Fundraisers are everywhere these days. I have 2 children in school now and I probably get at least 2 fundraisers come home every month. Usually these fundraisers are to raise money for their school or to raise money for a specific cause like breast cancer or juvenile diabetes. Add girl scout cookie fundraisers and boy scout troop popcorn sales and we’re pretty much always being asked to contribute to something. None of these things rub me the wrong way because they are causes I can get behind.
Fundraising for Adoptions: Who is Worthy?
For awhile now I have been seeing more and more fundraisers for adoptions. I have seen individual blogs asking for donations for their domestic infant adoption funds. I have seen blogs asking for money towards their international adoptions. I have seen people selling trinkets or tshirts to help fund their adoptions. I have seen garage sales for raising funds for adoption. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but every time I saw one advertised on a website my first thought was ew.
So last night, I really tried to explore why exactly all these fundraisers and donations for adoption made me cringe.
Domestic infant adoptions and international adoptions are two very different animals. When I see people asking for donations for their domestic adoptions I know exactly why my stomach turns. My personal reasons for giving my son up were money related. So, seeing these fundraisers hits home for me. Especially when I see people fundraising for friends or family who want to adopt. If you can raise funds for other people to adopt a baby, why the hell is no one raising funds for women who would love to keep their own baby? Money is pretty much the #1 concern for women who choose adoption so all that fundraising really makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Why isn’t the woman who is actually giving birth worthy of fundraisers? Why isn’t the baby who is about to lose everything they know worthy?
On a more personal note, when I was choosing my son’s parents from the profiles at the agency I wanted to make certain that they were stable financially. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that anyone that was given the OK to adopt would have money. Not wealthy, but upper middle class at least. It wasn’t because I thought people with money were inherently better than those without, it was just that I thought I couldn’t keep my son because I wasn’t stable financially. If I had found out the parents were asking for donations or needing to fundraise for the adoption costs I would have been very upset. In my mind, it would have meant that they were more worthy because people liked them enough to contribute to them, but not to me.
Adoption is seen by the majority of our society as a positive thing. Most people only see adoption from the point of view of the people who can not have children biologically and want more than anything to raise a child. It is acceptable to help a couple in need who just want to have a family of their own. It is less acceptable to help a woman in need raise her own child.
Adoption Fundraising for International Adoption : Who is it Really Helping?
As far as international adoption fundraisers are concerned it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. Adopting one child from another country is so expensive, wouldn’t that money do so much more good by donating it to a community or an orphanage? I get it, really I do. These people want to grow their family. It just kills me that this needs to be done by removing a child from their country of origin.
Children in our country that are in foster care are much cheaper to adopt. I have read that the process is much lengthier for foster care adoptions and much more involved. But these children are just as worthy as those in other countries. If someone needs to fundraise to adopt overseas, isn’t foster care adoption a much more feasible option?
Raising Money for Child/Baby Purchase
In my idea of a perfect adoption system, no money would change hands at all. Usually people who are adopting say that they have the means to take care of the child once they’re home, but it’s getting them home that they need help with. If that’s true, it just sounds like people are buying babies and children. So in that light, fundraising is the means to buy a child. That is not right.
I understand that with the extremely high cost of domestic infant adoptions and international adoptions, most people just don’t have that kind of money saved up. But does that mean it’s ethical to ask others to help with the cost, thereby reinforcing the extreme financial costs of the adoption industry? What are your thoughts?
I would love to hear from adoptive parents who have gone this route. No, this isn’t some kind of trick. I really want to understand the thought process behind fundraising. What kind of adoption would you/did you fundraise for? If you agree with fundraising for IA would you/do you support fundraising for domestic infant adoptions?