Funding Push

The latest trend in adoption seems to be crowdfunding the cost. So it is that today I learned about one such platform for hopeful adoptive parents – Adopt Together.

They claim on their website that they are a non-profit, crowdfunding platform that bridges the gap between families who want to adopt and the children who need loving homes. Hank Fortener, is the founder and CEO of AdoptTogether. He says that he understands the burden that is the adoption process. While he was growing up, his family fostered 36 children and adopted 6 from 5 different countries.

Donations are made through Pure Charity, the crowd-funding platform partner of Adopt Together — if designated, they are conveyed to the selected adopting family.  All non-designated donations go towards the general fund for Adopt Together’s expenses. Pure Charity says – they work with select nonprofit organizations to grow their impact through Fundraising, Technology, Donor Development, and Mobilization Strategies. Further, they note – Pure Charity works within a “Theory of Change” to plan how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. They are focused on mapping out the “missing middle” between what a change initiative does and how these lead to desired goals being achieved.

Like many things these days the web around this is not only the Pure Charity platform but also they are a “project” of the Hoping Hearts Foundation. A review of this non-profit says – they were created to bring focus to the growing world-wide orphan problem, address the causes leading to children becoming orphans, and support families in their quest to adopt with financial assistance and timely information to facilitate the adoption process. Their website shows their focus is international – Burma, Sri Lanka, India, Haiti, Indonesia, Cuba and Kenya. They describe themselves as – a Christ-centered organization founded to meet the spiritual, medical, nutritional, and basic living needs of orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children around the world.

There is so much that is problematic about taking children from poor countries and depositing them with usually white families in the United States that I really don’t know where to begin but often families are mis-informed about what is going to happen to their children. Many only hope for their child to get a better education but believe they will return to the family in the not too distant future. There is also a problem with children adopted this way never actually getting citizenship only to find themselves on a deportation list. These are just a few things without going into loss of culture issues.

Back to where I started – what’s the main thing I sense happening here (besides adoption) – it’s money and there are likely more than a few people making a lot of money with these intertwined organizations. Follow the money and things become clearer. Exploitation is always following very close behind.

And The Song Remains The Same

A hopeful adoptive parent is quoted as saying “Adoption is a beautiful way to grow a family because it takes great strength and sacrifice.”

What does that even mean ?

It is NOT the adoptive parents who make the sacrifices, even if they consider the financial impact on their lives of having adopted as some kind of sacrifice.  Or if they think of their infertility – the giving up of having genetically related children – as some kind of sacrifice.

What do they sacrifice ?  Most don’t even lose money because they crowed fund and stuff to raise money to adopt (yes, fundraising from strangers so you can adopt someone else’s baby is a thing).  And even if a foster care adoption, they either get a “free” young child or if they adopt an older child or young child with issues.  The adoptive parents receive money until the child(ren) is 18 to help offset the cost of raising them.  People raising their biological child are not afforded that luxury.

You know who gets sacrificed ? The child.

And a sign of our current time ?

Social distancing is the default setting for ALL adoptees due to separation trauma. Consider it an insight into how it feels to be adopted.

If you as an adoptive parent need some kind of recognition for adopting a child, then you absolutely did it for the wrong reason.

Entitlement

It has been a long process for me of wrapping my mind around the issues of what is bad about adoption and needs reform.  Forgive me a little rant and hopefully a bit of educating for those who care but really don’t know what the issues are.  Thanks to an outspoken group of women who are adoptees, or have been in the institutional trenches, I am beginning to understand there are problems in adoptionland.

I’ll share a few as starters.

Going all the way back to the 1930s, and my own grandmothers – up through my own sisters, I believe they would have ALL kept their children – IF they had had the support they needed.

In adoption propaganda, it is often said that the original parents made the “most selfless decision” by giving up the raising of their own child.  It is not selfish to want to keep your child, even when you are struggling to do so. It is not a selfless decision to give your child to someone else, it is an act of desperation.

The determining factor should always be what matters most for the well-being of the child.  The dominant narrative in the adoption community has been stories of “selfless birth parents” who simply wanted a “better life” for their child.  Of course, they wanted a “better life” and they would have preferred to have been the ones providing it.

There are alternatives to adoption for infertile couples – kinship care, legal guardianship without lying on birth certificates or choosing the charity of giving whatever kind of assistance the original Mom or Dad need to help them parent successfully.

I seriously question the agenda of Christians who push adoption.  I suspect they are wanting to create more Christians by taking children who would not have been raised according to their own belief system, knowing that their way is the superior one of course, and indoctrinating these children into “the way” of their own religion.

And I am seriously concerned by crowd funding for adoption costs without any qualms on the parts of those donating money – while not once considering crowd funding to help a Mom or Dad keep their baby.  Our values are misplaced people.

So are adoptive parents fears that the child will NOT be theirs PERMANENTLY supposed to outweigh what is now known to be better for the children?

What is known ?

Separation should be the last resort. We KNOW there is trauma from the separation, even if it happens at birth. We KNOW children need genetic mirrors. We KNOW people have a right to know the truth about themselves. We know so much that points to a practice where, based on the best interest of the CHILD, we should avoid the permanent legal and physical severing of a child from their genetic parentage and family through adoption.

Guardianship provides all the emotional support any child needs and as much safe permanency.

And another thought – if people are really so dead set on parenting, and they can’t reproduce (are infertile), they can still act as guardians and caregivers to older kids who really do need someone.  In today’s society – unfortunately – there are a lot of kids that could use that kind of help.

Those who wish to provide a home for a child should be OK with not getting an infant and fake papers saying they gave birth to that child.  This is denial and self-delusion on the part of infertile, adoptive parents – and it IS harmful to the child.

Every baby brought into this world and then given to someone else to raise is aware and does care about what happened to separate them from their original parents.

Please realize that there’s always a situation that makes the original parents feel they have no other choice but to give up their precious child.  Whether it be finances, homelessness, the mother’s relationship with the baby’s father, or a lack of support during and after the pregnancy.

None of those “reasons” should be the determining factor leading to separation from their baby. They are all temporary circumstances which time may heal given resources when they are most needed.