A Minnesota couple looking to adopt used Craigslist to add another member to their family.

After struggling for years to conceive, Tracey and Dan Citron posted an advertisement on Craigslist, a popular area-based marketplace website.  Tammy Nelson, an expecting mother, responded to their ad, and now the Citron’s have a son named Ben.

Many Ways to Adopt

There are many ways a family can adopt, but Tracey Citron said a lot of people were astonished at the route the Citron’s pursued.

“People do sort of give us a look, like, ‘on Craigslist? How can that be?'” Citron said.

Private adoption through websites has become more popular in the internet age, as it allows birth parents to have a more selective role in the process.  Piper Weiss, a reporter for Yahoo Shine!, said birth parents feel more comfortable giving up their child if they have an active role in selecting the adoptive parents.

“Craigslist and other online resources put the power back in parents and birth moms’ hands to some degree,” Weiss said. “It allows them to connect with each other, potentially, but also it forces them to be their own filter and kind of be their own experts in the matter. There are a lot of risks and a lot of reward to that.”

Online Adoption Services

Online adoption services are becoming more popular, but it’s not as simple as picking up the baby when it’s born.  Adoptive parents still need the recommendation of an adoption agency, and they usually need the legal services of an attorney.

“There’s a whole legal process,” Dan Citron said.

Although the Citron’s ultimately adopted Ben through Craigslist, their search for a child began months before.  The Citron’s launched a website, set up an 800 number, and even advertised on their car in hopes of finding a prospective birth mother.

After all those avenues failed, the Citron’s turned to Craigslist.  Tracey said she placed a daily advertisement on Craigslist, and six weeks later she received the call from Nelson.  Nelson was stuck in an abusive relationship and worried for the safety and well-being of her soon-to-be-born son.

“When I Googled it, I put adoption in Phoenix and the first was a Craigslist for Dan and Tracey, it was literally that quick,” Nelson said. “I said, ‘Hi, I’m pregnant, and I need help and this is the situation, what do you think?’ And she said, ‘I’m really happy you called us.’ It was perfect.”

Ben has been in the Citron’s family for two years, and although Nelson has had little direct contact with him, she is happy for all the opportunities he has.

“I think every parent wants the best they can do for their kid. I’m happy Ben has that.”

Related source:  ABC News