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    Adoption Fundraising Etiquette – How Not to Be a Pest

    Fact Sheets

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    Adoption FundraisingEtiquette-compressed

     

    Heaven help me—I really don’t know if I want to open up this adoption fundraising can of worms. Sigh. I’ve sat on this Dear Abby column for a while and debated whether to blog on it or let it slide. This is a no-win situation for me, with people on both sides of the adoption fundraising debate having strong opinions. (Plus, my blog and show last week on The Child Catchersa book critical of religion’s involvement in promoting adoption, drew enough controversy to last me for a while.) But, I’m nothing if not all for discussion, and while I don’t agree with Dear Abby’s response, I’m also uncomfortable with how adoption fundraising is so often playing out these days. Oh, what the heck—here goes nothing.

    Dear Abby received the following question on fundraising to pay for adoption:

    Some friends are in the process of adopting two children internationally. Early on, they had a garage sale with the proceeds going toward the adoption. I was excited for them and wanted to help.

    However, this was soon followed by more requests — for yard sale donations, two more garage sales, the “opportunity” to buy expensive coffee online, a fundraising dinner and then a solicitation to provide a “virtual shower” of plane ticket money.

    I have never been asked for money for the same thing in so many different ways in such a short time. I am increasingly disgusted and put off by their continued pleas for money. Am I wrong to be so upset about this? — A Little Ticked Off

    Dear Abby’s response, as is so often the case, misses the mark:

    DEAR TICKED OFF: It appears your “friends” are taking advantage of your generosity. It will continue for only as long as you permit it.

    Are you absolutely sure this couple is really in the middle of the adoption process and not using the money for some other purpose? Before donating anything else, you should find out.

    OK, first off, Dear Abby, wake up and smell the coffee: chances are exceptionally good that Ticked Off’s friends are really adopting. The cost of international adoptions (and US infant adoptions) is very high, and more and more people are fundraising to adopt. Welcome to the 21st century. However, much as it pains me to admit it, you may have a point on the part about taking advantage of friends’ generosity.

    I don’t dispute that some people need to fundraise in order to afford the cost of adoption. I don’t inherently see anything wrong with this. However (and this is a big however), if you want to, or absolutely need to, raise money in order to adopt, I think you have to be very aware of fundraising fatigue, and I don’t mean your fatigue.

    Most of us, regardless of how social we are, run in fairly small social circles. Unless you are careful, most fundraisers are aimed at our social circles, which means the same people are asked over and over again. This can soon become exhausting.  It’s easy to say that we are simply inviting them to a dinner, or giving them the opportunity to buy online coffee, baskets, cookware, or whatever, but many friends will feel an obligation to come to the dinner and buy the coffee, baskets, or cookware. And if we are being truly honest, we want them to feel this obligation because we want to raise money.

    Affording Adoption Costs

    Before you even consider fundraising, take a good look at all the ways you could pay for this adoption, including budgeting, working extra hours, adoption grants, and adoption loans.  Consider adopting a US waiting child from foster care, which costs you almost nothing, plus you will usually receive a monthly subsidy to help with expenses. Creating a Family has extensive resources on adopting from foster care, as well as on adoption grants, adoption loans, and other ways to help you pay for the cost of adoption. We did a terrific Creating a Family show on How to Afford Adoption, where we talked about all these options for how to pay for adoption. Our guests were Becky Fawcett , Executive Director of Help Us AdoptJulie Gumm, author of Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption; and Cherri Walrod, Director of Resources 4 Adoption. I personally don’t think you should fundraise unless you’ve exhausted all your other options for paying for the adoption, especially tightening your budget. I’m always amazed at how much money I fritter away on non-essentials such as a quick stop at Starbucks or The Dollar Store. This was a great show.

     


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    Develop an Adoption Expenses Fundraising Plan

    If you decide to fundraise, I think it helps to set up a fundraising plan in advance. I realize this is problematic since at the beginning you don’t know how much fundraising will be necessary because you don’t know how much money you will raise with each event, but you can at least make a stab. The goal of fundraising is to raise money without becoming a pest.

    Four Rules of Adoption Fundraising Etiquette

    1. You only have so many “bites at the fundraising apple” so focus on those with the greatest moneymaking potential.
    2. Don’t continually “hit up” the same folks—spread out your efforts. General rule of thumb—ask each person to no more than two fundraisers, preferably just one. Mix up your adoption fundraising to include fundraisers aimed at the general public, such as garage sales and selling baked goods at a town festival.
    3. Give real value for the money.
    4. Think twice before asking for outright donations.

    Adoption Fundraiser Etiquette Rules in Action

    Let’s apply my four rules of etiquette to Ticked Off’s friend’s fundraising approach.

    Three Garage Sales: How much money you make on a garage sale is directly related to how much stuff you have to sell and location. The sale itself is for the general public, rather than just your circle of friends, but you often ask your friends to donate items and help with the sale. You should ask them only once. If you’ve got a really great location and if you like the process, go ahead and have all the sales you want, but usually your returns diminish with each subsequent sale. Your good friends will know you are having the second and third sale and can volunteer stuff or their time if they want to without your having to ask.

    Online Coffee Sales: Most people are pretty attached to their particular brand of coffee, so for me, this isn’t a very good money making idea, but maybe my coffee snob tendencies are showing and it would work for others. You’ve already asked your local friends and family to donate items and help with your first garage sale and are going to ask them to a fundraising dinner, so use this fundraiser for only your out of town friends and family.

    Fundraising Dinner: If it’s spaced fairly far apart from the garage sale, I don’t see any problem “hitting up” local family and friends for a dinner; however, you need to make it special. Knock yourself out to make it “an event” by serving food a cut above average, providing entertainment (dancing, music, talent show), and decorating the venue. In other words, make it fun and worth their contribution.

    Virtual Shower: No matter what you call it or how cute you make the invitation, a virtual shower for adoption travel cost is a request for money. I think you should be extremely cautious about asking for outright donations of money. Many people find it offensive, and no matter what you say going in, it is hard not to be hurt when someone doesn’t give. It has the very real potential of doing permanent damage to a relationship.

    P.S. #1 I’ve taken Dear Abby to task before in a much more forthright way in Dear Abby: You’re NUTS–Fostering Is Not A Solution For Infertility Or Adoption.

    P.S. #2 You might also enjoy reading about how some adult adoptees feel about adoption fundraising in two posts at one of my favorite adoptee blogs, The Adopted Ones —Fundraising Thoughts and  My Comment to the Post “Fundraising thoughts”. Make sure to read all the comments. Really really insightful.

    What rules of adoption fundraising etiquette would you add or do you think I’m completely off base.

     

    Image credit:  _Dinkel_

    09/07/2013 | by Fact Sheets | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog, Other Adoption Resources | 40 Comments


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    40 Responses to Adoption Fundraising Etiquette – How Not to Be a Pest

    1. h.e. says:

      Good information. Lucky me I found your site by accident (stumbleupon).
      I have book marked it for later!

    2. This is so weird, but just today CNN posted an article on crowdsourcing to pay for adoptions or infertility treatments. Check it out at http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/09/pf/crowdfunding-adoption/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    3. Rayne Nolte says:

      When we were adopting we wrote 4 letters over the course of the process. The first letter explained our years of fertility struggles, the costs of procedures and the losses we had suffered along with asking people to keep their eyes and ears open for possible situations for adoption. They might know a friend who knows a friend and so on. Also told people that if they wanted to help, we would be willing to do odd jobs for them or they could donate. Or they could just pray for us. I was tired of the questions of when we would have kids so I laid it ALL on the line. We got a huge amount of support from this outreach. With each letter we sent, we would inform everyone of the process and how things were going. Again letting them know that we would love to help with side jobs and so on to help fund our adoption. We told them they were in no way obligated to help but just wanted the added prayers and the extra support during the process. We have never been shy about what we went through and I think because of this we got a lot of extra support from unlikely people. Was it the wrong or right way to go about it? Guess that depends on who you ask. My parents were less than thrilled with the idea but they also come from the “if you don’t have the money then you don’t do it generation” Did we change their mind? Heck yes…..when they saw their grandson for the first time. The grandson they wouldn’t have had if we wouldn’t have written those letters, worked nonstop on other peoples projects and pushed through to the very end with the support of friends and family. Would we do this thing again if we were to adopt. Sure would! Right or wrong, I guess is based on your values and how you think people will perceive you or what you’re doing. You have to first feel that what you’re doing is best for you. Some people may not agree and that’s ok, it’s a part of life. I am totally in support of fundraising to bring home your baby. After all, as I found out with our son’s adoption, we aren’t afforded some of the same benefits as parents who give birth. Things aren’t covered by insurance, you don’t get to use short term disability coverage to help curb the costs when you bring the baby home (because after all, you didn’t actually have the baby), and some places you might not even get afforded any maternity leave (which by the way, floors me as a baby can’t go to daycare til usually 6 weeks). AND This is just a few things that are somewhat unfair for those of us that can’t have children the “normal” way. I could go on and on yet, that is not what the post was about. SO FUND RAISE AWAY MY FRIENDS!!!!

    4. JJ says:

      Am reposting right now. Great great great!

    5. Jennifer says:

      I’m curious your opinions – my hubby & I are expecting our 2nd child, own a home, & I stay at home. We have a heart to adopt future children but we are not low income so we probably won’t qualify for grants, we live within our means (no frills including no cable), but we do not have the means to pay for an adoption.
      We’ve seen the chaos of county adoptions & don’t want to go down that road of having a child temporarily & then having them go to another home & all the other issues that arise with that.
      Saving for an adoption on our own would probably take 8 years or more.
      Is there a tactful way of starting to fundraise now for the $20-60k we’d need to complete an adoption in a few years?
      I feel like adoption fundraising is different than pregnancy or fertility fundraising because the child is already here needing a home & needing support by some organization or person.
      We have the heart & the home to love on & raise the kids but not the $$$$$ to give to an organization to get the kids.
      Thoughts?
      Are there people or organizations who’d want to help us pay for an adoption just because they want to help children find a loving home?

      • Jennifer, there is no easy answer to your question and opinions are sharply divided in the adoption community. The “need” for adoptive families in the US is for children in foster care. There are many many families (most of whom are not able to have biological children due to infertility) available and eagerly waiting for each domestic newborn that is being placed for adoption. There are also children in other countries without families, some of whom may be available for international adoption.

        As you probably know, adoptions from foster care are virtually free. Plus, over 80% of the children recieve a monthly subsidy to help defray costs. Yes, the goal of foster care is family reunification, so it is wise to go in with the idea that you may not be able to adopt the first child placed with you, but if reunification is not in the child’s best interest, then the foster parents are usually the first ones considered for adoption. The added advantage is that you have lots of info on the child and how she will fit with your family since you’ve been raising her.

        IF you are thinking about international adoption, know that infants are not available and “healthy” children are rare.

        I know of many families who start living by a strict budget and putting all their extra money in an adoption fund. I am amazed at how many they are able to save and how soon. (We will be having a show with someone from The Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University on a Creating a Family show in Aug.) Other people take on a second job (such a stay at home mom providing in home child care for one to two extra kids) and save that money for the adoption. Still others have garage sales and sell excess stuff on ebay to raise money without actually calling it an adoption fundraiser.

        I would strongly recommend that you join the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/40688106167/) and see how others are doing it and to get a taste of the diverse opinions on adoption fundraising.

        • Steve says:

          My wife and I were originally intending to go the foster-to-adopt route. When I became clear that there are so many questions and holdups before adoption could ever occur it became clear we couldn’t do it. I’m referring to situations where parents had no intention of ever reunifying. We’ve heard horrifying stories about this – how it could take years to legally adopt the kid that had been with you. It would be too much. Given our infertility journey it became clear that private adoption was our only route at the moment. We wanted to provide healthy homes to neglected children but it was not in the cards.

    6. riverw says:

      this is wierd. I have friends who announced they were adopting a baby from Haiti. Next thing I know they’re selling off an expensive car (which i know was above their means) and now they want everyone to pitch in money for an auction. I am really ticked by this. If they cant afford to adopt (they have two of their own kids) then they shouldn’t ask others to PAY FOR IT. I’m afraid if I hit the “decline” button on Facebook, they’ll know I dont approve, but I really don’t. All I’m going to do is ignore them and not do anything. Asking a very large group of people to pay for an adoption, is going way over the line.

    7. Erin says:

      Hi! I love that you point out all the other (additional) ways to save / earn money for an adoption. While a fundraiser might seem like a fun project for some and is definitely a good cause, I think it’s important that the adoptive parents take full advantage of other resources such as budgeting, working extra hours, etc. Weigh the trade-off: One might find that investing more time at their current job may actually pay off more so than spending the time and effort planning for and carrying out fundraisers.

    8. anon says:

      Loss of income: thumbs down! Sorry, it just feel money grabby. I know some families are very strapped for money, but this is just one of those things that comes with parenting in general, I think. Adding to your family means missing work (if you do it right), and sure some pregnant women have short term disability to cover it or can use paid leave, but other pregnant women do not and that is life! This is NOT something pregnant women typically ask their family/friends to cover and just seems in poor taste to me. Are you collecting an insurance claim or having a child? If you MUST fundraise for this, why not wrap it up in the general cost of adoption?

    9. I posted this again here because Michele asked a really good question in the comments that I’d like your input on and this was the only way I could figure out to easily get it. “How about fundraising for loss of income while in country? Is this even legal? Lately I have seen families openly asking for donations for “loss of income” over and above their adoption costs. Curious of what others think about this.” So, fundraising for lost income: thumbs up or thumbs down?

    10. Michele says:

      How about fundraising for loss of income while in country? Is this even legal? Lately I have seen families openly asking for donations for “loss of income” over and above their adoption costs. Curious of what others think about this.

    11. Kevin says:

      Dawn, I totally agree with your points on fundraising etiquette…no one like to be solicited for money regardless of the cause – especially your close friends.

      We actually built our fundraising platform (Bonfirefunds. com) for this exact reason. We like to think we make giving comfortable by allowing adopting parents to passively sell custom t-shirts to finance their adoption. This also directly addresses your 3rd point about giving value for the money.

    12. Janettee , yep that sounds like Tracy! She’ full of “kickin’ good ideas ” and she has turned her efforts to helping other families! How did your photo shoot go?

    13. Janettee says:

      Stacey Stark – I’m sure you’re right, but surely there IS a way to do it. Or maybe the method is wrong but the idea still has value. Dunno. But I think if there was a way for us to help each other, we would, and I think we SHOULD if it was a way that wouldn’t make us taken on added financial or legal risk. :)

    14. Janettee says:

      First things first, Tracy O’Mara Whitney – I’ll enlighten you on what you said…

      I read the blog post about “Dear Abby” saying that fostering was better… I saw your comment here: http://www.creatingafamily.org/blog/dear-abby-nutsfostering-solution-infertility-adoption/#comment-8763 which says (and I quote) “And I have some kickin’ good ideas (aaaah, that communications/public relations experience and degree are coming in handy now!) floatin’ around my head. Ideas that could turn into a great annual event that would possibly help us help other families build their families.”

    15. Robyn says:

      I really dislike it when people say adopt from foster care because it’s free (or “costs you almost nothing”). Monetarily, adopting from foster care may be free or low cost, but emotionally and in terms of time, it’s incredibly expensive. I wonder how much foster adoption would “cost” if foster parents added up all of the time they spent on classes, taking kids to visit bio family, hearings, therapy appointments, doctor’s appointments, support groups… I’m sure there’s more. Also, foster adoption isn’t available to same sex couples in all states.

      I always thought we would fundraise for our second adoption, but when it came right down to it, I just hate asking people for money. I don’t even like doing it for DS’s school fundrasiers, and those are far less controversial.

      Oh, and the ATC? It’s a joke. We didn’t have enough tax liability in 2012 to use it at all. Adoption costs should be tax deductible, just like medical expenses.

      • Steve says:

        There’s also the cost of investing time in a child that you ultimately can’t keep. It’s not adoption if you’re fostering. How much does the emotional roller coaster of wondering if and when the child will be pulled from your home? How much does it cost when you lose sleep wondering if you’ll be able to legally make the child part of your family? These costs are what did it in for us.

        It frustrates me that the two avenues are treated as different versions of the same thing. They’re not.

    16. Janettee says:

      Sorry guys, busy as always, I’ll follow up tonight after my photo shoot :)

    17. Tracy says:

      This time around (our second adoption after a first of virtually no fundraising of any kind, only our own raising of finances and taking on big debt at the end), we did do some more traditional “fundraising” (vendor sales, tee-shirt sales with Wild Olive Tees, etc.). And some “raising of finances/funds” (selling off of all kinds of our excess, running a local online yard sale site, taking an extra job, purging our budget of frills, etc.) for this adoption. We did it all as ethically and respectfully as we possibly could muster, with no exploitation of our daughter, her birth culture, the process, or even tugging at heart strings.

      And I’d do it all again, in a heartbeat. She’s home, we’re done (DONE the process and DONE building our family!) and I’ve moved some of my efforts (albeit minute at this point as I’m still settling in to life with a VERY busy 2 year old) to supporting other families in their own process. Unsolicited by any of them, I just want to part of serving those around me. Hopefully when life evens out and is less “new” I can do more.

      My take is the same – it wasn’t my favorite way to fund our adoption but the more traditional fundraising we did do (vs. the raising of funds) was helpful and worth it to me, considering that we chose carefully to only work with orgs that we believed in and could honestly say we’d support them with or without the adoption benefit being offered. And we did need a small-ish loan at the end but knowing how hard and how long we worked, even to slowing down our process to avoid earlier debt, we were okay with that too.

    18. Tracy says:

      i just did some link hopping, tracing back where Janettee LaValle McCrary might have found my thoughts. And almost 2 years later, and a full two + years of working our hineys off in various and even creative ways to raise the funds for our most recently completed adoption, I have to say that my thougths haven’t changed much from this fleshing out I did in 2011:

      http://whitneygang.blogspot.com/2011/08/to-fund-raise-or-not-to-fund-raise.html

    19. Tracy, I look forward to hearing your thoughts since I know you’ve pondered on the whole adoption fundraising issue a lot.

    20. Tracy says:

      Janettee LaValle McCrary – I have been following this conversation (lurking) but I have to ask…. What did I say (as The Gang’s Momma) that gave you an idea? :) I’m at a loss… as I said, I’ve been following but not yet able to put my thoughts into a coherent comment. :)

    21. Whole Child says:

      Many thoughts on this topic. I don’t love fundraising for anything…but it is a real part of life. I do enjoy giving of my time and, yes, money to both individuals and groups. Giving money is just one way that I “contribute.” Many of the arguments I hear AGAINST adoption fundraising just aren’t valid…such as that you get the adoption tax credit so you shouldn’t raise other funds, but just take out a loan. Wish it were that simple! How would you make loan payments until the tax credit comes through for one thing. Another is that a whole lot of people don’t have a $12K loan available to them, even with great credit. “Adoption is a choice” doesn’t work for me either, because most people wouldn’t “choose” adoption if they could grow their family another way. The cost is real, and people asking for money to help is real, and that isn’t going to go away. What people do NOT do is raise the entire amount and then dip into the tax credit for “extra funds.” The people who are trying to scrape together thousands of dollars to adopt are not taking advantage of anyone and “earning” money through their adoption. They wouldn’t be asking if they didn’t need the money to complete the adoption. Just like people facing life threatening illness wouldn’t be fundraising if there was any other way to pay for the cancer treatments. I don’t understand why we try to discredit or complain about people who raise money for adoption. We are each free to contribute to the things we are passionate about, and there will always be many opportunities to give…or not give.

    22. Stacey says:

      This is an interesting topic, so I’m following. Also, Janettee what you’re talking about sounds like a legal NIGHTMARE. :) All from good intentions, however. It’s not that simple to setup and maintain a 501(c)3. Dawn is right, however – there are great organizations out there who are already set up and equipped to give grants to help cover adoption expenses! I’m a bit on the fence regarding certain adoption fundraising, so I’m curious to see what more people have to share.

    23. Janettee says:

      Dawn Davenport – I’m not sure what you’re saying… Basically I’m saying that if we get a bank account and deposit money into it from all the people participating, and its continually growing, then interest payments will continue to be bigger and bigger all the time. For example, I have an account at a credit union… Every month I get anywhere from $1-$5 in interest… But my account is always between $100- $500…

      However if we have everyone contributing on a regular basis, then we should have WAY more than that! Of course, to start out, it’d be a good idea to wait at least 6 mos-1 year before distributing the money, so we can get the interest going first, otherwise the money is just being put in a non-interest-bearing account, which seems pointless to me.

    24. Rayne says:

      We have fundraisers all the time in our town too. Again a small town. But we always help those in need where I come from too.

    25. Nolo says:

      I actually think there is a link between the adoption fundraising efforts that seem to be increasingly common and the “orphan care” movement described in The Child Catchers. (I just read, and commented on, your review of the book. Seeing the posts back-to-back lead to the connection between the two.) If a family is adopting to do “God’s Work” then it would seem perfectly logical to ask for others to help do that work. When I’ve seen requests for fundraising, it is generally on a very Christian/God-focused family blog. (All Christian families don’t fund-raise for adoption nor is being Christian required to do so; I’m only stating what I remember seeing.)

      The difference in fundraising for an adoption vs. health issues is that pursuing an adoption is a choice while dealing with a life-altering health issue is not. I’ve seen health fundraisers in my small town as well but they are for serious illnesses, not elective surgery.

      Finally, my big issue with the fundraising is that the US government offers the largest personal income tax credit for adoption expenses. At the time I pursued my daughters’ adoptions it was over $13k per child. (I believe the credit is now permanent and continues to be refundable but I could be wrong.) So, a family could take out a loan in the amount of the tax credit knowing it will be refunded instead of fundraising. Also, there is plenty of opportunity for a fundraising family to raise money and still claim the entire tax credit, potentially paying all of their expenses via fundraising and still receiving the tax credit. (I believe there is a a place to identify money received from others to pay for tax expenses – would fundraising in a garage sale so there?) I’ve never heard of a family address the tax issue.

      • Nolo, interesting point. (And for the record, the adoption tax credit is permanent, but not refundable–we’re still working on that :-)) I don’t know how money treated by fundraising is treated by the IRS in the adoption tax credit. Anyone know?

    26. Janettee says:

      That said, I better get this out there before I forget… The gang’s Momma gave me an idea…

      What if we, as a group, put together an official “Creating A Family” 501 and we all contributed to a fund (and directed friends who wanted to help also contribute)… If we were all contributing at once, even small amounts would turn into huge interest payments… And then each family could apply to have their needs (IVF, fostering, adoption, etc) met by this fund…

      Obviously rules would have to be set regarding paying in and payouts, and each family would need to track payments to their “account” (perhaps via account codes or some such)… Of course any amount not needed could go towards helping other families and/or future needs…

      Any thoughts on this?

    27. Janettee, I’m not expert, but I serve on the board of an education foundation for our county. It takes a lot of money to invest before you can make grants solely off the interest. There are granting organizations that exist to make grants for adoption and fertility treatment. Is that what you mean?

    28. Janettee says:

      I’m following this, as I won’t have time to get into my feelings on the subject until tomorrow (my day off).

    29. anon says:

      Thanks for getting this message out there! I think this is a sticky issue and a plain old reality for many, but I don’t want any real or perceived “ickiness” of fundraising to damage how we the adoption community are perceived and perhaps more importantly, how our children might perceive it. “Normal” family building comes with costs (yes, highly subsidized by insurance but costs nonetheless) and I have yet to encounter a fundraiser for catastrophic health costs although they do exist; it simply isn’t appropriate in the US to ask for money for this type of thing. I think culturally, we either ask for money as part of a business exchange (no strings attached) or for charitable causes. Adoption is neither of these but people misinterpret it as business for personal gain or charity anyway. So yes, if you must fundraise I think there is a wrong way to do it, and these are some great points about how to do it as tastefully and respectfully as possible.

      • anon, actually, in my town, we see health fundraisers ALL the time. There is a jar asking for donations on many business establishments at the check out, or posters on the door for fundraisers. Does this not happen in other places? Maybe it’s because I live in a small town.

    30. Actually quite a number of my clients who consider placing are considering it because of finances and more than you’d think have insurance that does NOT cover maternity services (for instance if a minor is on their parent’s insurance as I was when I placed the insurance covered me but not the baby)

    31. As a follow-up to KatjaMichelle’s comment-why is it that we see adoption fundraising but seldom see infertility treatment fundraising? I know it does happen some, but it seems far less common.

    32. Personally I dont like the idea of fundraising for adoption. However, I like that you make a distinction between fundraising (garage sales etc) and begging for money (my words not yours).

      I think a good rule of thumb could be if a pregnant woman were doing the same would it be viewed as inappropriate?

      A pregnant woman having a garage sale to help afford the expense of her new addition (or any other expense) is not inappropriate so sure go ahead and have one. (btw Some communities have annual or bi annual group sales so you can increase the reach of your sale and not wear out your friends)

      If a pregnant woman gave her friends empty baby bottles and asked them to return them once they’d been filled with spare change society at large would more than likely feel that is inappropriate, so those hoping to adopt should also avoid this type of appeal. As a fairly offbeat person I hate to label something as tacky but this just feels icky to me.

      Virtual registries for travel expenses are a gray area. They are becoming increasingly common for weddings where couples ask people to contribute to their honeymoon or house buying or what have you. I think if you do something like this for adoption you should NOT spam your friend’s email with it. If however someone asks, “is there anything you need” you can explain the travel situation and provide them with a link. I dont know about the travel registries for adoption but for the wedding ones you can break your registry down into concrete items of various sizes. For instance a person could register for a day of scuba fun as well as for dinner and drinks allowing friends and family to pick something that is in their budget and to know what their money is providing. Also if you do this you should not also have an expectation they attend or give gifts at an in person baby shower.

      • KatjaMichelle, you raise some great points for discussion that I hadn’t thought about. First, is there a distinction between raising money for the birth of a child as oppose to raising money for an adoption. One major difference that comes to mind is that in most situations, the birth is covered by insurance (private or public) so the family is not out any money. Needless to say this is not the case with most adoptions. However, would your analogy hold if we said infertility treatment, since most people don’t have insurance coverage for fertility treatments.

        A second point you raise is the growing trend to give money for a wedding or honeymoon. Is the adoption of a child any less worthy of asking for donations. Hummm, I’ll need to think on that one.

    33. Greg says:

      The real problem is the cost of adoption. If adoption agencies were regulated better then fundraising wouldn’t be necessary. If my wife and I pursue adoption we won’t need to fundraise, however I don’t look down upon those who do fundraise. It’s what the adoption industry and society has pushed them to do.

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