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.

Doing What She Can

Without wading into the complex and fraught issues involved in transracial adoptions (been there, done that, probably one of my most commented on blogs to date), there has long been an issue of white adoptive parents not knowing how to manage their Black child’s hair.

The source of my own blog for today comes from  Blavity News is a community and website platform for Black voices, stories, creators and thought.

“I saw that this might be something where I can empower them,” Tamekia Swint of Styles4Kidz said.  She had noticed more white parents choosing to adopt Black children.  “They’re not familiar with the [black] hair.”  She started the company in 2010 with three clients. Since then, she’s served more than 500 families. Swint offers several styles ranging from $40 to $150. She also hosts workshops for parents who want to learn how to do their children’s hair.

And running counter to criticisms of transracial adoption, Swint says, “A big misconception a lot of Blacks have about whites adopting Black children is that they don’t care about these kids and that’s just not true.”

One white mother of Black twins living outside the United States is thankful for Styles 4 Kidz because Black hair resources are scarce in her country.  She says, “Adopting these two has been a positive experience for my family. We adopted them when they were five days old.”  The organization also allows her to socialize with other parents.

“I know soon it will be time to send them to school and that is something my husband and I are discussing now,” she continued. “I know there are things I won’t be able to relate to when it comes to Blacks and that’s why I am learning as much as I can, from as many people as I can.”

The kids are also enthusiastic about their new hairdos.

“We give them haircuts and braid hair. You would be amazed how much self-confidence these children gain once their hair is looking good,” said Swint. “Seeing the smiles on their faces when we leave is a wonderful feeling.”