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  • Should You Ask for Money to Help Pay for Your Adoption

    Dawn Davenport

    40
    Asking Family for Money to Help Pay for an Adoption

    Asking for money to help pay for an adoption can have unintended consequences.

    Money is complicated. At times I think money is more emotional than financial. This is especially true when you add family to the mix. I think about this a lot when you read or hear advice that you should ask your family members to contribute/donate/lend money to help you adopt. You need to carefully think through the consequences before you ask.

    If they give you the money, then all is well. But what if they don’t? Even though you know it is their money, it’s hard not to feel hurt. It’s hard not to feel resentful when you hear about their next vacation or next major purchase.

    Even if they give you the money, all may not be hunky-dory. The strings attached to given money can vary from almost invisible to cables big enough to hold up the Golden Gate Bridge. People who give you money often feel like they deserve a say in how its spent.

    As I said, money is complicated.

    I’m not saying don`t ask your family for money to help pay for your adoption, but I think you need to think long and hard about possible long term consequences. You never really know someone else’s financial circumstances or philosophy on money. Here are two women’s stories about the unintended consequences of asking for money.

    We didn’t give it a lot of thought before we asked both of our parents to donate money towards our adoption. We had saved a little less than half of what we needed so it wasn’t like we had done nothing. My parents gave us $1000 and my in laws said they did not have the money to give. They believed that if they gave to one child they would have to give the same amount to all their children (they have five) and they didn’t have that much money. We were both blown away.

    I know my parents have the money to give us more. I think my in-laws could give to us for something this important without giving to their other kids, who don`t need it as much as we do. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do. This had impacted our relationship with both sets of parents. The other day my dad said they were going on vacation to Florida and it was all I could do not to say something about them not having the money. And my in-laws gave an iPhone to their eldest grandchild for Christmas, and I was so pissed off I had to leave the room. I wish to God we had never asked because I don’t think I’ll ever get past this.

    and

    The most damaging part of our fundraising process was the effect it had on some of my family relationships. Unfortunately I allowed the lack of support from my one grandmother, one aunt and especially my older sister to affect our relationships. My older sister is 4 years older, and she and her 2nd husband are lawyers in LA. She is the only person in my greater family that is established and financially secure. As far as I know my family has always been very respectful of her success and never relied or asked of her in a monetary fashion. She and her husband never donated, and never really addressed why. She made inferences to us that people should not adopt who can not afford to, and I assume that is why she chose not to support us. Although our relationship (was fairly tenuous before, its pretty much non existent now.

    I sometimes wish we had never asked because you never think that people will say no.

    Did you ask for donations to help you fund your adoption? Would you do it again?

    12/02/2014 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog | 40 Comments



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    40 Responses to Should You Ask for Money to Help Pay for Your Adoption

    1. cb says:

      “cb, note that I said, “anti-adoption and family preservation campS” – camps, plural. I understand that there is a difference between family preservationists and those who are truly anti-adoption, although there is often some overlap.”

      I know that you know the difference, Robyn, however, I just wanted to say what I considered FP to be and to point out that it can also apply to adoptive families.

      Also, we all understand how important language is and I know that often when two things are mentioned together, people can assume that the person talking about them considers them to be similar.

      “I do appreciate your comments, although I would have liked to see them on my blog. I don’t feel comfortable totally hijacking Dawn’s comment thread to talk about my post. But thank you for your comments”

      I thought that might be overkill doing it twice. I might post something modified on your blog.

    2. Geochick says:

      Hello hot button issue! We are fiercely independent and the thought of asking family members to contribute to our adoption expenses never entered our minds. I have mixed feelings on whether it should be ok or not. I think it comes down to each family and those dynamics within the family.

    3. Greg says:

      I agree cb, it’s so easy for people to misunderstand what people mean when using certain terms in these forums. You and I have had a lot of them and with them being such emotional topics it brings out the worst in people in so many occasions (including myself). I think the important thing is to never assume (which I struggle with all the time) and ask questions on what people mean when using certain terms.

      I do think the anti adoption and family preservation camps are not mutually exclusive. I have met people on the internet who are for the idea of keeping bio families together at almost all costs (as long as the child is safe) but do not object to children being adopted into non bio families. Of course there are those who believe that there is no such thing as non bio families who are family preservationists and against children being adopted into families. These people support the Guardianship model when it comes to children that need non bio adults to provide for them but don’t believe the children should ever become members of that non bio family. Though I may disagree with some beliefs of these people I don’t think they are necesarily right or wrong because everyone’s opinion and perspective is very different.

    4. Robyn C says:

      cb, note that I said, “anti-adoption and family preservation campS” – camps, plural. I understand that there is a difference between family preservationists and those who are truly anti-adoption, although there is often some overlap.

      I do appreciate your comments, although I would have liked to see them on my blog. I don’t feel comfortable totally hijacking Dawn’s comment thread to talk about my post. But thank you for your comments. :)

    5. ddb says:

      I have no idea how you could possibly start the adoption process not knowing how/if you can afford it – I kinda think it’s on the borderline of irresponsible…what if you can’t afford it and a child has missed out on another family? I am an adoptive single parent – my friends don’t ask me for money when they have kids – YES I know it’s different but is it really?? I have seen MORE than my fair share of requests for money bc the process is almost finished and they can’t afford travel/fees – I assume all of them work out but don’t you wonder how they’re gonna manage to pay for all of the other big stuff? I had a problem with my agency at the very end which caused me to fly 2 weeks earlier, hire an attorney and get a hotel room with no checkout date….how would you do that if you didn’t have money?? so in summary – no people should not ask for contributions for their adoption it’s messy, potentially hurtful and irresponsible.

    6. cb says:

      “To me being anti adoption doesn’t mean people support children staying in in safe homes with their bio families. I don’t think there is a reasonable human on the planet that would support that. What being anti adoption to me means being against a child being adopted into a non biological family. Instead these people support the Guardianship/Foster Care model which provides the child with a safe home and someone to provide for them but doesn’t provide a family. It goes back to what I was saying comment 30. But I don’t think for a second someone who is anti adoption is advocating for children to stay with their bio family no matter what”

      That’s good to hear, Greg. The problem is that some people consider “anti-adoption” and “family preservation” to mean “to stay with biological families no matter what”.

      One problem with the word “anti-adoption” is that everyone seems to have a different interpretation on th word “word” – for some it just means having non-relted parents, for others they may be specifically be talking about the modern form of adoption. I’ve seen threads on forums where the title is “How can people be anti-adoption” and there will invariably be someone who says “But Moses, Jesus, etc are adopted”, forms of adoption that were different from today’s adoptions. When talking about adoption, one must specify what they mean by adoption.

    7. Greg says:

      cb,

      To me being anti adoption doesn’t mean people support children staying in in safe homes with their bio families. I don’t think there is a reasonable human on the planet that would support that. What being anti adoption to me means being against a child being adopted into a non biological family. Instead these people support the Guardianship/Foster Care model which provides the child with a safe home and someone to provide for them but doesn’t provide a family. It goes back to what I was saying comment 30. But I don’t think for a second someone who is anti adoption is advocating for children to stay with their bio family no matter what.

    8. cb says:

      As for APs giving $30,000 straight to bmothers, I get that it isn’t practical and it is not something I’ve ever said. Having said that it is something that an adoptee is allowed to ask and is possibly a question one’s own adopted child might ask and one needs to provide a good answer. You do give half a good answer which is enough to satisfy a child but not necessarily enough to satisfy an older person who feels that just settling for that answer is not enough. Many adoptees may be happy saying “My mother couldn’t parent because of such and such a reason” but other adoptees may go further and think “What can we do to help address those reasons so others don’t go through what our mothers went through”.

      I do agree with what you say here, Robyn:
      “Ultimately, what we, as a society, need to fund isn’t individual pregnant women, it’s schools, day care centers, and job training programs. We need to get certain politicians to stop paying lip service to “family values” and raise the minimum wage, guarantee paid maternity leave, and provide equal pay for women. Those are the problems”.

      My only extra observation is that a large number of those women and family relinquishing their children are not the women/families on welfare but the working poor – they often slip through the cracks because they don’t have the same access to resources that the unemployed might have. Childcare is always an issue because the working poor often don’t have access to paid maternity leave, may not be able to get good child care or have access to a medical plan. Most Western nations do have guaranteed maternity leave and medical coverage and some have childcare assistance and not having to worrying about those things can be a weight of many women’s shoulders. Also, the working poor are often very susceptible to counselling that questions their ability to provide security because the threat of “welfare and unemployment” is held over their head and they can often be worried that if they do accept welfare that they are on a one way ticket to permanent poverty (the threat of guaranteed poverty is used in options counselling programs).

      There seems to be an assumption that many adoptees don’t understand those difficulties. It is not that, it is just many of us don’t see those issues as a reason for using adoption as a safety net, which seems to be more and more prevalent in the US. We consider them to be things that should be addressed. We don’t just shrug our shoulders and think “Oh well, fair enough” – we prefer to go one step further.

      Adoption can be an excellent resource but when it is too much of a safety net, it can hinder efforts to improve conditions because there is not enough incentive to do so. Governments love adoption because it takes the strain of their own pursestrings and thus they don’t need to do make a great effort to improve things. If the mother or family can’t afford to feed another mouth, then that extra mouth just ends up going to another family – voila problem solved. Except it’s not really is it. Adoption is too much of a “short term, after the horse has bolted” plan and can be dangerous when it is relied on too much as a safety net. Also, churches can and should be a great resource and they often are but again, there seems to be a real push to use adoption in the forefont of “orphan care” (which should be widow/orphan care – there is not a single mention in the bible of orphan care without the widow).

      My observation after being on a general non-adoption forum where there are people of all types is that there does seem to be a feeling by many on there that the poor get what they deserve (this is on both sides of politics by the way). The rise of things like “The Secret” can make that even worse because the attitude is that the poor stay poor because of their negative thinking. That is yet another reason for the lack of incentive. Btw it does seem sometimes that there is different assistance to non-pregnant women in difficulty than pregnant women in difficulty – non-pregnant women in difficulity have their difficulties addressed, pregnant woman in difficulties can be in danger of have their difficulties used against them if they turn to certain organisations. I suppose we need to ask ourselves whether women and families in difficulty deserve a fair go or are fair game.

      Maybe I just feel strongly about it because although things are reasonably OK financially for me now that I’m almost 50, for a lot of my earlier working life, I was the working poor. I was homeless for a week once and lived in a home run by a major charity. Also when I lived in England for a year and a half I could hardly afford to feed myself – I had to come back to Autralia. That is my fault, I went over without a lot of work experience but am not saying it for pity but just to point out that I realise how hard it is to make nothing out of nothing.

    9. cb says:

      “A question that comes up in the anti-adoption and family preservation camps is “Why don’t prospective adoptive parents give their money to expectant moms so they can keep their babies?”

      I consider myself to be in the family preservation camp – somehow that always ends up having people consider that to be anti-adoption. There is often a misunderstanding of what FP is about, i.e. it is not saying “no child should ever be removed from their biological family even if it means being beaten to death”, it is about more about trying to avoid having to move the child from the home by utilising intensive intervention programs to try to identify the situation, (with the disclaimer that there are obviously cases where the child should be removed). It isn’t necessarily about biology because these intervention programs are more about keeping a family together (which btw might include an adoptive family having troubles) rather than removing the child and then trying to reunify. If your own family was having major issues, what would you prefer – that your children were removed or that someone worked with you in an intense program of 6 weeks to try and identiy the situation? That’s family preservation. I would say that most of us on here are for trying to preserve the adoptive family when they are having troubles by helping them in anyway they can – why do we think biological families deserve less?

      In fact, many of us enjoy TV programs that deal with mini versions of “family preservation”. Supernanny? that’s family preservation. Even the UK program “How clean is your house”, that is family preservation. In foster care, it has been proven that when counties/states use intense/intervention family preservation programs and they are used properly (i.e. small caseloads (otherwise the intensity gets lost)), they get far better results that removing willy-nilly then getting the parents to undergo plans for reunification. . The FP programs are geenerally successful for many reasons, eg the social worker gets to the know the family and even after the 6 weeks intense program is up, they remain an important resource for the family, also a family is more likely to seek help earlier. if they know that the SWs are there to help rather than to remove their children. In cases where children are removed out of necessity, then those children are more likely to be TPRed quicker and then adopted, because the smaller actual foster program means that those SWs in that department are more on top of their caseloads and also the smaller program means better quality foster parents and less deaths in foster care (more children die in foster care than in their original homes).

      Family preservation can also work with women with unplanned pregnancies, i.e. by identifying and addressing the women’s problems and issues before considering removal aka adoption, one can truly identify whether adoption is appropriate or not in those cases. That is what I am referring to in a previous post, i.e. trying to identify the issues first and seeing what one can do about them rather than using those problems and issues as a reason why the woman should consider adoption. Instead of saying “this woman is having a crisis pregnancy”, if one restructures one to think “this woman is pregnant in a crisis situation”, one addresses the situation before embarking on the solution. This to me seems especially important in cases where there are other children in the family.

    10. Greg says:

      cb,

      For me when I hear a child has been rehomed the first thought in my head is that the APs weren’t prepared to parent that child. No matter what the child’s issues were you can’t put any of it on the child. I think both the adoption agency and APs are the ones at fault. To what extent is debatable.

      What I disagree with you is that adoption is to provide homes for children. That’s not what it is for. Foster Care and Guardianship provides homes for children that need them. Adoption provides families for children that don’t have families to raise them. For me adoption goes beyond just providing food and shelter for children that need them. It adopts them into a new family which that child becomes a member of (though they’ll always be a member of their biological family as well).

      Robyn C,

      Great blog post that I agree with completely. I understand the perspective of APs spending as much as they do on adoption offending certain groups. But I don’t think telling them they should hand the money to Expectant Mothers is an appropriate response. What they would do with that money instead is none of anyone’s business.

    11. Robyn C says:

      If you would like to ask for money, ask for money. If you don’t want to, then don’t. I don’t think people should be criticized one way or the other, as long as they’re tactful and respectful in how they ask and what they ask people to do.

      I wrote a response to the question, “Why Don’t PAPs Give Their Money to Expectant Moms So They Can Keep Their Babies?” on my blog. http://chittisterchildren.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/why-dont-paps-give-their-money-to-expectant-moms-so-they-can-keep-their-babies/

    12. cb says:

      “Greg – thank you for expressing the views that I would have trouble writing. I certainly believe that the legal focus of adoption must be about the best interests of the child. However, it must be recognized that most PAPs are involved in adoption because of a desire to build their family not because of an altruistic need. I think that makes sense and is ultimately in the best interest of the child. A child should be adopted into a family because they are desperately ”

      Maura, I’ve always said that the PAPs reasons for adoption should include wanting to raise a child to adulthood, I certainly don’t agree it should be for just altruistic purposes.

      However, the actual entity of adoption should only exist to provide a home for a child who needs one. Too often in the US, the boundaries are often blurred. The fact that US allows stand alone adoption agencies to do adoptions is a bizarre concept in itself – adoptions are best done as an auxillary service provided by a “human services” agency (and no, I’m not talking government, I’m talking organisations who deal with helping people in general).

    13. cb says:

      “Victoria, thanks for sharing your views. While this may be off topic, I wanted to respond to your comment that those who “rehome” are the sick and evil. I don’t see it that way”

      I personally wanted to say that I was talking about those who rehome unofficially after a few months like in the articles that have been in the news lately. I do understand that there are those whose children have deep issues.

      I think each case is different. What I find weird is that apparently everyone agrees that all adoptions are different but when it comes to rehoming, everyone acts as if every single case of rehoming is the same, i.e. the assumption is made that the child must have RAD and thus the sympathy is always towards the adoptive parents. In the case of the 3 girls that were recently in the news because of being rehomed, every adoptive parent discussion I’ve come across has had acted as if it is a foregone conclusion that the girls had RAD (even though none of us know that) and their sympathy was all towards the parents.

      I’ve even seen that attitude in cases where the adoptive parent kills their child. I was on a forum where there was one case where a father killed his 5 year old daughter. Originally, everyone assumed it was the biological father and there was great outrage but when it came out that the father was the adoptive father, there started being talk about how the child must have have RAD and that she must have been a real horror and that they had sympathy for the father and felt he shouldn’t be judged. As an adoptee who wasn’t the best behaved preteen, it made me wonder whether if I had been murdered by my parents (don’t worry, not ever a possibility), everyone would have just gone “Oh, those poor parents, they must have adopted a bad seed”, the assumption being that because I was an adopted child, it was probably my fault.

      So just as we accept that each adoption is different, each rehoming case is different.

      • cb, such a good point!! {applauding right now} I wonder if the online adoptive parent forum is reacting with some sympathy to adoptive parents in an adoption dissolution situation because they feel like they alone “get” the difficulties of raising a child who brings a lot of baggage, one of which might be the inability to form an attachment to the parents. I think the general public just assumes the parents are evil, like Victoria said in an earlier comment. Your point, though, is well taken. Each “rehoming” is unique, and adoptive parents that automatically assume RAD run the risk of being as guilty as the general public that automatically assumes bad parents.

    14. Greg says:

      “However, making a woman feel selfish about wanting to parent her own child because there are others who have planned for children and are not been able to ”

      cb,

      I feel that is wrong. I don’t believe that a mother deciding to parent her child is selfish nor do I believe that her placing her child for adoption is selfish. Leaving her child in a dumpster would be selfish but those are very rare situations.

      Again my issue is with those like Debbie and Kym who believe infertile couples are obligated to help these mothers if they don’t place their child for adoption. I disagree, in that situation both parties go their separate ways and are under no obligation to help one another.

    15. Rosie G. says:

      We didn’t ask for financial help. We did ask if my parents would be willing to watch our dog (which actually saves us about $1500 in boarding) and they and my grandma offered us their frequent flier miles, so we will have most of our flights totally covered, except for the part within Kazakhstan where Delta doesn’t fly.

      We are considering asking family members and friends to help with the donation items for the orphans who remain — the clothing, toys, other items. I don’t feel that that is the same as asking for money to fund our own adoption.

    16. Erin A. says:

      We did not ask family or friends to help but we also did a private adoption through a lawyer and not an agency so the fees were much less. We did have a friend who surprised us by sending a card of support and a check. A friend of our who was part of an entertainment group asked if they could do a small fundraiser at their show for us so that was a nice surprise also. I think when people want to help out like that it’s fine. We never asked but it was greatly appreciated and meant a lot to us.

    17. Victoria says:

      I totally agree with cb, and I am a right-wing evangelical Christian myself. I think people who use their church to adopt are personality disorders and the church should step in and tell them no to adoption. That is so scary, and I feel awful for the poor children. It’s like some sort of crazy cult they are living in. Of course, not all, nothing is all. But those who “rehome” are without a doubt, the sickest of the sickest. I don’t care if you have to live in 2 trailers to keep your other children safe, or whatever you have to do, “rehoming” is evil. If someone feels they would be abusive to a child, then I guess rehoming would be better. But then they should have to work 3 jobs and send all the money to that other family until they die.

      • Victoria, thanks for sharing your views. While this may be off topic, I wanted to respond to your comment that those who “rehome” are the sick and evil. I don’t see it that way. Most families that have reached the point that they don’t feel they can continue to parent a child, are families that are terrified and at the end of their rope. They might be many things, but evil is most often not one of them. My life’s work is to educate families before they adopt to help them decide if they are “cut out” for adopting harder to parent kids and in an ideal world “lengthen their rope”. once they adopt, we want to support them through education and our support group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/40688106167/). Of course, it is a major mistake to search for a new family on your own without the support and advice of professionals who can help you follow all the laws and best practices for children. From what I’ve been able to find through the limited research I’ve done, the vast majority of families who are dissolving an adoption work through the proper channels. Also keep in mind, that many families who dissolve/disrupt an adoption, do so in order for their child to get the mental health services they need. I’m not writing to support the idea of dissolving/disrupting an adoption, but to try to explain that the decision is usually not made lightly.

    18. Maura says:

      Greg – thank you for expressing the views that I would have trouble writing. I certainly believe that the legal focus of adoption must be about the best interests of the child. However, it must be recognized that most PAPs are involved in adoption because of a desire to build their family not because of an altruistic need. I think that makes sense and is ultimately in the best interest of the child. A child should be adopted into a family because they are desperately wanted, not out of a sense of charity. Charity and adoption are two very different things.
      That being said I also support charities. I am specifically involved in issues regarding disadvantaged women and children. Crazy as it sounds, I have thought about taking in a new mother to help her out, but I have no idea how one goes about doing such a thing.
      As for the topic of fundraising, we have not done it because we do not want to open our personal finances to the scrutiny of others. Lisa’s Disneyland trip was a perfect example of why I would not ask for donations. We were very fortunate in that both of my parents (divorced) volunteered money when we were going through IVF (the refund from which we are using to pay for adoption).

    19. cb says:

      “I get your pain as an infertile person and couple, I do. Take a moment, though, and look at the way you responded to Kym. Your language makes it sound as though adoption exists to release infertile couples from the pain of being infertile, and that, I believe, is a flawed approach. Adoption exists in its ideal form to provide for “the best interests of the child”, right? In your answer, you put the interests of an expectant parent considering placement against the interests and goals of infertile potential adoptive parents, but that’s not the lens for adoption. The adoption lens is the interests of the child against….well, no one. In our society (again, as an ideal), whenever safely possible the best interests of the child are generally seen to be remaining with their biological families. ”

      Anon AP, I got that impression too.

      “While I don’t believe that expectant mothers with unplanned pregnancies are obligated to hand their babies to couples who can’t have children”

      Good to hear that you don’t feel that emoms are obligated to hand their babies to couples who can’t have children, Greg. However, making a woman feel selfish about wanting to parent her own child because there are others who have planned for children and are not been able to have them is how adoption counselling works – the unborn child is held to ransom.

      In the past, things like this would be said:

      “Single girls who hang on to their babies invariably attempt to defend their position by claiming their love is so great that they cannot give the child up. Such “love” is questionable. It is a sick kind of love turned inside out –an unwholesome blend of self pity, mixed with self-destruction and a touch of martyrdom. This isn’t mother love, it’s smother love, with all the suffocating aspects that the word implies”
      Ann Landers, Toronto Star, April 25, 1961.”

      In the present day, things like this are said:

      “It is imperative that proper counseling is sought for every family member involved. It is also extremely important that the mother of the baby realize how they have helped another family have their dreams come true. Although it may seem to be one of the darkest and hardest times of a mother’s life, they have immediately brought one of the happiest and most memorable times to another families life. They have given a gift to a family that would have been impossible otherwise. Of the 500,000 families that are looking to adopt, approximately 100,000 had completed their paperwork in the 1990’s and were waiting for somebody that is putting up thier baby for adoption. The demand for children to adopt is extremely high. There are approximately 3 adoptive families ready to adopt for every child that is up for adoption. Birth mothers and families need to constantly remind themselves of the joy and ultimate gift that they are bringing to another family. They are giving them the gift of life, a new child to join their home and possibly a life for that baby that they could not have provided on their own. Putting your baby up for adoption can be an emotionally challenging experience, but through their own pain, they are giving another family more joy and happiness then they could possibly realize. They are fulfilling somebody else’s prayers and dreams.”

      Fairly obviously, the above adoption organisation cares about those suffering from IF – in fact, one gets the impression that it is the APs that are the most important person to this organisation, not the child or the mother.

    20. cb says:

      To me, there is raising funds and fundraising. Thus, if one wants to raise funds for one’s adoption in the same way that one might want to raise funds to buy something, I don’t have a problem. Where I have a problem is when the adoption is treated like a charity, eg having signs saying that one is “fundraising to save a child”.

      So, for example, if one wants to make jewellery and sell it, fine.

      Re things like garage sales – I don’t have a problem if it is just a general garage sale like one might have if one is hoping to get extra funds for anything. However, if one puts up a big picture of a child saying “Help us save this child”, to me, that is exploiting the child.

      What I am ambout to say is probably a bit controversial. When I look at some those families that unofficially rehome their children, I’ve noticed that many of them raised the funds entirely by donations from fellow church members and it has made me wonder whether their attitude is perhaps “easy come, easy go” because they didn’t scrimp and save for their adoptions. Obviously, I’m not talking about every case of rehoming, I’m talking about the ones that have been in the news lately.

    21. Greg says:

      AnnonAP,

      Oh, I have no issue with those who have been hurt by adoption opposing it. I agree that adoption doesn’t exist to serve infertile couples. I wasn’t arguing when I said support infertile couples that they should be handed babies. What I meant by support is that bring infertile is a lonely outcasting place. Support those couples by being there to listen and care for them rather than shame their desire to have children.

      I don’t have an issue with people opposing adoption fundraising. What I have an issue with is saying these people should take their money instead using it to support that mother and her child. That’s something that is just as self serving as what PAPs are accused of. I thought Debbie’s suggestion about a car was more appropriate though it doesn’t fill the void the infertile couple has. Suggesting that they don’t spend their money on adoption is one thing telling them they should hand it to a mother and child is offensive to me. It’s just as offensive as I imagine adoption fundraising is for kym and debbie.

    22. AnonAP says:

      And I should also say, debbie, thanks for sharing your perspective as an adoptee. Sorry, should have said that before I said anything else!

    23. AnonAP says:

      Greg,

      I get your pain as an infertile person and couple, I do. Take a moment, though, and look at the way you responded to Kym. Your language makes it sound as though adoption exists to release infertile couples from the pain of being infertile, and that, I believe, is a flawed approach. Adoption exists in its ideal form to provide for “the best interests of the child”, right? In your answer, you put the interests of an expectant parent considering placement against the interests and goals of infertile potential adoptive parents, but that’s not the lens for adoption. The adoption lens is the interests of the child against….well, no one. In our society (again, as an ideal), whenever safely possible the best interests of the child are generally seen to be remaining with their biological families.

      To be clear, I am not taking sides in the money question. I wish I had an answer for how we change the fact that poverty is one of the primary reasons in this country why people place their children for adoption and how we change our adoption-related institutions to better handle the financial/commercial aspect of things. I just wanted to raise that flag in the way you wrote that statement.

    24. Greg says:

      I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking others for money to pursue adoption. Both if our parents offered if we ever make the decision to pursue adoption. It’s just not us to ever ask for money for something that is a desire not a need. We have the ability to save for it and spend the money for it. So we are fortunate that we are in a better financial position than other couples pursuing adoption.

      With that being said, I don’t judge people who do ask for money. Despite it being something we aren’t comfortable with I understand why people do it. With how our society outcasts those who are childless in our childfilled world, I don’t blame them. I don’t think anyone wants to pay the amount that private agencies charge for the services to adopt a child. I don’t look at it as buying a child. I look at it as paying for services that are required to adopt a child. Similar (to an extent) way our taxes pay for services for children to be adopted out of Foster Care.

      Debbie,

      While I respect your opinion as an adoptee, I don’t think you recognize what it’s like to not be able to have children when you desire them. It’s not like not being smart or talented enough to do something. It’s a normal physical ability that the majority of the population has that for whatever reason you were born without. It’s different than those who choose not to have children because the choice is taken away from you. The family life you thought you’d have will never be. It’s a very lonely place. That’s what drives people to spend the amount and go to the lengths they do to become parents.

      Now I’m not saying that should come at a cost where you as an adoptee’s needs are neglected because they shouldn’t. All I ask is that you recognize and empathize where these people come from. If you run into people in your life going through infertility support them rather than shame them. Just as people should listen to your pain rather than telling you to be thankful for your parents and the life they have you.

      Kym,

      I’ve heard that suggestion of infertile couples who instead of spending money on adopting should give to a mother with an unplanned pregnancy to help raise their child. While that is noble charity the question I ask is how does that full the void in the infertile couple’s life of being childless? The answer is it doesn’t. The couple is still childless. The still have empty houses on Halloween and Christmas. The couple will likely lose friends and be outcasted by those who have children. They still will have no families to be with as they age.

      So while giving that money to those mothers maybe “better” for the mothers it is not better for the infertile couple. In fact it’s worse as the infertile couple will have less money for themselves in their older age because they have no families to care for them. Because it’s doubtful that mother would ever have any concern for that couple after she got the money.

      While I don’t believe that expectant mothers with unplanned pregnancies are obligated to hand their babies to couples who can’t have children, I don’t believe infertile couples are obligated to financialy support expectant mothers with unplanned pregnancies.

      I ask you have you ever thought about adopting an infertile childless couple into your life and help support them when they are outcasted from society with no family????? I didn’t think so.

    25. Melissa says:

      I have asked for money on numerous occasions for missions work. I travel twice a year overseas so the expense can be quite large. I always open the door for my family to donate if they would like but I never ask for a commitment or pledge from them and never go in expecting them to donate each and every time I go. I think this has helped with keeping harsh feelings in check. I also remind myself that it is not my business to decide where others will spend their money. That is between them and God. I have been on plenty of vacations in the last few years and I have worked hard to earn them. I am also in the practice of giving to others and, of course, putting aside as much as I can towards my own missions work. In the end I can’t expect anything else of others.

    26. Elizabeth says:

      We just sent out a general letter to family and friends about our fundraising event (cover charge at a local brewery which included beer and cake) and if people were unable to go that they could send a check to a certain non-profit we worked with if they wanted to support the adoption costs. We honestly had no expectations on family as we knew that family members would all help the way they could (my parents never gave us money, but live in town and baby-sit for free, etc.). Honestly, it didn’t change any family dynamics because our expectations were pretty much at zero and we were absolutely amazed at what people DID give! Even if it was $20 or $100, it was all such an unexpected blessing to us.

    27. kym says:

      I second Debbie’s reply – simply,’No, one shouldn’t ask for donations to fund an adoption’.

      A common reason given for why a child shouldn’t or can’t be raised by his/her first parents is lack of finances and the struggles that would ensue. To help a child whose parents are struggling with finances, it would be better to donate to the parent so that he/she can keep his/her child and the child can be raised by his/her own parent(s). Money that isn’t there shouldn’t be spent to remove a child unnecessarily from his/her home/family. Raise funds, ask for donations to allow children to grow up in their own homes/families instead, without having to endure the losses and trauma of family separation.

    28. debbie says:

      As an adult adoptee one of the main things that makes me resent my adopters is that they paid for me, makes me feel like they should have brought a car instead, We are then reminded constantly that we cost a lot of money our whole lives.. Honestly if you have to ask for money you shouldn’t even be looking at adoption.In another 20 yrs time I can guarantee that adoption awareness in America will catch up to the awareness that is in Australia.. and adopters will be looked down on as they are now in Australia, if you cant afford to buy a baby ever thought of supporting a young single mum by welcoming her into your house and supporting her to raise a baby..NOPE its all about the purchase of a baby..If you think that its expensive to buy a baby then you have no idea of the costs that your up for in the future… Adoptees need counselling for the rest of there lives and that’s expensive.Thankgod the Australian government has now provided free counselling to adoptees to try and fix the past mistakes of adoption..

    29. Lisa says:

      I’m so sorry. No one has the right to judge if they haven’t been there. I think especially after struggling with infertility and/or adoption you so very much want to celebrate being a family. of course that doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be, and I know for people looking in from the outside it may look questionable. Hang in there.

    30. Karen says:

      Lisa- this is what is happening in my family at the moment. :-/

    31. Lisa says:

      We thought about it but did not because I wasn’t interested in opening up every subsequent financial decision we would make to people’s scrutiny. We had a difficult time paying for our son’s adoption and are still paying for it 2 years later. But it was worth every single penny. We took a Disney World vacation the summer after he came home. The dream of that celebration was what got me through the years of waiting to become a Mom. There was no way I was NOT going to take the vacation even though it might not have been the best financial decision in some people’s minds. I would have felt wrong about taking money to pay for adoption and then using our own funds to pay for extras and luxuries in our lives.

    32. Karen says:

      This is a hot button issue in my house right now, but for surrogacy, not adoption. I think DawnMarie had it right ” I have my personal causes I support financially. I can’t donate to every person who asks. So I say no to very valid non profits, because I have to pick and choose. I would say no to an adoption fundraiser as well.” I have said no to several.. why? Because instead of putting *my* hand out… I’m saving for our second child. My quests for children are my responsibility – your quests are your own.

    33. Penne S. says:

      Many women are using fill their arms to help fundraise for their adoptions or fertility treatments. that’s how I got my IUIs done. You can also apply with Compassion care to pay for the meds.

    34. Cynthia C. says:

      I think it is a wise idea to fundraise with the intent of giving something back as in a raffle or giveaway or selling some kind of product or service because it gives people an out if they don’t want to give and you an opportunity to let it go/forgive if they do not support you. It also gives people an opportunity to give outright if they so desire and seeing that you are needing to fundraise to make it happen and that you are also willing to work and sacrifice. Only asking for money is a hotbed of trouble all around. A story I remember a few years back a woman who wanted to adopt a little boy in Russia so much so that she gave up her diamond engagement ring for a raffle to raise the funds to get him home. People were all about supporting her cause not just because they might win the ring (and she did give it away) but because they saw her sacrifice also.

    35. Dawnmarie says:

      My personal opinion is that you should fundraise or ask people for help funding an adoption. Do you ask for help paying for fertility treatments? Usually no. And the reasons you mention are all valid. I have my personal causes I support financially. I can’t donate to every person who asks. So I say no to very valid non profits, because I have to pick and choose. I would say no to an adoption fundraiser as well. Often we look at someone’s life from the outside and think they are in better shape than they may be. We can’t actually know their finances. And we shouldn’t put ourselves in the position of judging someone else’s choices just because they didn’t choose to support our pet cause.

    36. anon says:

      Nope, didn’t ask for money for adoption, partly for these reasons, but also because of how that information plays out with the child who is adopted (another post altogether). Rather than straight up asking, why not just put it on the table that you are hurting for money to pay for an adoption? That allows the family member to help out if they’d like, but keeps them out of the awkward position of saying no. Of course, you’d have to do this without the expectation that they will help, and probably limit this kind of information sharing to just a few close family members. My inlaws came forward with a generous donation towards an IVF cycle along these same lines and we didn’t even have to ask. Of course, that made it all the more heartbreaking when the cycle didn’t work. There most definitely are consequences to financially inviting others into your family building business…

      • anon, I agree. I think there are ways to let it be known that all contributions would be welcome without asking. The hard part, as you said, is to not have the expectation that people will give.

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