Back in the day, families looking to adopt could send a letter to family and friends asking for donations to help them adopt. Just a few years ago, people could post donation request on Facebook or send emails. The latest step in fundraising to support either adoption or infertility is “crowdfunding” and it is catching on fast. Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular was to raise money to afford adoption. GoFundMe.com, the popular crowd funding site, says it has raised over a million dollars since its beginning in 2010 to help cover the cost of adoptions and IVF.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the pros and cons to crowdfunding or even asking friends and family to help pay for your adoption. (See my blog 3 Facts About Adoption Fundraising You Don’t Want To Hear.) For example:
- Does it matter if you are adopting a child living in an orphanage abroad or adopting a newborn being relinquished by her birth mother here in the US?
- Does your motivation for adoption matter?
- Does it matter if you are able to have children biologically, and therefore this adoption is not your only way to become a parent?
And then an adult adoptee online friend asked why fundraise for the adoption of a child rather than for the expectant woman so she would not have to place the child for adoption.
This all gets too much – especially when you consider they are crowd funding for babies not even yet born in the US, many of whom might not have needed adoption, but for lack of resources that nobody crowd funded for – because those people pregnant with their own child should just get a job and stop sponging off people like us – but adoption and adopting – we need to lend a hand because that child needs a family.
Although I’m still contemplating the whole “asking others to fund your adoption” idea, I don’t think my friend’s argument that crowd funding or donating to expectant women in crisis is equivalent to fundraising for adoption.
Why Do Expectant Mom’s Place Babies for Adoption
I’ve never seen specific research on the reasons why women and couples make an adoption plan for their baby, but I have talked with many birth mothers and professionals. My unscientific assessment is that almost always money is a factor; almost never is money the only factor in deciding to place a child for adoption.
A woman or couple deciding to place an infant for adoption is a woman or couple in crisis. They likely are struggling financially, but they are also likely to be struggling with other issues as well. This pregnancy is hitting them at the wrong time. Maybe they are up to their ears with parenting the children they already have and know that their existing children will suffer with the addition of one more. Maybe they are struggling with addictions. Maybe they don’t have a job or an apartment, or the skills to get either. Maybe the child was conceived by a man who is not their husband. Maybe they are young and single and cannot provide the life they want for the child they love. Maybe they have dreams for their own life that they fear will never be realized if they are parenting a child at this particular time. There are as many reasons as there are women in this position, and most often it is the perfect awful storm of reasons that leads them to adoption.
Why Not Crowdfund or Donate Money for Expectant Mom
A lump sum amount of money through any means, including donation or crowdfunding, would not solve the problems most expectant parents considering adoption face. Crowd funding works best for people who need a large sum of money for a specific “thing” on a one-time basis, not for people who need ongoing support. In the family building area, an apt analogy would be if someone could afford to raise a child, but needed the money to pay for childbirth (which fortunately doesn’t happen in the US) or for fertility treatment (which unfortunately does happen in the US).
I think my friend’s points are worth considering by any of us who value the institution of adoption as a means of providing families for children. What do you think about crowd funding for adoption?