Facebook as Adoption registry?
I read in the paper today that a local woman who gave up a child for adoption 30 years ago found her daughter on Facebook. I think that’s awesome; as an adopted child myself I can imagine the daughters questions and issues throughout her life. Both myself and my older sister were adopted, and neither of us have found our birth parents. It’s not that we have issue with our adoptive parents, of course not. They were and are great people and great parents. But (and unless you’re adopted yourself you can never totally understand this) as an adopted child you have questions throughout your life. Not just the obvious ones, like “who were my parents?” or “why’d they give me up?”, but you spend alot of time wondering about your identity. At least I did; maybe my experience was different because I’m of an indefineable racial background. I’m a dark skinned white guy; I don’t look east Indian, I don’t look spanish or greek or turkish or latin American or southern french, rather I had features of each and every one of those. This is what I knew throughout my youth. I’m not white and I’m not native. That’s it. I always told people when they asked (and they ALWAYS did, still do actually) that I was Canadian.
So I spent many years wondering about who I am and where I come from. And although it doesn’t directly affect you and you logically know that you were probably put up for adoption under duress, it’s always there deep in your subconscious that you’re mother gave you up. It’s never top of mind, it’s never obvious, but (for me at least) it gave me alot of years of insecurity and low self esteem; things which I’ve been working on fixing over the past 20 years and have really advanced on over the past couple of years. This was contrasted by a healthy family life that gave me positive reinforcement. However, I was not always the wisest of kids and tended to get into more trouble than my siblings, and every time I’d get in trouble it would reinforce my self worth issues a bit more. There are also alot of psychological theories about mother-child bonding and how that can cause issues. The number of people who grow up with problems is substantially higher among adopted children than non adopted children. Self medication is common, often leading to drug and alcohol abuse.
Anyways, I’m going off track here. So this woman found her daughter via facebook, which is really cool in my mind. Facebook has many uses beyond just keeping track of people you’re going to school with or working with. I have gotten in touch with people I haven’t seen in years via facebook, and i’ve been able to expand my business contact base as well. Jeff Pulver spoke about replacing his linked-in with Facebook, which has a certain logic to it. I use both right now. There are tons of add on applications as well, both from a business standpoint and a personal one. So I got to thinking; why not write an adoption registry application for facebook? A person could put in their birthday, birth city and if they know it, birth name. The parents could do the same, and if a match happens, both sides are pinged. This could even be done completely anonymously, and it could help bring more people together. If I had a clue about writing code, I’d write it myself. But, alas, I don’t. So come on entreprenueurial coders…write the application! Get famous on the net.
As an FYI
A couple years ago I found out my background and even my birth name and mother’s name. There was tons of information from the social workers and case workers at the time on my birth mother and who my father is and what he did. I googled her name and found nothing, did a little research on him (he was an architect apparently, so I tried going thru various architectural organizations in Edmonton and lists of members at the time…nothing that matched his first name and description). After reading this article today I tried facebooking my birth last name, and only got one hit. So for me facebook hasn’t worked at this point. Perhaps in the future. And by the way…my birth background: my father was East Indian and my mother was Dutch… I seemed to have recieved physical traits from both sides. Except that my father was apparently quite fit…I could have said that at one time, but definitely not right now hehehe. My birth name was Victor, my mothers first name was Elba (seriously) and I’m not gonna put her last name in here and she seems to have zero play on the internet. If you know a 58 or 60 year old woman named Elba who gave up a child in Edmonton close to 40 years ago, ping me. 😉