adoptive parents.

A study by an adoption institute showed that the Internet has a variety of effects on adoption:

1. It makes adoption a commodity and a source of advertising, with some Internet providers selling themselves to pregnant women.

2. It makes it nearly impossible to have a closed adoption, with more adoptions now open from the start.

3. With more prospective parents, an Internet adoption could result in faster placement, especially for children who need foster care or who have special needs.

One adoption expert said that several of the Internet sites that assist with online adoption are not under any state regulations. Additionally, they make promises they cannot keep -- such as a guarantee on when people can adopt a child -- because they are not a traditional, certified adoption agency.

Becoming a parent is one of the biggest steps a person can take. It is crucial that if adoption is the route chosen, prospective parents seek the best advice possible and make sure the adoption method they choose is legal.

Source: NPR, "Finding A Child Online: How The Web Is Transforming Adoption," Jennifer Ludden, Dec. 13, 2012

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