Connecting with others who have a similar life experience can help you sort through the different emotions and situations that arise from your own personal story. The digital media news website Mashable recently published an article about how TikTok users have created spaces on the social networking service for adoptees to connect and share their experiences.
Whether you have had a positive or negative experience being an adoptee, online platforms such as TikTok provide a place to share your feelings and to connect with other adoptees.
The Benefits of Adoptees Connecting
Adoptees can use TikTok and other social media sites to share about and discuss many different adoption scenarios. From international to domestic adoption and infant adoption to foster-to-adopt, TikTok provides a space for the complex narratives of those who were adopted.
The adoption community on TikTok is ever-growing: according to Mashable, “the hashtag #Adoption itself has 2.8 billion views. More niche hashtags like #AdoptionJourney, which has 170 million views and focuses on the voices of adoptive parents, and #AdopteesofTikTok at 57.4 million views, tell individual stories of adoption and everything that accompanies the process.”
A Space for Discussion
On TikTok, you will find adoptees who have had a wonderful life growing up in their adoptive families but who are dealing with the questions of their origins. Other adoptees are trying to navigate the waters of balancing relationships with their birth parents and adoptive parents.
Modern, open adoption can be an amazing opportunity for all involved, but every situation has its own pros and cons. Being able to discuss these aspects of adoption can be helpful and healing. Whichever situation you have experienced, you will find others who can relate.
“It has been amazing hearing other people’s stories. I think it’s made all of us feel less alone,” says one adoptee on TikTok, Emily Paluska. “We may feel lost and adrift in trying to connect to our roots but we’re all mutually feeling the same thing so it makes it feel a lot less lonesome.”
These social media platforms can be even more helpful for those with a less-than-amazing adoption experience. Sometimes, these adoptees feel alone and may not know anyone else personally who has been adopted.
Connecting with adoptees that understand your story and may have a similar one can provide an ongoing connection, providing emotional support to help both adoptees through the healing process.
Alexa, who was adopted as an infant by a Lifetime adoptive couple, has shared her experience as an adoptee in a recent YouTube video. “I think my entire life has been a blessing,” says Alexa. “I’ve never regretted being adopted… [My birth mother] loved me enough to be able to do that and be able to give up a child that she had for nine-plus months you know and I think that’s definitely the most positive thing is just to know that I was given a second chance at life and that it worked out in the best way I could ever imagine.”
Answering Rude Questions
Another beneficial aspect of online groups such as Adoptee TikTok is being able to share how to react to or answer comments or questions that may feel uncomfortable. Rude questions such as, “Why did your parents give you up?” or “Why don’t you look like your parents?” or endless other questions and comments can be difficult to handle.
Sharing how you have handled such issues and hearing about how others have can be helpful, comforting, and sometimes even funny. The important thing is that you connect with others who can benefit from what you have gone through and help you through any tough times.
There is No Right or Wrong Way to Feel
Every adoption experience is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to be an adoptee or right or wrong way to feel. However, sharing your adoption story can be healing to somebody else.
It can help a person who may be feeling alone or isolated realize that there is finally somebody who understands their feelings. Shares one adoptee on TikTok, Aubrey Hoover, “Continuing to be open on social media really will provide adoptees with relatable content to process and heal any and all issues they have with the subject.”
Adoption has come a long way in the past 50 years. Adoptions were almost always kept secret and not always a birth parent’s choice back then. Fortunately, open adoption is the norm today. While there can always be issues, studies have shown that this type of adoption provides the most benefits for the birth parents, adoptive parents, and, most importantly, the adopted child.
If a child grows up always knowing that he or she was adopted and forever loved by both their birth and adoptive families, then there won’t be a moment when they wonder why they were “given up” or question whether or not they were “wanted.”
Be open to your adopted child asking questions about their birth parents and origins. By answering these questions with care and transparency, being adopted is a positive experience.
Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of blog posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.
Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.