I cannot get fundraising to pay for adoptions off my mind and perhaps it is because my parents would not have considered doing that to us…I know I tend to hold all other adoptive parents up against my parents ethics and morals, and that so many of my adoptee friends had well to put it politely, less than stellar parents and that is the point. Adoptive parents should be held to a higher standard simply because they are adopting someone elses child, the new adoptee has also just lost their entire family so yes - higher standard, end of story. Adoptive parents should not ever be given a pass or have excuses made for them when they do something that can impact the adoptee, either physical or emotional harm, they should be better than that or choose not adopt – the impact is too great.
I was raised by good hard-working individuals who I care deeply for and always will, I cannot imagine any better parents (even if I did not think so at times when I was told no, specifically my teenage years). They did everything for us that was humanely possible with their hearts wide open. They provided and taught us how to live ethical, moral, kind-hearted lives. They taught us to save for what we needed. They would not appreciate what is happening now.
They would not have held fundraisers to pay for our adoptions – of that I am certain. They would have saved their money and waited until they could afford to adopt if they did not have the money. If it was today they probably would have gone the foster care adoption route, as they wanted to be parents to a child that needed a home, not a child whose mother was advertised for by adoption agencies to give up her baby and create another adoptee so someone else could be parents. Their desire or dream to be parents would not have been put ahead of what the child needed and deserved, which was the opportunity to stay in their family first and foremost.
And just to be absolutely clear, if they had decided to have a garage sale or something similar to build their savings account to help pay the fees the word “adoption” would not have been mentioned, nor would they have put up a picture of the child they hoped to adopt at the garage sale.
They would not have had a blog asking for donations to help save the orphan (with or without a picture or story) with a little ticker showing how much was raised, and how far they still had to go begging others to help bring their cute little orphan home.
They would not have allowed the church to hold spaghetti dinners or pass the collection plate. Nor would they have done any of the other fundraising activities you see happening now in the International arena that uses the adoption, the child, their picture or story. Note I also see the same in domestic adoption but it is less obvious.
They would have understood that with “demand” being higher than the “supply” in today’s international adoption that any waiting child would simply be assigned to the next family on the wating list that is not months but rather years, or that the mother in domestic adoption would simply be provided with any number of other profiles to choose from the large growing pool of families waiting to be picked.
My parents had far more respect for us than to do anything like that. We weren’t “charity cases” to be pitied and money given to help save us. We weren’t adopted to be converted and save our souls. We were respected us as human beings who simply needed a home, and would not have subjected us to any of that.
We never had to find out from comments from other church members about how they “contributed” to us being saved either literally or figuratively, and trust me people will say something, sooner rather than later, to that cute little adoptee “they” helped save.
We never had to find out that our picture was plastered on telephone poles advertising the adoption fundraiser garage sale to help bring us home that is used solely to guarantee people feel obligated to spend more (much more) than the item is worth. Or face being told by the grumpy old lady at church about buying a lamp at the garage sale and paying more than it was worth, just so our mommy and daddy could afford to adopt us.
The mere thought that others contributed to save us would have added yet another layer to being an adoptee. Growing up I had enough to deal with not growing up in my family of birth, plus feeling the need to be perfect so no one looked down on mom or dad for being an adoptive parent, coupled with the fear that if I could be given away once there was nothing stopping it from happening again. (No my parents never gave me either impression – just my own childish thoughts at play). I would assume there are others adoptees out there who also felt similar feelings and also had the expectation reinforced that they needed to be “grateful” to their parents for “rescuing them” by some ignorant individual (or many, and even more tragically by their own parents). Imagine heaping another added burden of having others needing and expecting the adoptee to show gratitude to them as well for their “contribution to the fundraiser“…no good will come out of it, trust me. The act of fundraising won’t be looked upon kindly in the future.
An adoptee can already feel the sting of how money plays a role and fundraising may add to this feeling of being a commodity…how would you like to feel bought and paid for? Your actions today matter to your future adoptee.
If you cannot afford adoption and believe adoption agencies are gouging you, then don’t do it. Start a group and actively work to reform adoption, because honestly, how many of you believe that adoption actually costs as much as being charged? I don’t and believe they already have all processes down pat and can process an adoption for pennies on the dollar of what it costs now - but the people getting rich off it won’t like it. The wait times will increase because of less advertising and convincing a mother she is not as good as you are so she “needs to do the right thing” and surrender to create another adoptee to be adopted and this happens in both domestic and international in one form or another. The supply and demand are driven by you – the prospective adoptive parents, so really – you are in the ones in power but you allow your desires to keep it status quo – so you achieve your dream.
The status quo is really quite an ugly picture when you stop and realize people are in business to profit from the creation adoptees to meet the demand. Adoptees should never just be created, society should strive to prevent the creation of adoptees and the loss that comes part and parcel with that creation. Adoption should only happen when there is no other good option…
That is what it boils down to, really…