• Graham Wright

UNTANGLING THE WEB

THE INTERNET'S TRANSFORMATIVE IMPACT ON ADOPTION





The Donaldson Adoption Institute’s research for this report affirmed that substantive information

about the Internet’s impact on adoption is scarce in the scholarly literature – or anyplace else –

so there is little reliable knowledge to inform policy and practice, or to guide families or

professionals. To begin filling this gap, the Adoption Institute has embarked on a multiyear, first-

of-its-kind study of the Internet’s impact on all aspects of adoption. Because there is a dearth of

evidence-based information, most of the content of this report was derived from searching the

Internet and getting input from the affected parties through a variety of means, including

interviewing them and setting up a special email address to which they could send their input.


One key goal of this initial report by the Adoption Institute is to stimulate a national discussion

about the Internet’s impact on adoption and how to regulate Internet-based adoption services to

assure that they are legal and ethical, and that the interests of all those affected –particularly

children– are protected. This report provides an overview of the evolving landscape; an

explanation of the scope and impact of the changes; resources (albeit limited ones) to inform,

protect and assist all those affected, and preliminary recommendations on legal, policy and

practice reforms intended to better respond to adoption’s new realities. Our ultimate intent is to

identify and promote policies and practices that enable this powerful technology to best serve

the millions of children and families for whom adoption is part of everyday life.


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