I envision myself as a brave heart, walking forth into life without fear—brazen, you might say, in the best sense

Our Adoption & Infertility Support Group

of the word. In truth this image of myself contrasts pretty sharply with my love of the familiar. I don’t necessarily hate change, but don’t exactly embrace it either. So I have agonized over the decision of whether to change the Creating a Family Facebook Adoption and Infertility Support Group settings from “open” to “closed”. The decision is made all the more difficult because due to the size of our group, Facebook will not allow us to change back if we decide later that it isn’t working. It’s also made difficult because I don’t like the word “closed”.

Our Facebook Support Group has become one of the great joys of my day. I participate throughout the day and it has become my go to place to answer questions that I receive via email, Facebook, or Twitter. I delete any identifying information and give my answer there so that others can benefit and can weigh in with their own advice. And weigh in they do!

I don’t think there is a better place online to get support and share your adoption and infertility joys, woes, and questions. Across the board group members are incredibly kind, giving, and respectful in their comments. So many people have commented that this group is one of the few places where people with different views and different roles in the adoption and infertility world can share ideas without fear of being put down. We are anything but a closed group and it is working well, so why mess with success?

I put it to a vote on the Creating a Family Facebook Group. Over 60 people commented and opinions were mixed, but ultimately tended towards changing to a private group.

  • Personally, I don’t share some things about adoption and infertility because, while it might be relevant experience to someone’s situation, I don’t necessarily want to share it with everyone on my friend’s list. I like the idea of a closed group better.
  • Closing the group keeps it so friends on f/b can’t see all your business. Some information about infertility and adoption is sensitive and just doesn’t need to be shared with everyone in my life.
  • I would prefer it closed. I find myself editing what I post because I don’t want everyone of my friends to see it in their “ticker”. People can still lurk as long as they join.

Like it or not, progress requires change,(darnit). Given the private nature of some of the topics we discuss, we ultimately decided that a closed group made more sense and would encourage a freer sharing of support and information.

What Does Closed Mean for a Facebook Support Group

Basically, the major difference between an open and closed Facebook Group is that posts to a closed group can only be seen by members of the group. We already required people to ask to join the group, so nothing will change there. If you want to be a member, you simply click Join Group in the upper-right corner of the group’s page and then you have to wait for the group admin (me) to approve your request. You can also be added by someone who is already a member. Once a member, you can still lurk, reading without posting. And most important, you still have the option of sending me questions or comments  to post totally anonymously. You can send them to me either by email (dawn at creatingafamily.org) or Facebook message (friend me at dawn.davenport1 ).

If you have some connection to the world of infertility or adoption and aren’t a member, you are really missing out on one of the best things about the internet. Join us.

Image credit: Wiggle Bus