Fund-raising For Adoption

Thanks to K@W for this article tip.

It’s back to my old rant on fund-raising for adoption. There’s something that doesn’t sit right with me when it comes to raising money for adoptions. Whether they are prospective adoptive parents asking for charitable donations through blogs, or taking a loan out, it just doesn’t feel right. Granted, adoption is highly economically inaccessible, but you don’t see parents with biological children asking for money online.

It goes back to that age old argument that transracial adoptees are being “saved.” For many we’re talking about international adoption. It means that they are “saving” these children and so charitable contributions aren’t considered for what they are, they’re seen as philanthropic giving.

You know when you’re growing up as a kid and you ask your parents, “Mommy and Daddy, how much am I worth?” They always say “You’re priceless to us, there’s no amount of money that could ever add up to what you’re worth to us.” Ok, I understand, but somehow this statement doesn’t ring as true when there are large dollar signs above your head. Not to mention, I wonder what happens when these kids get older and they find the remnants of their parents’ fund-raising efforts online through blogs? It reminds me of those Visa advertisements about being priceless.

“Medical Examination fee $100, Processing Fee $200, Air Plane Ticket $600, Blog Fund-raising Fee $50…Not feeling like a commodity?…Priceless…”


7 Comments on “Fund-raising For Adoption

  1. I couldn’t agree more.

    I was appalled a couple of months ago to read about a church collecting donations for someone to adopt a child from overseas. Why not at least support the adoption of child from right here in the US when there are more than 100,000 of children (of the half million) in foster care who cannot be reunited with family.

    I have also been told by adoptees (more than one) who were told how much their adopters paid for them! Some were told as a matter of pride and to make them feel grateful for being rescued. others were told in a moment of anger.

    The whole idea of “rescue” is vulgar to me. It reeks of “give me a medal”. And, the fact of the matter is that globally, 80% of chidlren in orphanages have fmailies who visit and hope to take them home when they are able to – as was the case with David Banda who was taken by Madonna. The “demand” for chidlren creates child trafficking, exploitation and coercion worldwide.

    No one needs to raise funds to buy themselves a child, when there are all the children mebntioned above available for just filing fees – and some even come with subsidies. Not for everyone? No, they are not. But no one “owes'”anyone a child, nor does everyone “deserve’ to have one, nor are they “entitled’ to one. Parenting is NOT a right!

    Single mothers are told – if you can’t afford a child, you shouldn’t have one! To fund raise for strangers to them take a child that his parents could not afford is just obscene!

    Thanks for saying so!

  2. Shame on the blogger who wrote this an the person who agreed

    I do not complain when you and your children knock on my door or you come by my office at work to buy cookies, candies, candles, books, cards etc. to support little league, cheerleading etc. You are quick to tell me that this is for a good cause. You are a working parent why don’t you and all of the other parents pay for this yourself ? Why do you need supplements from other people. Why, because it is EXPENSIVE!

    What better cause can there be than adopting a child and therefore saving a life. People get a clue! Step out of your own world and into someone elses.

    Finally, I hope you never need assistance!

  3. Look, it is always easy to make judgments when you don’t find yourself in this situation. Consider that many agencies and countries have CREATED this problem of making babies a FOR PROFIT business. No caring, loving people who want to parent a child want to pay this businesses all this money to have a child. If they had a choice, they would just have them naturally, don’t you think? And if they have had natural children, it must be something on their heart to help other children. It is certainly not loving couples who deserve criticism.

    As for children in this country, I know why people don’t beat down the welfare system’s door for children. I’ve been there – had 2 foster-to-adopt children in my home for a year. The reasons people aren’t adopting these kids: 1)The system waits far to long to get children out of terrible situations, meanwhile, they are destroying the children’s ability to recover from all this damage and 2)They have no real way to protect children even in their own custody so more damage is done by other children in these homes. Also, damage is done by many moves from home to home. and 3) The system does not care to make sure these kids are helped after the adoption is final. By the time these kids are ready for adoption, they are angry, rage-filled children who require 8hr PER day therapy for a “chance” to recover (as our 5 yr old’s therapist told us) and a limitless amount of money to pay for it (since welfare insurance is useless in helping these kids). People have no idea what this means unless you’ve lived through it.

    The families who want to adopt a baby and raise money for it are heroes. They do actually rescue children. A lady in my church adopted a 10 mo. old baby girl who was staying with people the birth mom hardly knew because she couldn’t and wouldn’t properly care for her. Today, she is a happy toddler with a great family rescued from a life of all sorts of chaos. I could give you testimony after testimony of babies rescued from the system (tested positive for drugs at birth) and rescued from a life with a mother on drugs or in prostitution right here in the US. These families also try their best to help these birth mothers to get their lives together too. I think it’s highly uneducated to make the sort of judgments I see here because you really don’t know what a blessing these adoptive families are to so many people. Personally, fund raising is a very smart way to help these children have great homes that may not be available otherwise.

  4. You have obviously never wanted a child so bad and been told that you will not have one of your own. You have never been told by a doctor that you may be able to have a child with assistance but have your insurance tell you they won’t pay for it because it is not a necessity.

    You have never had to come to terms with the fact that you cannot just get pregnant and have your insurance pick up a good portion of the bill when you give birth to your precious baby, have a baby shower where many of your baby’s needs are given to you for free.

    My husband and I have had to deal with all of this. We have gone through all of the infertility issues there are for the past 8 years. We recently decided that maybe adoption was the way to have a family only to find out that the average domestic adoption costs $15000-20000. The average international adoption costs $19000-45000. I don’t know too many people who have that much money sitting in their savings accounts but we are not one of them. Many couples can afford the daily expenses as a child but do not have this kind of money readily available. Ask your self if you could afford children if you had to pay the medical bills without the help of insurance. Could you afford to take out a loan in this amount and still be able to pay for your daily expenses?

    Any extra money we had was spent trying to find out why we could not have children of our own.

    As for foster care adoption, these kids are special needs kids. Yes, there is no adoption costs but many of these kids have many problems. They require extensive therapy and medical appointments. Not everybody is equipped to adopt these types of children. Not everybody is equipped to deal with post traumatic stress syndrome of a 4 year old. Many families cannot afford for one parent to stay home and take care of these children’s many needs.

    That said, maybe it does seem odd to donate money for adoption. But unless you know the emptiness of never having a family, of watching the many children around you and knowing there will never be one to call you mom, please do not judge. All we want is the chance to raise a family and cannot do it alone.

    I hope that you will never have to experience the emptiness we live with everyday. The next time you make a donation to your local boyscouts or any other place, think about if that is any more worthy than giving a child a home.

  5. Hi Melissa,

    I appreciate your comments. I do believe that in many ways our country has flaws-flaws that discriminate against “non-conventional’ families which mean same sex couples, adoptive families in the workplace, and beyond. It is an issue that is very real to adoptive parents, and adoptees.

    “You have never had to come to terms with the fact that you cannot just get pregnant and have your insurance pick up a good portion of the bill when you give birth to your precious baby, have a baby shower where many of your baby’s needs are given to you for free.”

    I understand your frustrations with the system and I fully acknowledge AGAIN that the adoption system both domestically and internationally are very much imperfect. However, as I acknowledge your frustrations I hope you understand both mine and many other adoptees’. You have never had to come to terms with never knowing who your biological parents are, you have access to your family’s medical histories, you have never felt like a commodity, you have never felt strange that your parents don’t look like you and have been starred at or made fun of when you were a kid etc. etc. etc. These are are just a few issues that adoptees struggle with amongst a laundry list of others. While I understand your frustration as an adoptive parent, I’m a little shocked that you are complaining about not receiving free baby shower gifts because you adopt a child. If this is one of the reasons you want to have kids and you are dissappointed that you haven’t or will not receive “freebies,” I don’t believe you adopted for the right reasons. It’s certainly not fair, but I also urge you again to think about how absurd it would be for a biological parent to host a blog asking for money for their medical bills.

    Adoption is not cheap, in fact for many it is not an option. It isn’t fair for many parents and families-BUT, it is NOT ok to feel like you can go begging for money to adopt as a charity case. We are NOT charity cases, nor do we or SHOULD we feel obligated to repay you for “rescuing” us from “a life of poverty.” We are not commodities, we are not in-debt to you, we are people, we are adoptees and we feel just as much if not more pain than you do for losing our biological families and culture. You say you wish that we feel no pain, well we do feel pain because for every family that is created through adoption there is another family that has been broken. Whether it is voluntary relinquishment due to inabilities to raise a child, or through scandal which has unfortunately become all too common, there are two sides to the story.

    I understand your pain in not being able to conceive and the unfairness of both the cost of adoption and benefits. But please take a moment to understand that it’s not all about your family, there are adoptees who have feelings. We are not perpetually children, we become adults with complex emotions linked to loss. I ask you to be sensitive to our feelings and not just to yours. Thank you for your comment, and please be respectful that this is a safe place for adoptees, and not for adoptive parents to attack or devalidate our feelings. I’m all for dialogue, but please don’t judge us without trying to understand where we are coming from.

  6. As an adoptive mother I can’t say that I truly understand the perspective of the child who came into our family through adoption. I can try, certainly. But that’s just not the same and I really appreciate this blog post, which shows sensitivity to how the child might feel about being looked upon as a charity case. Also, I can only imagine how I would have felt as a kid (or teenager) not only knowing my parents had fundraised to bring me home, but also knowing that lots of other people knew that, too. I was a really shy kid and that would have made me very uncomfortable and embarrassed. As an adult, I see that the child shouldn’t feel embarrassed about being adopted (or the fact that there are costs involved)…but I can understand why they might not want that info out there for everyone to know. Why they might not even want to know.

    I cringe whenever I hear people talking about “saving lives” and all that. I won’t say I think it’s completely wrong, but it’s the wrong reason to adopt. If you feel “called” to “save lives” then become a humanitarian or a missionary or whatever…adoption is about family, in my opinion. That’s why my husband and I chose to adopt. We wanted another child and felt adoption would be a good way to add to our family. There are kids wanting/needing families in the world, we wanted another kid…made sense. I don’t mean to sound overly simplistic, but that’s basically what it boiled down to for us. And we’re so thankful we did adopt.

    I do think this blogger raises a very good point. My husband and I simply weren’t comfortable with fundraising. We were fortunate enough to be able to save the money on our own. Despite this, some family members still gave us sizable monetary “baby gifts.” Of course, they did this when we had our first baby by birth. It added up to a few thousand dollars and it was a huge help! In spite of this, I do think another commenter makes a good point: some families can very easily support a child while they’re unable to fund an adoption without outside help. I don’t think they should be judged for wanting a family. Of all of (the many) families I know, their children are very thankful that their parents did what they had to do to bring them home. However, none of the older kids had fundraising involved, so it still stands to be seen how the younger ones will one day feel about the whole thing. None of the adoptive parents I know would ever say they’d bought their kids or anything even remotely like it. And I would venture to say that I know more adoptive families than most. The costs don’t pay for the kids…like the kids are a commodity. That is so hurtful and absurd! The costs do pay all the government/paperwork/agency fees here & abroad. People have asked me how much our adoption cost, but heaven help the person who asks me how much our child cost! As yet, I’ve run into a lot of people who are completely ignorant about adoption and have yet to have the question framed to me in that offensive way.

    As for choosing domestic (here in the US) adoption, I think that’s a personal choice. And, frankly, to adopt a baby, the costs will typically run right around the same (if not more) than with an international adoption. Except, in my circle of friends, domestic adoptions have been much less stable and reliable…and often extremely costly due to this. Furthermore, adopting from the foster system is far from being straightforward. Granted, it is much less expensive than adopting any other way; however, adopting a baby is not easy…and fostering certainly isn’t for everyone. I know it’s not for me! Yet, I was certain that adoption was. They’re two different things and I don’t think it’s fair to expect people who can’t conceive a baby and have a child that way to foster if they aren’t comfortable with that.

    I’d also like note here that I think the question of, “Why adopt internationally when you can adopt domestically?” is pretty asinine. First, domestic adoption often equates to the foster system. Many families aren’t up for that. Other domestic options aren’t palatable for certain families for one reason or another. Just as international adoption may not appeal to other families. Second, how can you ask that question without also asking: Why have a biological child instead of adopting from the foster system? After all, if we’re dictating how people add to their families, why not go all the way? Better yet, why don’t we let people make their own decisions? Better still, let’s not be so judgmental. Most adoptive parents I know are adopting because they want to add to their family. Some have struggled with fertility. Others haven’t. I don’t see how anyone (besides their own children and family) have much right to butt into it.

  7. I have both bio and internationally adopted kids. My problem is people with mixed up priorities. I have a Facebook friend I’m about to “unfriend” because every post is begging for money to cover their $13,000 adoption debt. Why does this bother me? Because A. They own horses – not cheap B. They just got home from a trip to Disney World where they stayed in Animal Kingdom Lodge. We’re in the process of planning a trip to Disney World ourselves. From doing my own trip research, I know our DW world tickets themselves cost more than our airfare. Yes, there’s the airfare, too. We are going to be staying off property and not in AK Lodge. Why? Because the cheapest rooms are $250 a night!

    I just have a hard time feeling motivated to donate to someone who is living with luxuries which I do not have.

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