Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blogging Etiquette

After my last post, I feel like I should tell you about blogging etiquette...
What can you blog about, and what should you keep to yourself?
It is, in fact, somewhat of a personal question. Some people prefer not to share their child's country of origin or even the city they live in. I personally have posted pictures of myself and such details as the cost of our adoption. These things depend on each blogger's comfort level. 
But I think there are some limits nobody should cross. First, you should always check with someone before posting anything at all about them. You shouldn't post your social worker's name if he hasn't given you permission, for an example. You should also check with your agency if it's ok to post pictures and details about a referred child before the adoption is final. 
A good general guideline would be to write your blog as if the following people were reading it: your social worker, officials from your child's country of origin, your child's birth family a few years from now and your grownup child.
Let me try to illustrate...

- How would your social worker like to read how drunk you got last night?
- How would officials from your child's country of origin react to a post about how far behind their country is? How would they like a comment about how good you are for removing a child from such a poor country? On the other hand, what would they think about a post showing that you are passionate about learning about and maintaining your child's cultural heritage?
- How would a birthmother react to reading a post criticizing her decisions? How would she feel if you wrote judgemental comments about her culture? What about a post about open adoptions which assumes all birthmoms are teenage junkies? 
- Most importantly, what if your child stumbled on your blog in 10, 15 years? Is there anything in there that makes it sound like adoption was a second choice for you? Would they like to find out that you have avoided meeting their birth families because it felt threatening to you? Would it be ok for them to realize that the whole world knows that they are a product of rape, or that you haven't shared all the details about their medical history with them?

Please don't get me wrong. I am not saying you should lie, or make anything up at all. If you really are scared of open adoption, it's ok to blog about it. If you are adopting because infertility prevented you from having biological children, it's fine too. 
But please be sensitive. 

1 comment:

  1. A great reminder to all of us bloggers. It is easy to share the good news of the journey we have undertaken, but when wanting to share our frustrations we have to remember your advice Gen. Like you say, we all have to assume our social worker, country and birth mums if appropriate are reading right along!