How we use Instagram to share photos and videos of Levon with his birth family, and why it’s the perfect platform for us.
My son was born unexpectedly early, just three days after his birth family first contacted us, and long before they decided what level of openness they wanted following his adoption.
I knew immediately that I wanted to document Levon’s NICU stay, in case his birth family ever decided to follow his journey, so I set up a private Instagram account to serve as a photo album. In 2014, Instagram was not a part of our daily (hourly) lives the way it is today, and most of my friends didn’t even have accounts. I chose Insta versus Facebook because it allowed his family to choose when and if they wanted to view photos, and prevented his picture from popping up on their feeds or phones unexpectedly. Viewing photos can be highly emotional for birth parents, and they should be in complete control of how it happens. For us, Insta was the perfect platform and continues to be the main way we share pictures and video with his family.
Tech has obviously changed dramatically over the past five years, and I’m curious to know how other families in long-distance open adoptions stay in touch. I’ve heard from fellow adoptive parents who are Facebook friends with their child’s birth mother and absolutely love it. Now I want to hear from you!
What platforms do you use? Do you recommend them? Share your advice for adoptive and birth families below.
Jessica Butler is the co-founder of Raise, stepmother of two, and adoptive mother of one. Prior to Raise, she was a writer on USA’s "In Plain Sight" and TNT’s "The Last Ship." She and her husband, writer/producer Warren Bell, co-created the Nick at Nite series "Instant Mom," based on her life as a stepmother. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and six-year-old son, Levon.