So, this is one of those venty posts that’s less informative but more therapeutic for me.
I was researching fund-raising for adoption this afternoon, as we hope to really hit the ground running with fund-raising this summer.
The things I saw online written from people honestly made me feel like I’d been punched in the gut. People are so confused about adoption and the costs associated with it, and how it works, it’s beyond astonishing. It absolutely made me sick reading some of those things.
On a forum, someone mentioned seeing a yard sale and a sign that said, “Proceeds to benefit China adoption.” The opinions that followed were like verbal acid. People talking about trading a used couch for a baby. People calling it tacky to “guilt” people into funding their adoption with a sign like that. Someone said, “How do you explain to your child in ten years that their neighbor bought them for you when you sold your t-shirts in a yard sale years ago?”
Let’s be clear: Adoption is NOT “buying” children. It’s very true that you need to be extremely careful choosing your agency because not all of their fees can be clear or honest (that’s another post for another time). But, if you do your homework, there are honest agencies out there that charge you for legal fees, medical expenses for the birthmoms who don’t have Medicaid, some include travel expenses, and a bulk of fees for non-profits go towards the counseling services for birthmoms and adoptive families. There are other rational expenses lumped in there as well, each unique to the agency in question.
Adoptions are expensive, but so are high risk HG pregnancies. We spent thousands on our own and through our insurance coverage on Zofran, hospital trips (nearly weekly for IV fluids), extra ultrasounds (three a week), extended hospital stays (three weeks at a time), NST tests, my c-section and 4 day hospital stay, my son’s at home care for his high bilirubin levels, the rental fees associated with my breast pump for 15 months, etc.
When all is said and done, adopting will actually be less expensive than having LB. The difference? We have to pay for the adoption in one large lump sum, and all of LB’s expenses were stretched out throughout my pregnancy, and we had insurance to help cover hospital expenses.
The opinions that were expressed the most and hurt the most were the people who said that if you can’t afford an adoption, you shouldn’t be adopting. This is not the first time I’ve read something that indicates this ignorant opinion. Why has our society decided if you aren’t sitting on a $20,000 inheritance or mutual fund, then you aren’t fit to be a parent? Why have people decided to equate money with love or a person’s ability to provide a stable and caring home?
Fundraising is actually a very common part of adopting. Many families who do not request donations or participate in fund-raising still rely heavily on loans and grants to fund their adoptions. In other words, just because an adoptive family isn’t holding an adoption related fund-raiser, that doesn’t mean they’re wealthy or are paying for their adoption out-of-pocket! How a family pays for their adoption is a private matter. I don’t see the mention of an adoption-related garage sale tacky or guilt-inducing at all. If a person sees such a poster, and they feel led to help, that’s great. If they see such a poster and they don’t want to help, they can leave. No one is hurt in the exchange.
The idea that because a family doesn’t have thousands of dollars lying around then they aren’t qualified to afford to raise a child into adulthood is absolutely ludicrous to me! It takes roughly $250,000 to raise a child to age 18 this day and age. I’m curious about the people who have made those comments in articles, books, and blogs, of those who have children, how many of them have $250,000 in their savings account right now? If they have multiple children, I wonder how many have that amount for each individual child? I’m guessing just looking at the financial state of our nation, probably not many of them. Off with their heads! Put their kids in foster care! Or, send them to the wealthy 1% who can “afford” to raise them right!
Absolutely ridiculous. The initial cost of an adoption tells us nothing about a parent’s ability to provide for that child into adulthood. And providing for a child goes so much further beyond anything than can be measured by money. Should a child be left with potentially drug addicted parents who already have children in foster care, simply because the couple that hopes to adopt that baby needs help raising the $20,000 associated with their agency fees??
I’m continually astonished by the cruelty and blatant ignorance of people. None of the people who made such comments were adoptive parents themselves, I must add. What morons.
End of rant.