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Craigslist adoptions gain popularity

Our society is becoming more tech-savvy in almost all areas. Instead of using the local newspaper to post classified ads, many people choose to use Craigslist, an online marketplace that allows people to trade and purchase services. An increasing number of birth mothers are choosing to use the service to facilitate their adoptions, a controversial decision that has been hotly debated.

Craigslist admittedly caters to a younger set. If a teenaged mother is looking for adoption options, she is more likely to consult the Internet rather than other local print publications. Craigslist is advantageous because it is accessible to everyone and easy to use.

Perhaps most importantly, Craigslist gives the potential birth mothers more control over their adoption decisions. Women who choose to work with an adoption agency will be matched with only a select list of clients. Social workers at these firms tend to pare down the adoptive parent options based on wait time and other factors. Prospective birth mothers thus have a larger pool of applicants when they use Craigslist as compared to an agency-facilitated adoption.

Additionally, Craigslist cuts down on the cost of adoption. The "baby broker" phenomenon has been well-documented, with the number of agencies profiting from adoption growing each day. Without the middle man, birth mothers and prospective parents can both avoid potential fees associated with the adoption. Even though adoptive parents will still be required to retain an attorney and complete a homestudy process, they can save money by using this non-traditional adoption method.

Craigslist matches are not without their drawbacks, however. Adoptive parents can fall prey to scams. Without the protection of an agency, prospective parents may be more likely to lose a placement, particularly with teen birth mothers. Adoptive couples are often left childless after the birth mother changes her mind at the eleventh hour, a risk that always accompanies pre-birth adoptions.

Even though Craigslist adoptions may carry risks, it is possible that this method is the wave of the future. As with all adoptions, you should seek the professional advice of your attorney before pursuing a Craigslist match.

Source: Babble.com, "Adoption ads on Craigslist: tacky or tech-savvy?" Kristen Howerton, March 4, 2013

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