MENDHAM, N.J., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The adoption industry has begun to embrace a powerful new era of using cutting-edge technology to bring families together. Parent Match, founded by Dr. Lori Ingber is the nation's first and only national, secure and searchable professional network. Parent Match provides adoption agencies with something they've never had before: one central database that allows them to connect with other agencies around the country with a few simple clicks of the mouse. This means faster connections between birth and adoptive parents.
"I'm an adoptive mom, as are my sisters, so I know first-hand the challenges trying to find that perfect match between adoptive parents and birth parents," says Ingber. "I knew there had to be a way to use technology to improve and simplify the process for everyone."
Today's adoptive parents are using online technology as a core tool in their journey. In fact, a new survey illustrates for the first time just how much technology is needed. From extensive online research to navigating relationships on Facebook, technology has become a significant force in reshaping the process of adopting in the United States. More than 90 percent of adoptive parents surveyed report they are networking, marketing themselves and researching adoption online. And some of these adults admit to spending up to four hours a day online.
Despite all the online tools available, adoption agencies still rely on a largely local referral network of adoptive parents and expectant mothers created predominantly by word-of-mouth and local and online outreach.
"We know it can be frustrating for adoptive parents to wait to create their family," says Mary Fournier, Domestic Program Manager at Wide Horizons For Children, a child welfare agency that manages hundreds of adoptions each year. "By including agencies across the country in my network, now I'll know immediately if there's a matching birth mother in Texas for my adoptive parents in Connecticut."
How Parent Match Works
Ingber and her team have created patent-pending technology that provides state-of-the-art security and confidentiality, but makes using the Parent Match network simple and intuitive. A web-based program walks adoption agencies through the process of entering descriptive information about the needs of their client, whether adoptive parent or expectant mother.
Each client file is private and anonymous, identified only by a unique encrypted file number for that client. The network then deploys dynamic search technology to find a reciprocal match between the needs of birthmother and adoptive parents and returns those results within seconds. The agencies are then given each other's contact information and the appropriate file numbers so they can connect offline. The search remains continuously active so that as new possible matches enter the database, the representing agency is again immediately notified.
Adoptive parents are increasingly turning to more than one adoption agency to help them in their search: more than 44 percent of survey respondents reported working with two or more adoption agencies. With Parent Match's central network, there's no need to sign up with multiple agencies.
Parent Match is a subscription-only service. Agencies pay a small monthly fee for unlimited access to the network. No other fees or charges are involved. More information can be found at www.parentmatch.com.
About Parent Match(SM)
Parent Match is the nation's first and only national professional network for domestic adoption agencies. Parent Match is an independent, private, online network for adoption agencies to share information. Parent Match is not an adoption agency or adoption facilitator. The Parent Match database is accessible to licensed adoption agencies only. Parent Match is a monthly subscription service and does not work directly with adoptive or birth parents.
The Adoptive Parents and Technology survey was conducted online by Impulse Research with a random sample of 513 men and women, age 18 and older, who are trying to or have adopted a child in the United States through a domestic adoption agency -- all members of the Impulse Research proprietary online panel. The Impulse Research proprietary online panel has been carefully selected to closely match US population demographics and the respondents are representative of American men and women who are trying to or have adopted a child in the United States through a domestic adoption agency. Research was conducted in late February and early March 2011.
SOURCE Parent Match