The natural parents of adopted children are increasingly using Facebook and other social networking sites to track down their offspring, flouting the usual controls and safeguards.
Adoption agencies are reporting huge numbers of calls from “deeply distressed” adoptive parents whose children have been contacted out of the blue.
Jonathan Pearce, chief executive of Adoption UK, said it was having to deal with the consequences of this “intrusive and unplanned communication”, and warned that it was becoming more difficult to guarantee confidentiality to adoptive parents and their children.
At the moment, official contact in adoption is most often made through the “letterbox” process. The adoptive parents send the birth family a letter and photos every year via a social worker or adoption agency intermediary. If the birth parent wants to respond, they also have to go through this route.