Fundraising thoughts…

28 Apr

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…

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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47 responses to “Fundraising thoughts…

  1. The adopted ones

    April 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Just realized the comments were off – no idea why or how that happened. Thanks Suzie and Von for liking the post.

  2. Suzanne Innes

    April 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Wow! I really related to what you had to say! Not that I had decent adoptive parents or anything but that adoptive parents should be held to a higher standard really hit home! I always wondered how mine were ever allowed to adopt?! They should have been given psychological testing!

    The trying to be “good” and be “perfect” was a part of my life! After all, so many relatives and others told me that I should be grateful because they “took us in”!

    I loved your statement about having one more thing to be grateful for—the contribution! I think that adoptees have enough burdens as it is without being part of a fundraiser!
    Excellent thoughts! I really enjoyed this post!

    • The adopted ones

      April 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Suzanne – I sometimes hesitate in talking about having parents who had strong principled lives and understood what we had lost (not that any parent is perfect all the time), because I know so many adoptees whose parents didn’t and most likely should not have adopted…but I also firmly believe AP’s need to understand that the loss aspects and all the other crap happens even with parents that ‘get it and walk the walk’…

  3. cb

    April 29, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I am thankful that my APs never made us feel grateful for being adopted. They always just told us the general facts when it came to our adoption stories. The only adoption book I remember was one about parents going to the hospital to pick up their baby – none of these books about how we were all destined to be with each other.

    To me, whenever I hear APs say that they tell their child that “God intended them to be together but had to use someone elses tummy to so”, that is yet another way of making your child feel beholden to you (as well as being disrespectful to the child’s birthmother).

    • The adopted ones

      April 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      CB – yah the whole God choose the win-lose-lose path so you could be my child just does not work for me…neither does the term ‘tummy mother’…

  4. Tara

    May 1, 2011 at 6:22 am

    I just found your blog from the link on Declassified Adoptee. Great post! The fundraising thing is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I’m an AP and an adoptee. I have tons of AP friends and see it non-stop on FB, blogs, etc. It makes me so numb that I can’t even respond to it. A lot of times it is driven by something like “God told me to adopt so he will help us find a way to get the funds”. I would hope that people adopt because they WANT to adopt, not because they received a coded message from God.

    Want to know a bigger pet peeve?? Kids that have “on sale” adoption fees. How the heck would you feel if you found out your were “on clearance” to lure your AP’s? An IA agency recently had the password “taxcredit” to view the waiting children listing in reference to the new tax law changes. I threw up in my mouth.

    • The adopted ones

      May 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Tara – welcome glad you liked the post – from now on your posts will show automatically – sometimes I can get on quite a rant but somebody has to say something and if PAPS here it from more than one adult adoptee perhaps, just perhaps, they will start to consider the flip side.

      The “On Sale” aspect also boggles my mind and that password – just another trigger. I swear sometimes people do not think past what’s in it for them, which is incredibly dangerous when human beings become the commodity to the agency. Last “Adoption Awareness Month” an agency ran “Special”…how special is that…

  5. Dannie

    May 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I just figured you felt so passionate about this subject that you didn’t want to deal with any negative comments on the post in case they came :D

    As my mother has always said to me (and still says in my ear…lol) if you can’t afford to do what needs to be done to adopt and raise a child….then leave the innocent child alone! Don’t be selfish.

  6. Gina

    May 18, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Really? This is almost more than I can stand to read. All parents should be held to a higher standard not just parents that adopt. I am pretty sure that your parents would have done whatever they had to in order to adopt you or save you from any dangers that you faced. You were just fortunate enough to have parents that didn’t need extra help. When you don’t go through the same situation you can’t say how these kids will feel. As for your comment about how I would feel to be “bought & paid for” I was! And ever day I thank God that he bought me at a greater price than anyone could imagine. His son was crucified for me! Jesus bought me with His blood! For that I am eternally thankful. I think that people should not pass judgement on others for what they do. I will be judged by only one person that matters and He is the one that “bought & paid for me”!

    • The adopted ones

      May 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks for commenting Gina. I can assure you I was never in danger – not one second. Perhaps you should consider reading more than one post before judging me, as you do not know me nor I you.

  7. shadowtheadoptee

    May 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Gina wrote: “As for your comment about how I would feel to be “bought & paid for” I was! And ever day I thank God that he bought me at a greater price than anyone could imagine. His son was crucified for me! Jesus bought me with His blood! For that I am eternally thankful. I think that people should not pass judgement on others for what they do. I will be judged by only one person that matters and He is the one that “bought & paid for me”!”

    It is not the same. God created you. You belonged to him from the start. You were never a part of anything, or anyone, else. Because God is perfect, and thanks to Adam and Eve, whom he created, we, as humans, are not, we were seperated from him by sin. In order for us to be reunited with God, God had to provide us with a way back to him. He did that through Jesus Christ, and giving us the “free will” to choose to accept Christ. He also did not ask anyone, or anything, for help, as the Bible ties the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all together as one. He did not remove Jesus from his mother and father, so that humans could belong to him. He gave us the choice to belong to him by believing in Jesus.

    You can choose to look at your salvation as being “bought and paid” for if you like. God did give us the free will to see it like that. Yes, God provided we, sinners, with a way to be reunited with him someday. Yes, he sent his son, who was crucified for that purpose, and gave his life for us to someday be able to return to God, if we so choose to do so. How can we be adopted into the family of Christ/God, when it was God who created us as part of his family to begin with? It was sin that took us away from God. God did not relinquish us to sin, surrendor us to sin, or make a plan for us to be adopted by sin. We, as humans, his creation, choose to sin, and we can choose to return to him by believing in Christ. Where is the choice for adoptees?

  8. Suzanne Ayres Schlotterback

    June 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    What a very well written, thought provoking post. I am an AP, and I cringe everytime I hear someone tell my child (adopted internationally) that she is lucky. She is not lucky. She lost everything she had. I am the lucky one who was chosen to be her mother. I tried to reinforce this each time it is said. HUGE pet peeve. Also, we didn’t fundraise, and while I don’t judge others who do, I do think that those who do should look at it from the adoptee standpoint. Thank you for your very well articulated post.

    On the part about creating an adoptee… this is precisely why we didn’t adopt domestically (via private) adoption. My husband’s comment me to me was that he could never take a baby from the arms of a birthmother. While I know I’m not a perfect AP, I strive to be the parent my child needs me to be. I feel like I need to visit your blog more often as you have a lot to offer…

  9. Lindsay

    June 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    There are two sides to every issue. I have no reason to defend adoption agencies, and I have serious issues with adoption lawyers. Please understand that while there are many issues with adoption agencies, part of their fees come from having to cover the increasingly large amount of time when they don’t have any matches. I’m not here to debate fundraisers.

    • cb

      June 14, 2011 at 2:07 am

      And that is probably where the problem lies – the fact that we have agencies that only deal in adoption. It would be far better to have Family Service agencies that have adoption as one of their services. Here in NSW, an adoption costs about $4000 but that covers everything. Adoption is done through either the government or other charities (one Anglican, one Catholic, one Christian but non-denominational and there are others). The charities provide family services and adoption is merely one of the services provided.

  10. Val

    June 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I’m glad you posted your opinions. I cannot have kids of my own due to PCOS. While yes, a miracle could happen, we’ve been married 15 years and so far nothing. Yes we looked into adoption but the funds needed were so much we didn’t have the money for it. Fundraising never occurred to me and I have to say I don’t agree with it. At least not in a form where you would not normally do so as part of your normal life such as a huge dinner benefit. Garage sales are fine as everyone needs to weed out so that could be used towards costs. What made me today start looking about this subject? I just got a fb invite to a special tea to help towards someone I do not even know raise money towards an adoption they are pursuing overseas. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, adoption is a choice for families and I know it’s pricey but I do not think a fundraiser is a solution. What will happen after that child arrives? Will the then want to fundraise then for more?

    • The adopted ones

      June 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Val, welcome…I guess I just wanted people need to stand back and realize their actions become part of their child’s story and how the kid might view it in the future. Same with how they network – right way and wrong way and ethics matter. Your comments should post automatically from now on.

  11. Rob

    May 6, 2012 at 2:48 am

    I hope that you are able to get the help you need to help you be more at peace with your situation and that of your friends.

    • The adopted ones

      May 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Rob – perhaps you need to actively listen to the words without forming a rebuttal in your head at the same time.

    • Melynda

      June 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      ??? Let me guess Rob, you are an adoptive father? Or a preacher/congregant at one of those big megachurches misinterpreting Paul’s “adoption” advice?

      Why would the author of this blog post need help? From what I have read, she *is* at peace with her situation. Perhaps her comments here have pricked your conscience (assuming you have one), and made you feel uncomfortable and the only way you know to deal with that discomfort is to project it onto the blog author. Perhaps you are the one in need of help?

  12. momsomniac

    June 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks to TAO for the recent to link back to this post, which I had missed.

    Since I am someone who is annoyed that adoptive parents are held to a HIGH income standard, but the psych one is….iffy, I had never thought of efforts to raise funds to pay fees in this way.

    Thanks for giving me something to think about, and for giving me another reason to be glad I deferred to the adult adoptee in my house even when I did not understand why he wanted/did not want something done a certain way when we were adopting C.

  13. Flabergasted

    July 31, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I want to know if you’ve ever truly looked into an agency? Have you researched agencies? Have you talked to mothers that give their children a chance at a life they could not provide? How dare you sit here and judge agencies or the people that use them. How dare you say a child adopted from an agency is “bought and paid for”! DO you have any idea what a woman goes through, year after year after year of heartbreak trying to get pregnant, only to find out in the end that years of injecting herself with hormones and putting herself and her marriage through hell trying to have a child-that she will never get pregnant??? DO you have any idea what it’s like for a woman going through that?? Do you have any idea what that woman would still go through to try, just TRY to be a mother?? When every avenue she turns down leads to a dead end, and she’s left broken hearted, with an empty womb-and one tiny light at the end of the tunnel shows adoption may be her last chance at raising a child and having a family. Only to learn that they’ve re-mortgaged their house to pay for the fertility treatments. They’ve spent every penny in savings on freezing embryo after embryo hoping one would take. When that same woman wakes up to find that she’s no longer a young woman, and will not get another chance to be in a position to be a mother-and adoption now or never cycles through her brain a thousand times a day. Do you think she’s going to let the fact that they barely have any savings left, the market is crap and they can’t re-finance their cars, or mortgage stop her from being a mother? NO WAY. Nothing is going to stand in her way of her dream of being a mommy and having that perfect little face smile at her. She is going to sell as much as she can to find that money. She’s going to make things and have fundraisers, and she’s going to offer her services to everyone and anyone willing to donate even $1 to her cause. And you think it’s so she can have a baby that’s bought and paid for?????? wake the hell up! Not once, NOT ONCE will my adopted child EVER think that they were bought and paid for. Because NOT ONCE did I pay for my child! I paid for the people time and services to help me do things that are so overwhelming and confusing in such an emotional and trying time in someone’s life! The process of adoption is one of the most scary things in the world! Will the mother want to keep her child after I’ve raised it as my own for 4 months of his/her life? Will my child grow up and want their birthparent over me? Will my child hate for later in life because I didn’t give birth to him/her? You obviously have NO clue what parents go through wanting a child so bad, they’ve give their own arm for one.
    I’m glad you’re parents have so many “morals and ethics” that they taught you to JUDGE SO WELL!!!!!

    • TAO

      July 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Flabergasted…perhaps you would like to re-read the sentence that appears to have riled you up.

      “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?”

      Notice I used the word “feel”?

      As to the rest – really? If holding someone up as an example of how to do it right, and noting what they wouldn’t do so others can see that – is judging – so be it.

      P.s. – ask the agency how much they spend advertising for mothers if they do domestic adoption – then ask why you need to advertise and what they actually offer as services.

      • flabbergasted

        July 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm

        CB- I’m wondering how you gathered that information? The best interest of the child is to always be with their mother/father. When that’s not a possibility, the best interest of the child is at the birth mothers/fathers choice. The child in that situation is hypethetical. There is no child yet. How can it be mentioned if it doesn’t exhist yet?

    • cb

      July 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Flabbergasted – so adoption is in the best interest of the prospective adoptive parents first and the child second? Because I hardly heard the child mentioned.

  14. Flabbergasted

    July 31, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    TAO- There is no need for me to re-read it I received your message loud and clear:
    “Notice I used the word “feel”?”-
    What could possibly make an adoptee “feel” this way, unless the parents gave them some inclination of what they spent to adopt them. Why would anyone discuss this cost with their child? Do you think a family tells their natural born children how much it cost them at the hospital to have them? Why are adoption costs any different?

    “holding someone up as an example of how to do it right”- Who are you to say what’s right and wrong? Why is what your parents did better than someone that needed a fundraiser to help them be parents? Telling someone what you or they rather, “wouldn’t do” is judging. The way you’ve voiced in your blog, it’s all judgmental against someone who needs a fundraiser to help become parents. It’s great that your family could afford everything they wanted and needed, not everyone is blessed that way.

    “P.s. – ask the agency how much they spend advertising for mothers if they do domestic adoption – then ask why you need to advertise and what they actually offer as services.”

    P.S.—When researching agencies I did ask how much they spent on advertising, why they spent that and what they offered in services. That’s what helped me decide what agency to use. Yes, there are so bad agencies out there, I’m not arguing that fact at all. I am however arguing not to stereotype and put pressure on the good agencies that are ethical and work in that fashion.

    • TAO

      July 31, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Flabbergasted – you need to spell your chosen user name the same way each time or it gets moderated as a new commentor.

      Look – this is my personal blog and I feel my parents did it right – my opinion – you can chose to view it as judgement – your choice. Mom and dad didn’t go the route of spending money – they adopted through the state because mothers used that option to voluntarily surrender (and still do today) the actual cost to them – having the lawyer file the adoption petition and the cost of MY hospital stay – less than if mom had given birth to her children.

      You do what you need to do but you may find the cost will be revelant at some point whether it is when they are still a child and ask you how much they cost because they will have outside people (peers) asking, or they hear something (one of your friends asking you) – you would be surprised how many times that happens, and is brought up on message boards and blogs. As an adult when they read media and the cost is noted and also the unsavory aspects are brought forward – you know like black market adoptions.

  15. barbaloot

    August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this excellent post. I’m late chiming in here, but I’ve just discovered this blog and am in danger of losing a whole evening of housework to it!

    I’m an adoptive mother and frankly fundraising has always given me the creeps, but my thinking had not extended this far. I was stuck on my own perspective as someone who saved for many years, realized I could only afford to try fertility treatments OR try to adopt, and made the decision to pursue an adoption and who does not appreciate being hit up by people who think their adoption is somehow so holy and deserving that I should spend my hard-earned cash on them rather than on my family. Thank you for expanding my thinking and raising my awareness.

    The pain of infertility or childlessness, while excruciating, does not entitle anyone to disregard the dignity of their future child(ren), shake down strangers online and (as you describe so well) treat the child they long to parent as a charity, someone to be saved. (My son saved me from a life of childlessness. I was in a long line of people hoping to adopt. He was never in danger of remaining parentless. I, however, was in real danger of never having a child.)

    • TAO

      August 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Barbaloot – thanks for that – I was feeling a bit run over…sigh…never thought this fundraising post and the one by the other quiet nice blogger Shadow on this blog would generate so much contraversy…I tend to be rather blunt so be forewarned and ramble about a lot of stuff.

      • barbaloot

        August 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm

        I’m a fan of bluntness. :-)

    • Saztronic

      October 31, 2013 at 6:26 am

      I also appreciate this post. I am an adoptive parent already. I had suggested recently, rather off-hand, to my wife that we might raise funds through others to adopt another child. She rightly went off on me a bit about it, and sent me a link to your post today. It seems rather embarrassingly obvious in retrospect why this is a bad idea. We try very hard to be sensitive to these kinds of things in general, so I’m surprised at myself for not having thought of this perspective before. I’m glad that my wife had done her research, and that I have a chance to do mine now.

      For Flabbergasted, it’s hard not to feel her pain. Obviously the entire process of trying to become a parent has been extraordinarily painful for her. An arduous and fraught journey.

      That said, there’s no way around the fact that the desire to become a parent is inherently selfish. I say this as a parent of 3 children. If you want a child, you may want it so that you can lavish the child with love, and care, and attention, and good fortune. But still, that is your wish, your choice. Whether you birth them or adopt them, your child has utterly no role in the choice to be part of your family. This may come across as unfeeling on my part, but the depth of pain expressed in Flabbergasted’s comment seems to come from having her desire thwarted by fate and biology; from her desire not being satisifed easily or quickly enough; from having chosen to spend large amounts of money in pursuit of her desire, only to see it go unfulfilled; and from having to read something that would seem to question her right to have her desire met at any cost, and by any means.

      I’m not saying there is no loss in having this desire go unmet… we have children out of self-interest, but seen in its best light, it’s in the interest of opening ourselves up to love, creating chances to have relationships that transcend understanding, and in the hope of being our best selves. I can see how it would be heartbreaking to think you might never get that chance, or indeed, never to get it. I can see how one would be moved to try many things to avoid that fate.

      But still, these are selfish impulses. We want a child, we want the love, we want the relationship, we want the growth. We can’t make assumptions about what our children want, however they come to us. And whatever we give them in life, cannot be in any expectation of gratitude on their part. Becoming a parent is selfish; being one has to be selfless, to the extent anything can be. We can hope our children will love us for being their parents; if we do well, then like TAO they may; but in the end, our children owe us nothing.

      And they owe anyone who “funds” their entry into our families, less than nothing. The problem is that this is not likely to be how the funders feel.

      If Flabbergasted is still reading this thread, I’d like to ask her — in humility, in love — if she provides updates to her community of funders about her child’s progress, welfare, etc. If she provides them with access to details about her child’s life, that others don’t share. If they have any sense of ownership over that information, or sense of investment in your child’s future, that derives at least in part from their contribution to making your child part of your family. I’m not out to say this is wrong, but even if you aren’t doing these things, thinking about them may shed light on why this approach would at least put you on slightly dangerous ground, and warrant some careful forethought about how to address this issue with your child. It is likely to come up at some point, whether you want it to or not.

      • TAO

        October 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        Saztronic – thank you, that was exactly what I was trying to say – not that people were bad just consider the long term implications to the child.

        Have to admit I was scared to read your response because some have chosen to not listen and understand why I voiced my concerns – you understood – please also thank your wife for her listening skills.

        I fixed the typo you requested I fix in your second comment and deleted that comment :)

  16. Deanna

    August 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I am an adoptive parents and I CRINGE whenever someone says, “oh, thank you for doing that…”, etc. Thank you nothing. We wanted a child to love and he wanted a family to love. It was not done out of selflessness. Our son has made a bigger impact on our family than any other person ever has or ever will.

    We are the grateful ones.

    I am not sure how I ended up at your blog, but I am grateful to have found it :)

    • TAO

      August 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks Deanna – you got the intent – the added layer of societal required gratitude attitude.

  17. LegaciesAreMadeToBeBroken

    October 20, 2012 at 4:07 am

    From your article it is evident that you don’t understand the journey that a “special needs” adoptive parent takes to bring their child home. Unfortunately most SN children don’t have the luxury of being adopted as a baby from young parents. These children wait years and years for thier families to find them. I understand your anger at baby buying. I hear you. But this simply isn’t the case anymore. The average age of adoptive children (in Ethiopia and China) is 3. And with more and more older children being adopted, they don’t always have the luxury of waiting until a family has the financial means. Sometimes a family has to take a leap of faith. Sometimes they have to fundraise and hold garage sales and do whatever else they can to bring their children home. It is what it is.

    • barbaloot

      October 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Legacies, Thank you for another perspective. I’m hoping you can clear up some confusion I have reading your comment. If a family does not have the financial means to pay for the adoption, how can they afford to cover the extra expenses involved in parenting a child with special needs? Special needs is a very broad term, but given that it usually involves some condition that requires treatment, it generally involves medical expenses. As the mother of a child from Ethiopia, I’d also be curious about where you get your stats on the average age. Ethiopia, as you probably know, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of children being adopted, and I thought that most agencies had raised their minimum age because the demand for babies far exceeded the number of babies genuinely in need of adoption.

      Your comment is entirely from the perspective of an adoptive parent, whereas Tao is giving the perspective of an adoptee. I fail to see how special needs really change the adoptee’s perspective on fundraising. In either case, the image painted by PAPs and APs is pretty much the same: help me ‘rescue’ this poor child. I don’t understand why having a special need would make anyone feel better about their photo being displayed at a garage sale, fundraising website or church fundraiser. I’m pretty sure the torment from classmates when/ if they ever get wind of it would be pretty much the same.

  18. Tim

    February 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    This is from an outsiders view point since I have no kids and have no intentions on adopting.

    HERE IS AN IDEA FOR YOU AND OTHERS LIKE YOU: If you don’t like adoption fundraising then don’t participate in them. However, don’t tell me these people are unethical for doing so.

    Most people can afford a child, but don’t have the means to put up the initial 30-40k in adoption fees. Why not let people in their community who want to contribute do so? I’d much rather see families fund raise then go into that massive amount of debt. Don’t you think our economy is bad enough? Gez…

    I don’t understand why people talk negatively about others who are trying to do a good thing. You are what they call a “Hater.” A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. (From the Urban Dictionary, ha)

    In the time you created this post you could have done something good for the world. I know this probably hurt your feelings because you know everything is said above is true but… you said you like blunt people :)

    All the best!


    • TAO

      February 22, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      Awe Timmie – no you don’t have the power to hurt my feelings :)

      Speaking of people talking negatively: Pot meet Kettle…

      Have a great weekend now…

  19. Jessika Fialho

    June 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Thank you for your post. I have seen more and more people holding fundraisers in order to “save” a child, and it honestly disgusts me. My point of view is skewed, yes. But I just don’t see how it is okay to hold huge fundraisers so that somebody can take a child that the natural mother was convinced she was “too poor” to raise properly. A friend recently pointed out that a $3,000-$5,000 grant can make the difference between a mother relinquishing and parenting. Compare that to the $40,000+ it costs to adopt. TEN families can be preserved for the same cost of ripping one apart.

  20. vw

    July 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Thank yo for your post-I love this! As an adoptive parent I cringed every time someone said how lucky my son is to have us -we did not adopt to be heros but to become parents-my husband and I are the lucky ones to have our son in our lives.

    I am also not a fan of fundraising for adoption. We are not wealthy people but we were able to pay for all of the fees and travel (it was international) without asking anyone for money. It just seems too strange to me to ask people for money so we can be parents. Have a great week!

  21. Shocked and Surprised

    November 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I have been struggling with infertility for 15+ years and have stated that advertising a fund raiser for me personally just goes against my better judgement. I have to say today I was a bit shocked to find a Facebook acquaintance posting a link to fund their fertility campaign. I personally just do not agree with that and could never do that myself, even though at this time we are looking at other possibilities to have a child, and the first thing we are doing is trying to figure out financially how to save the money to do so. Did it occur to me to start a fundraising campaign for this? Nope, not one iota of a thought. Will I start a campaign? No, as personally it just does not feel right.

  22. Surprised

    February 22, 2014 at 2:43 am

    I appreciate knowing how strongly you feel about this, because I hadn’t realized how negatively fundraising could affect an adoptee. That being said, every situation is unique. Selling t-shirts to well-meaning family and friends is not the same as begging everyone you know — and don’t know — for cash. There are MANY children waiting to be adopted, in my case, from foster care, and they can’t all wait until adoptive parents have no money concerns. Yes, adopting from foster care, as I am doing, is still expensive for some of us. Teachers, social workers — anyone with a modest income that required a big student loan — may need help. Others are helping a sick family member; the situations are infinite. The point is that foster care adoption requires a social service agency, travel to visit children in different parts of the country, and court proceedings. All of these cost money. Sure, there are stipends from Children’s Services, but those are based on children’s needs and they pay for services to help children recover from abuse, neglect and loss. If there’s money left over to help pay for the child’s ordinary needs, like living near a good school, that’s a good thing, because it enables children to move from foster care to permanent families. Isn’t a tasteful t-shirt just another way to do everything possible to prepare for my child?

  23. Surprised

    February 22, 2014 at 3:04 am

    In fairness — I am reading some of these shirts and they can be as pushy, manipulative, disrespectful, and intrusively religious as anyone here suggested. That is not my plan.

  24. familyadvocate

    November 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I am composing a Huffington Post on adoption fundraising and would like to quote from the piece with a link to it. Who is the author and how your you like to be identified?


    • TAO

      November 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      FamilyAdvocate, thank you for the offer but I do not want to be quoted or linked to.

      • familyadvocate

        November 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

        What a shame! I suppose you wouldn’t want to be interviewed for my piece either? Your thoughts on this topic are important and are already public.

        • TAO

          November 23, 2014 at 11:11 pm

          No, I don’t think so. I started this blog for myself and others who found it, and were interested in engaging in one on one conversations. This may be public, and some may have found it worthwhile reading – but I am only an expert on my feelings and thoughts. I also know I have been wrong and at times my feelings have changed through listening to others.

          Primarily, I think, though, that it’s time for the newer voices to shine, to be heard, to be promoted. The most recent generation of adoptees who are, and have come of age.

          To that end, lately, I’ve been focusing on building a list of adoptee blogs who are speaking up with many different views. You can find them under the tab Blogs, if you are on mobile, you need to select all site to see the tab.


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