A cross between Match.com and Facebook, a new
social networking site brings together pregnant women and parents
looking to adopt, without any of the high costs and middlemen of
traditional adoption agencies. DirectAdoptions.com, which launched this
summer, had 130,000 hits its first month as birth mothers and
adoptive parents started connecting directly with each other-a
change from the traditional adoption model in which birth mothers
and prospective parents contact an agency that serves as a
go-between throughout the process.
"Because of the nature of this industry, most people's
perception of anyone involved in the adoption industry is that
they're doing it for the money," says Aaron Ghermezian, one of
DirectAdoption.com's founders. "Our approach is somewhat different.
… Our goal is to empower the birth mothers so they can communicate
with as many parents as they want and select the parents they want.
We want to empower adoptive parents to communicate with as many
birth mothers as they see, to let them know they exist."
Birth mothers, who join the site for free, remain
anonymous until they choose to reveal who they are to prospective
parents. Prospective parents register on the site and provide
detailed profiles, including photos and videos the birth moms can
view. Prospective parents pay a fee of $295 to join and a monthly
fee of $59, which can be cancelled at any time, Ghermezian
Once they meet and choose to proceed with the adoption,
the adoptive parents are required by law to undergo background
checks and home studies done by social services. "All parties must
follow applicable state adoption law," Ghermezian says.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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