Networking, Advertising, Fundraising…

19 Apr
This is a venting post…
I just read this line in an advertisement for an adoption agency…
Wide selection of Birthmothers to meet your family’s goals.
How is this an appropriate statement to make?  Could you make it sound worse if you tried?  “Birthmothers” are not objects, they are human beings.  Reminds me of the ads placed in the towns along the railway before the Orphan Train stopped and lined up the children on the platform to viewed and adopted.
And the networking that happens.  Pass-Along Cards.  Websites showing how absolutely perfect you are.  Parent Profile Websites.  Forums for connecting.  Advertisements in Newspapers with 800 numbers.  YouTube Videos.  Even Billboards.  Enough to make me seriously question whether the adoption world has gone mad, or rather that the adoption industry has just found a way to make money without spending their profits on advertising – think about that.  Ethics, not so much.  Adoption if finding a home for a child not finding a child for a home…
Fundraising is another thing that frustrates me.  Mothers are told they are not good enough and look at all these fine couples ready to parent your child, financially secure, working, beautiful homes – everything you could possibly want for your child to have growing up.  And then you find out that they had to fundraise to pay for the adoption.  If you don’t have the funds then save your money – raising a child is expensive, at least that is what the mother is told as a reason to surrender.  How did you pay for the new car in the driveway?  Monthly payments?  Do the same thing but proactively and then adopt.  If you have to ask people to help you afford to adopt, then are you really capable of financially supporting a child throughout their childhood and beyond? 
And if you do network or fundraise are you going to include those items in your child’s life-book?  It is part of their story as to how they became part of your family.  Look honey at the Pass-along card we posted at the homeless shelter where your mother lived.  This is the newspaper ad we placed across the country looking for a mother to give us you.  Here is the fundraising we did to be able to afford you – weren’t we clever.
People need to stop and think how the adoptee will feel when they grow up.  I would be creeped out.  Adoption should not be done this way.  It should be all about finding a home for the child who can’t stay in their family.  What is happening now is wrong, and I don’t have the words to thoroughly describe how wrong it is.

Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics



13 responses to “Networking, Advertising, Fundraising…

  1. cb

    April 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    “People need to stop and think how the adoptee will feel when they grow up. I would be creeped out. Adoption should not be done this way. It should be all about finding a home for the child who can’t stay in their family. What is happening now is wrong, and I don’t have the words to thoroughly describe how wrong it is.”

    Totally agree. It is just so frustrating to know that this goes on. Good article.

    I find the fundraising rather disturbing too. Why not fundraise instead to help the children in need? I find it disturbing how people say they adopted their child from a family where the parents just couldn’t afford “one more”, a family that is often otherwise loving. Why not help them to do so.

    We fundraise to sponsor overseas children. Why not fundraise to sponsor families in need? We have the Smith Family im Australia – I am assuming the US has something similar?


  2. Jeannette

    April 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    “Wide selection of Birthmothers to meet your family’s goals”

    What about the basics that a woman is an expectant mother not a birthmother until she signs over her parental rights? She is not there to fulfill someone eles dream but trying to decide what to do in a diffucult situation. Where is empathy for the mother and child? Where are the ethics when an agency adverties this way? It seems so much like selling of human beings.


    • cb

      April 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Well said, Jeanette.


  3. cb

    April 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I just looked up the Children’s Charity of America so there are a few charities around.

    I note that at least 18 of them are adopted related charities – I am not sure why an adoption agency needs help raising money?


  4. The adopted ones

    April 19, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Jeannette – I know, it just jumped off the page at me. So much wrong with it that I just could not find the words but had to say something. Anyone who is okay with that should be removed from the pool and told to go sit in a corner for the next twenty years or so…

    CB – the whole part and parcel just creeps me out…how is any of it okay – how do you explain to your child what you did.


  5. Dannie

    April 20, 2011 at 12:43 am

    “Wide selection of Birthmothers to meet your family’s goals”

    We’re not selling cattle here people! Someone (the marketing person) may need to get fired….although if that is the mentality it would take more to change the heart than a mere firing


    • The adopted ones

      April 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      And yet people don’t seem to get it…and they wonder why adoptees and mothers are pissed off…and try to pacify us with “I’m sorry you had a bad experience” – no – just looking out for the next generation so they actually DO NOT HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE!


  6. Von

    April 20, 2011 at 2:41 am

    It is so offensive to market babies and mothers, commodities like cars, BigMacs and anything else that has a price.
    I have some particular ‘favourites’…the cake stall, the adoption fund into which your friends and relatives gift you money and of course the pleas to strangers to donate! Don’t people have any pride, are they so desparate and as you have said, what will the adoptees think when they are older? There isn’t a nice way to explain you begged for money, no dignity in it for the child.


  7. younevergetoverit2

    April 21, 2011 at 12:45 am

  8. Kara

    April 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

    It’s sick. Downright sick. We are not commodities, nor are our natural parents. It shouldn’t be about shopping for a baby. It should be about finding homes for children with NO family.

    I am right with you on the venting! Seeing things like the advertisements and forums and “fundraising” efforts to steal children such as those you describe drive me over the edge.


  9. Suzanne Innes

    April 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Just reading the part about the Parent Profile website made me shudder! I was adopted and grew up in a nice home and my adoptive parents would have had the perfect profile! Very highly respected and community involved. My father had a big position with a Fortune 500 company and also had an appointment by the governor. Looks good, right? Well I was verbally, emotionally and sexually abused for years by my adoptive father. So much for “good looking” homes and perfect profiles! I just wonder if any of these agencies do psychological testing!


  10. The adopted ones

    April 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Suzanne – welcome. I cannot imagine growing up in that situtation, I wish that had never happened to any adoptee and cannot even begin to understand the life long impact that has had on you.



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