The comments in yesterday’s post turned into a discussion about fundraising, and I’d like to repeat this once again, as food for thought. I first posted this in 2006:

I’ve spoken with an adult Korean adoptee who discovered somewhere around 11 years old that the church had a big fundraiser in order to help her parents with adoption fees. She felt like she was a community charity case and was mortified. She didn’t want to go to church anymore, started doing bad in school, etc. It wasn’t until she tried to commit suicide that her parents realized there was a problem and got her some help. She is an adult now and is well adjusted and has worked through all of it. But she still advises parents against doing this. She always felt good about her adoption until this one piece of history made its way to her and then everything spiraled downward. She says it is not right for a child to think that they are a community charity case.

Another adult adoptee that I have not met but whom I have read also speaks out against this. She also found out at some point that her parents’ church had done the “fundraiser to save the orphan” thing and she felt that she owed the entire community something. She felt she had to make straight A’s, had to do good in all of her extracurricular activities, had to be perfect, because everyone in the community had “saved” her and she somehow owed it to them. This young lady has not quite worked through all of her anger around this, but I still believe that her feelings are quite valid. It’s how she felt as a young teen and I would never want either of my children to feel this way.

I don’t know any other way to try to explain that these are human beings who will have to live with the consequences of our actions once they are home. They aren’t asking to be adopted, we should not expect them to be grateful to us for adopting them. If you haven’t read Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew then I would recommend that you do. While I don’t 100% agree with the book, I think that it helps give people the perspective of the child, instead of only seeing things from the perspective of an AP.


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153 Responses to “Fundraising”

  1. waitingforlaurali Says:

    So RQ. What do you suggest parent’s do if they cannot afford the money to go over to China? Give up on the dream? I just don’t get this “charity” case thing. People fundraise for adoption all the time. We fundraise because we need the money for the travel expenses. We do not believe we are saving an orphan. After 5 years of waiting, expenses incur, the economy goes downhill and people loose their jobs. We are not asking for Charity. We are asking people to help with our expenses. A Church should be a good safe place to do that.

    If there are option, please tell us. We certainly do not want our child to be scarred for life.

  2. Anita Says:

    Is it a good thing that “People fundraise for adoption all the time”?

  3. Anita Says:

    Sorry was logged out too quickly. I do get this that a person can feel like a “charity case” i e someone that others feel sorry for. This might be even thougher than feeling sorry for yourself, that feeling must be something that most of us are able to relate to. Waitingforlaurali – sorry there is no quick fix, but if you have waited for 5 years you must have been able to put a lot of money aside, even if the economy went downhill etc…Otherwise I think you might be up for very though times ahead. Children tend to get more expensive every year.

  4. waitingforlaurali Says:

    Again my words are being misinterpreted and the phrases I use are being taken literally. Of course I don’t mean people literally fundraise every day. I can’t even believe we are having this discussion. I need to take a break from this. I’m getting really angry!!!

  5. babygirlsmom2 Says:

    I don’t want to cause a stir, this is just a real question.
    What if…
    you are in the process of adoption–have been “waiting” for 4 years and there is a recent job loss? All the funds have to go toward living and you find yourself with a referral? Should you say “no”?
    It doesn’t have to be exactly that circumstance, but each family has a reason for doing what they do.
    What about generous family members that want to help? They WANT this little person in their family as well and see a financial need?
    I just think this is so hard to “judge” each family.
    Would it be better to leave the child unadopted? I don’t feel like my child owes me anything for “rescuing” him. But, I would not have wanted to miss having him in my life because of unfortunate timing.
    I understand the child in RQ example had serious issues with it.
    I cannot imagine her heartbreak. I’m so sorry the girls felt so bad about it. But, what “should” their parents have done? and what were their cirucumstances at the time? Does anyone know that? Why did they ask for help?
    We have already found out in having our son home for just 2 weeks that so many people want to be a part of our journey. They just want to “touch” this experience. In my opinion, it is a miraculous thing–how families are intricately formed. I still do not completely understand it. But, I do know that if we look at one another in judgement of “how” we bring our children home, we are not going to help the children or ourselves.

  6. mom23boys Says:

    I do get how people need money to complete an adoption, but I also know of people that found out they were pregnant -without insurance- and had to come up with the money for the dr, hospital bills and anesthesia during delivery and it pretty much amounted to 15,000. I could not imagine someone fundraising for their hospital bill or to pay for IVF. I remember the day my friend found out her insurance for IVF ran out and she did not conceive on their last attempt- it was truly heartbreaking. She wanted a child, and just did not have the money to move forward in any other manner. I would have gladly given her money if she told me she was saving to try again or adopt or at a shower, in lieu of a wrapper present, and I know others would have done so as well. In the end, she ended up saving enough money to try one more time- but it took 2 years. I could see accepting a gift, taking a loan, garage sale or taking on extra jobs etc. Just not sure that showing a picture and asking for money for that child is the best thing in the long run. I get it- that money is not always there, but before I jumped into an adoption I would think a plan would be best- if I was short a few bucks, I think then it is much easier to find a way to make it up- but certainly not the majority of it. If the travel portion is the portion you need money for- maybe it would be better to post that… “please help us fund our travels to China” rather than “please help us bring xyz home”. Still not loving it, but better that the focus would be on you needing the money and not the child. Does that make sense?

    Though, in the end, I would never condemn a family for doing so, as it is their choice. Being educated and knowing that not all people agree is a good thing to know when starting an adoption fundraiser. Many people will contribute, and many will not, but not because they do not want to see the child home, just because they do not believe in the fundraiser. I love seeing families united and children finding homes- and that is what it is all about.

  7. glasshouses Says:

    I never post here and usually avoid conversations like this.

    However, I feel like people are talking at each other without understanding. The distinction that people are missing, is that “fundraising” in and of itself it considered fine and necessary by most. However, ADVERTISING that it is for adoption of your child is the issue for many, especially for many adult adoptees. It is an important distinction. Have yard sales, sell on a website, bake sales, etc… just don’t put up signs and/or pictures of your child on your blog, etc as a means to get people to donate or purchase. Don’t make it so your child might feel one day that they are obligated or resentful for being “saved”. They just want to feel wanted and loved… for themselves.

    I hope this made sense. :)

  8. pepe Says:

    It’s a tipical american thing, fundraising.
    I never read about garagesales, cakebaking or selling puzzlespieces in Holland.
    Yes, people takes extra loans (although that became difficult the last 5 years; we’re not allowed anymore to take an extra loan on our houses by law), yes, people get some money from their parents, but no, no fundraising.

    I think the Dutch agencies do request more than the American; we can’t fill in 100,000 at assets because our insurances for the stuff in our homes is worth 100,000….
    The most people adopting do have the savings….. or wait.

    It took us a couple of year to save…. and yes, if we couldn’t have afforded it, we wouldn’t have adopted….
    And yes, there are people who end dreaming their dream, because they can’t afford it. Hard, but it’s even harder when you’re home with kids and can’t afford their needs….

  9. Anita Says:

    But isn’t generous family members one thing and actively fundraising another? Are we really leaving children “unadopted” if we do not adopt them? Isn’t there just another family eagerly waiting for a child?
    Isn’t the truth that there are more eager families than there are children made available for international adoption.
    Are your adoption papers valid if there is a job loss (I feel very sorry for those that have to go through this situation) before the time of adoption – isn’t your application then unvalid as you do no longer meet the requirements? Isn’t it your agencies obligation to see that you still meet the requirements at the time of adoption not just when you apply? In my opinion no adoption of a child should have to be actively fundraised.

  10. Bliss Says:


    “What about generous family members that want to help?” -> That would be a GIFT

    “Would it be better to leave the child unadopted?” -> It won’t be unadopted. Most probably not, at least if we speak in general and about NSN or the normal SN program. Hard to place children would probably be an exception. Another loving family waitin in the would step forward.

    “What if… you are in the process of adoption–have been “waiting” for 4 years and there is a recent job loss?” -> Then probably you might be able to borrow/lend/loan of a trusted person or a bank. You still have to make sure you’ll be able to raise the child financially anyway, and while the travel cost are high, its just peanuts against what is to come during bringing the child up.
    If you were to buy a house right before getting into that situation, well, you probably had to let go of that house (and the dream of it), hopefully just for a while until your situation improves, but maybe for good. Don’t you?

    Just because it is a child and you want it so badly, you have to have it no matter what? It may sound brutal, but if I got cancer tomorrow, I would have to let go of that dream as well. So yes, sometimes these things happen. Some get unimployed and some get cancer. It is unfair anyway, but playing outside the ball park is definately unfair to all the others playing inside. Now, fundraising for your own children is not “against the rules”, not officially. It’s an ethical question, but that doesn’t mean there’s no line. It’s just harder to draw. To me personally, that would be like begging. Fundraising in is for charity. That’s the whole idea of it. You do it to raise funds for a school in an Anfrican Village or a SOS Children’s village or clean water for ophanages in China or a goat for a poor African family. You even might raise funds for a school thing at your childrens’ school. But your own child is no charity case. May it never be!

  11. jennrad Says:

    I agree with RQ, and there are other ways. There are home equity loans, saved taxed returns, and the good old fashioned way of save, save, save. A child is a big financial responsibility, whether the child is adopted or conceived. RQ makes a good point about how children feel about their sense of self. I think a conceived child would feel the same if he or she discovered that the church fundraised for him or her. Now the reasons may vary. Fundraising for a severe medical condition may have a different impact on a child than, say, fundraising so the child can have clothes, but all parents should consider the impact on the child.
    And yes, generous family members are not the same as asking an entire congregation to fundraise. I expect my family to be generous when we receive our referral.

  12. zhaonuer Says:

    I don’t think RQ (and others) are judging anyone’s family – just asking everyone to think of the implications of their choices for their children.

    I think that a lot of people need a little help to meet the upfront expenses of adoption, but there are subtle differences in how money is obtained that may affect how a child perceives everything in the future. There is a big difference in a big community fundraiser to bring a child home or and close friends and family helping out because they want to. Fundraising can consist of ebay/etsy/bake/ garage sales or whatever – and no mention of the purpose of the fundraiser need be shared.

    For us – there is NO way we could afford the cost of a Kaz adoption without help. Actually, let me rephrase – there is no way we could afford to spend $48k in just over a few months, but we could definitely afford the adoption if we spread it out a bit. So we got a loan (in our case – from a family member, but more formal loans are an option too).

    For people who may have just lost a job, accept money to cover upfront costs and perhaps pay people back when you get the tax refund and get back on your feet. There are many options.

  13. busymom Says:

    Since we are having the conversation….

    Two things I have always wondered about the entire “fundraising” thing…

    1) My husband and I took the extra money we needed from our savings and replaced it once we filed and received our adoption tax credit. Families that fundraise… do they/are they still able to claim the tax credit? Do they simply “profit” when tax time comes around?

    2) Our first adoption was from a country other than China – the final adoption decree stated that we must provide our child with the best possible education. Honestly, it did not need to be in the final adoption decree as that was a very real discussion that my spouse and I had already had… adding a new savings account to provide for our child’s educational goals.

    My husband and I take education very seriously for all of our children – and education is much more expensive than adoption – way more expensive. (we have several in college this year… 3 in college soon) We often wonder how any family can actively fundraise to adopt a child or in a few instances multiple children at once- and not look to the future of those children or the children already in their family with regard to education ( I will also add medical/dental co=payments, sports, dance, clothing, glasses/contacts, the list is so long) – will they actively fundraise for college/other expenses for one child – what about nearly a dozen children?

  14. KrissyJ Says:

    While we are still in line to adopt from China (4-1/2 years and counting), we grew tired of waiting and decided to try and adopt domestically. We’ve come VERY close (twice), but unfortunately, have now experienced 2 failed domestic adoptions, the 2nd of which was totally heartbreaking. We held the baby in the hospital for 2 days, and then the birth mother changed her mind at the 11th hour. When we add the money we’ve lost between China and the 2 failed domestic adoptions, we are looking at something like 60K. We are not wealthy people by any stretch, and it took us a lifetime to save that money. I cannot begin to imagine giving up after all the blood, sweat, and tears, but financially, something has to give. Fundraising may be our only hope at this point. I don’t look at fundraising as helping a “charity case” orphan. WE (my husband and I) are the “charity cases” at this point, not the child.

  15. KrissyJ Says:

    …and by the way, we’ve already gone the route of borrowing money from family AND a home equity loan. Again, something has to give. Our life savings has literally been “stolen” from us.

  16. meimeiw2011 Says:

    Yes, we all have dreams, but we cannot afford them all.

    I wonder what the CCAA would say if they knew a family had to ask for donations to afford adopting a child? What did one put in the LOI in terms of plans to care for the child and all the education one would offer and the medical care, etc. That’s a lot more than $15k.

    I suppose these families would also qualify for the adoption tax credit and a bunch of other credits because of low income – wouldn’t that take care of the bill such that one would just need to take a loan for a year or so?

  17. lachchinababy Says:

    I have never heard of “fundraising” for an adoption prior to yesterday. Having waited 5+ years for referral I can’t count the times that we’ve heard comments from people that make it sound like our child is a commodity. She is not! Fundraising to adopt does nothing more than to instill the thought about our community that our children are commodities that can be bought and sold and it horrifies me. I am sure that there are multiple examples of people losing jobs and needs that changed which require some help. That is not what we are talking about here; we are talking about the marketing of an adoption in order to finance it. If you can’t afford the adoption going into it, then wait until you are ready. Sometimes you may never be ready. Deal with it but don’t sell your child for your own needs.

  18. aluckybug6 Says:

    I asked my nine year old from China how she would feel if I had put her picture up on the internet, on flyers and on bulletin boards asking people to come to a fundraiser so I could raise money to bring her home. She thought a bit, and said “why can’t you raise money without the picture? Won’t people come to the garage sale anyway?” Therein lies the issue, as others have also commented. It is not the activities to raise money that are the problem. It is using your child’s status as an orphan to trigger the sympathy or empathy of others to donate or buy something. It is not a healthy situation for the adoptee to come home to. If you feel you must do it, I hope that by the time the child is old enough to understand that this occurred, it will be so far in the past that no one remembers you did this and the child is not reminded that others viewed her as a project to bring home.

  19. PSU97 Says:

    I never post here, but I do think there should be caution in generalizing the experiences of two individuals. I remember in grad school our professor, to illustrate this point said, “I know all (fill in blank) walk alone because I once saw one do it.” For those two, whose experiences/thoughts/feeling are valid for them, there may be another 50 whose communities participated in fundraising and they think, “hey, I was really wanted and loved by my whole community.” I’m not saying that is the case, but it could be. While my husband and I took on extra jobs to pay for our adoptions, I do think there is a difference between parents who make things, sell things, etc to raise money to build/expand their families through adoption as opposed to the situations mentioned in the original post. (Not wanting to start a discussion about ‘saving’).

  20. amyjo1024 Says:

    I do not believe in fundraising to adopt as my way of thinking has always been (I’m a huge Dave Ramsey follower) if I can’t afford something right this minute, then I cannot afford it. When we decided to adopt, we put the entire amount aside to make sure we could fund the entire adoption that very day. That was how we knew we could afford the adoption. We are not wealthy by all means (for crying outloud I am in the military and Lord KNOWS we don’t make ANYTHING) but we have saved money over the last 10 years, invested the money wisely, finished our higher education and are comfortable.

    That being said, what Taxicabmammajamma said in response to DivaMamma’s blog was rude and completely uncalled for. Obviously it bothered her to see Diva’s family so happy that felt compelled to whine about her fundraising. That was pretty “tacky” in my opinion. It was also rude for so many people to completely hijack a blog for people to post their good news about getting referrals/matches. if I had been matched this time around I wouldn’t have posted on that blog either. Ridonkulous!

    Fundraising or not, I am happy to see all these kiddos getting such great families who obviously love their children more than life itself. I say good for the fundraisers and good for the folks who choose not to fundraise.

  21. daddyjac Says:

    “To me personally, that would be like begging. Fundraising in is for charity. That’s the whole idea of it. You do it to raise funds for a school in an Anfrican Village or a SOS Children’s village or clean water for ophanages in China or a goat for a poor African family. You even might raise funds for a school thing at your childrens’ school. But your own child is no charity case. May it never be!”

    This is exactly it. Having garage sales to help save money is one thing, but having fundraisers for your adoption is another. Fundraising is for charity.

    For KrissyJ: I’m sorry you have had such awful experiences. The uncertainty of domestic adoption is exactly why we stayed with China through the long long wait for 4.5 years. You say that you and your husband are the charity case, but do you really accept what that means? Are you visiting your local food bank so that you can eat? Are you on a housing and energy subsidy? Are you living on food stamps? I suspect that you are not, and if you are you should not be adopting.

    If you think it would be acceptable to ask your neighbors and church members for money for IVF, then by all means ask them for money for your adoption. The expense of adoption is to pay for your desire to become a parent. Nobody needs to become a parent like they need to eat or they need medical care if they are sick. Saying the money is to “bring XXX home” is no different from saying it’s to “get XXX conceived.”

    The exception to this is people who adopt the severe special needs children who really would not otherwise be adopted, and who often have very expensive medical needs. In my experience those parents are giving all the time, love, energy, and money they have, but through no fault of their own the children have even greater needs.

  22. mallmarie Says:

    It always amazes me that people actually apply to adopt a child without having a plan for the money already in place. It would never even occur to me to do a “fundraiser” for adoption. I am far from wealthy, and I had to go into debt to adopt each of my kids, but it was MY debt, and I am still paying on it.

    I totally understand the idea of having garage sales, bake sales, etc. I once sold my mother’s jewelry that she left me when I was going through a period of financial hardship. The thing I have a real problem with is the “chip ins” publicly advertised on blogs and websites. Getting a gift from parents and/or other close family members is perfectly fine. My Dad offered to help me pay for my first adoption and I wouldn’t take the money from him because he was old and on social security, and it was the only savings he had. But asking strangers to contribute to a “chip in” on a public blog? Sorry, but I have a real problem with that.

  23. klem Says:

    I don’t see the point in constantly trying to beat people up who want to do fundraising for their adoption. If you don’t agree with the practice, state your piece and then move on. But the “tacky” comments made yesterday (in a blog totally unrelated to fundraising) and the general custom to hijack almost any thread about fundraising ideas is a bit over the top. Almost feels like bullying to me.

    I am not in favor of fundraising, pretty much for the reasons RQ stated. But I understand that not everyone looks at life that way, and I know in some communities that fundraising for events like this is pretty common and part of the lifestyle. We seem to be able to agree to disagree on so much here. Why is fundraising striking such a nerve these days?

  24. mom2girls Says:

    I am just going to say I am SO against fundrasing to adopt, and yes if you can’t affort then you should not do it.
    We took out a loan to help pay for it.

  25. ldw4mlo Says:

    The point really is about how the child will feel.

    And if you personally, have never been the child who had to have fundraising to enter a family.

    You really do not know how that child will feel. To those who say my children will get how much we loved them to do this for them. No that is just your hope and trying to make it right for yourself…………..

    If you haven’t actually made the journey, you can only listen to the ones who have. Too many adoptees, say this has had a negative impact on how they view themselves and their “family” when they find out………..

    Nice to think they will be OK with it. But really I think it is irresponsible to take the chance……..

    Sorry, folks just should not be rolling the dice with a childs self esteem………… They really have enough to deal with, without adding to it.

    Really, plenty of ways to raise money without making a child a cause………..

  26. nyc_gal_123 Says:

    I don’t quite know how to address this issue. Personally, I think if I can’t afford the adoption fee / travel expenses, then I should wait a little and save up. It has nothing to do with luck, it’s basic finance. I can get help with baby gift registry and buy used stuff. On the other hand, there is reality and people do need $$ help. Churches fundraise for all sort of things anyways, why not adoption.

    But one thing come to my mind. Do biological parents fundraise before their kids are born? How would we react to that?

  27. Tresordasie Says:

    I borrowed money from the bank for our three adoptions.

    I would like to adopt a fourth child, but I won’t because borrowing again would be irresponsible as I don’t see how I can pay it off in a reasonable amount of time.

    So I will not be adopting a fourth child.

    Pretty simple.

  28. englishgirl Says:

    Wow, this certainly is a polarizing issue for sure. Seems like we are all saying that “doing what it takes” such as doing bake sales, garage sales, second jobs – or heaven forbid saving until we can afford it are all good ways. BUT using a child, yes USING a child as leverage to get others to pay for our dreams is not. And I agree with that. The child will eventually find out and I can tell you that as an adoptive parent of a beautiful 5 year old that she is aware of her story and how she got here, and people talk about it TO her…thankfully no one has to say to her we helped raise funds to bring you home. And as that parent I KNOW there are times and aspects of her story (and it IS her story) that she doesn’t want to talk about or share with others. This is going to be an issue with families who have put the photos up on websites and done this….eventually.

    I saw a blog recently (and I should state that it is NOT the blog that started this whole discussion) that wanted to raise $30,000 for their adoption. Can you imagine? $30,000 is more than the amount it costs (I live in Canada) to adopt and travel to China…so having a proposal and needing to raise $30,000 is amazing to me. Sounds like some people make a decision to adopt, and then try and figure out how to pay for it – and that’s a huge problem. If you can’t afford it, why should someone else pay for it for you?

  29. WaitingforHazel Says:

    I have a very strong opinion on what works best for me on this topic.

    However, I have a stronger belief regarding, “To each their own!”

    If it works for “YOU” do it!

    If it doesn’t work for “YOU” don’t do it!

    Strong opinions don’t bother me either way.

    This is a very diverse community and I have learned a lot from others’ views.

    There have been times when I have changed my view or opinion from a well stated and respectful point of view that differs from my own.

    I am persuaded by those who can respectfully, logically and informatively state their views.

    I wish this community would agree to disagree and state our opinions without expressing judgments of other’s choices.

    Judging each others deeply saddens me. It is harmful and not productive

    The bullying epidemic in American schools is proof of the damage judging others causes.

  30. PIJill Says:

    I agree with @daddyjac, who said, “Fundraising is for charity”. When families fundraise, they set their child up as a community charity, and invite the notion that the community is ‘saving’ that child, that IA adoption is the saving of children. It is messed up.

    A few summers ago, I stopped by a garage sale and it turned out to be a fundraiser for an adoption. It was cringe-inducing to see that child’s photo blown up on posters, and to hear the dad say that they made more money that way, because nobody bargains when the money goes to an orphan. And everyone got to feel like they had saved an orphan. That poor kid.

    I am all for being creative in raising the money. Not everyone has $35,000 saved up. But like other posters here, I think you don’t have to advertise why you are doing what you are doing – sell on eBay, have a yard sale, a bake sale, set up a Zazzle store, pawn your engagement ring, ask your family for help, whatever. But we shouldn’t use our kids as a form of advertising.

    I also think that, with the wait where it is, the up-side is that families have a lot more time to save the money for the backend of their adoption, yet I see more and more ‘fundraisers’ happening, especially church-based ones. And I am appalled by it.

  31. cdh Says:

    I’m surprised at the judgement of the people who are posting in response to fundraising. I didn’t fundraise so I’m not defending myself by responding. I’m just amazed that anyone would judge another family this way. The biggest shock to me is that families who have experienced job losses are being criticized so harshly. I’m sure that some people here are wealthy and don’t work but most would be in a financial bind if the primary breadwinner in the family lost their job. If you lost your job after waiting for five years for a referral would you just give up? Seriously, it’s not like you can tell the CCAA “hold my place and give me a referral in six months when we’re back on our feet financially.”

    Where does the judgement end? I mean do we judge agencies who give grants for harder to place children and then say “How are these kids going to feel in fifteen years if they find out that their parents got a grant?” Do we judge people who get home equity loans? Do we say it’s OK it fundraise or get a grant if the child has a certain special need? If we say that who defines the particular needs that qualify?

    Saying that people who have the savings to adopt are lucky doesn’t necessarily dismiss the fact that they have worked hard. I’ll just use my own situation. I worked as a social worker for ten years and I worked hard. I think that everyone is aware that social work doesn’t pay well. My husband went to college for four years…I went for six. His major was business and mine was psychology. He earns more in a year than I earned in seven. Does he work hard? You bet. Is he lucky? You bet. If I were single and saved money for my entire career I still couldn’t have come close to saving what he can in a year. So it’s not we all start with $100,000 and some waste the money while others save. Some start with $1 and save. They just can’t save the money as fast. One of my friends who was single (and also a social worker) adopted a little girl and she’s a great mom. Her mom paid for her adoption but she would have had a fundraiser if her mom hadn’t helped….and if she had needed to fundraise she will have still been a great mom and her daughter would still be lucky to have her as a mother. Please have some respect and tolerance if people aren’t as fortunate as you. I’ve seen alot of families end up in a financial bind because of one unfortunate event.

    The bottom line is that our kids are going to have some adoption related issues as they get older. Some kids will have a harder time than others just because of individual differences so it makes sense that some would be bothered by the knowledge that their parents had a fundraiser and others wouldn’t mind at all. The bottom line is that the CCAA (or whatever their new title is) has set guidelines for how much money families who adopt must have in order to qualify. If families meet those guidelines then it’s really not up to the rest of us to judge whether they are fit to adopt.

  32. mia08 Says:

    My husband is adopted. I take my cues from him on many situations. He is an adoptee who is secure in his adoption and family. But there are things he feels strongly about. For example- he despises the term “gotcha day”. He feels it sounds like you snatched a child, so that term will not be used in our house. And he (and I) do not agree with fundraising. He said if he found out his parents had public fundraisers back in the day he would be humiliated. He is not anyone’s “charity case”. I think that we need to put the needs of the child ahead of ours, and that bringing a child home by any means necessary is not always in their best interest. It is very nuanced and I think AP forget that. AP have a tendency in this situation to think in very black and white terms. The child is home and not living in an orphange so it MUST be better. There is a whole gray area we need to acknowledge IMO, and the ends do not always justify the means.

    With that said- shame on everyone who distracted the families from celebrating their referral news yesterday. Those on both sides of the argument.

  33. ldw4mlo Says:

    To those who say, it depends on how the child hears of the information.

    Not true, it matters not how it is told to them.

    What matters is how it feels to them.

    And research shows it is rarely if ever recieved well, no matter how well intentioned.

    I have to tell my daughter she was abandoned. I try to tell it with great sensistivity and care……. But there is a high probablility that someday she will just feel dumped…….

  34. ldw4mlo Says:

    Portlandval, aluckybug, and chickensoup……

    All good points

  35. emcdc42 Says:

    Fundraising or no fund raising I think it is wrong to accept the referral of a child if you do not have the money to pay for the adoption at the time of referral. This can prolong the time it takes to bring your child home. I believe that is wrong and not in the best interest of the child. My opinion.

  36. catherinethegreat Says:

    To me the issue is privacy for the child when it comes to fundraising here in North America or wherever they are going to live when adopted. Families that share the details of their child’s beginnings, health history etc as a rationale for fund raising remove that child’s right to privacy in their new home country. Its this part that I have a harder time with than the actual request for monetary support (although I will admit that to some degree this also concerns me). It really is none of my business, but knowing that a child’s privacy has been violated really, really, really bothers me. Having said that to be fair to families using this technique there are instances when families fund raise to pay for huge medical bills when their child becomes acutely ill and needs a life saving operation. Privacy in those cases isn’t necessarily provided to the child there either…and I guess its because its a ‘life saving’ need. I suspect families consider things in the same light when they fund raise for their child in the way that they chose to do so. The issue is whether or not the ‘ child’s right to privacy’ superceds the child’s need for ‘saving’. I don’t believe that most children in the China program really fit into the need to be ‘saved’….but there are always a few…and its not my right to judge that. But I caution families, it will be your child’s right to judge that and believe me when they are adolescents and young adults…they will judge you for this. To ignore this point, is a huge, huge mistake…and I think its this that RQ is trying to point out.

  37. jlync1 Says:

    I wonder how many people on this list have applied for adoption grants? Isn’t that fundraising and accepting “charity” from someone else? Since when do you have to personally earn every penny in order to adopt?

  38. strawberryshortcake Says:

    But cdh – WE know that the money is going to 34 different fees. The rest of the world has usually an attention span of about 2.3 minutes…and completely come away with the notion that they are helping “buy” a child.

    As another wise poster put it: I cannot fathom how people start an adoption not knowing how they will pay to travel to bring the child home! How can you be so fiscally irresponsible?!?

    I mean, really…I would LOVE another couple kids. We could adopt one more. We’d have to cut stuff and I’d have to go back to work one day a week in the office, but we could easily do it. But, more than 1, we’d need a bigger car, another bedroom, plus the college, food, clothes etc…so guess what – I dont’ do it. Just like I don’t do 1001 other things I’d like to do because that’s how the world works – you don’t get instant gratification because you want it but can’t afford it.

    And as to the people saying that their situations have changed in 5 years. I’m sorry. It sucks. The situation CCAA has created is horrible and abusive to everyone all the way around. But with that being said – you’ve had 5 years to save. And if your family situation has changed, then, sadly, you shouldn’t continue with the adoption, IMHO. If you are living off 1/2 the pay – do you WANT another mouth to feed?! Do you WANT to try and figure out how you’ll let another child take gymnastics that the others take but you can barely afford now? Does this work well for anyone? It’s sad…but people have also gotten divorces, gotten ill, etc and quit the program It’s the tragedy of time progressing in this situation.

  39. ladeeesquire Says:

    I feel passionately about this subject. And, to clarify, there is a HUGE difference between “raising funds” and “fundraising”

    We all raise funds. I raise funds by having a job. You could also raise funds by having a garage sale, etc. Whatever. Fundraising is for charity. If you beg for money from he community at large by saying “Help US Bring Home XXX” you have turned that child into a charity case. You can pretty it up all you want, but that’s exactly what you’ve done.

    And, many ask, why do I care? What business is it of mine? The simple answer is that you when you make your Chinese adopted child into a charity case, you’re telling the world that adopting chinese orphans is a charity. You are giving people the right and the incentive to ask “how much did she cost?” you’re encouraging them to thank us for doing a good deed and you are minimizing her importance as a respected and loved member of the family with the same value as a biological child.

    So yes, it is my business.

    Someone asked about the tax credit. You’re right!! People who beg for money then apply for the tax credit. I was just told recently by another adoptive parent that “the great thing about their chinese adoption was that is was free” Really? Wow.

    And, if you’re going to beg for money, it invites people into your lives, your child’s life and gives them the right to judge you. If you’re in such dire straits for money, should you own a computer? how about internet/cable service? isn’t that a luxury you could forego to raise the funds necessary to build your family? Just asking. Where are people’s priorities?

    Its an odd concept this belief that other people should pay for our stuff because we want it and can’t afford it. I’ll never understand it. Never.


  40. kms Says:

    People do fundraise for everything in life. Kids already in the home even. Not just the fundraising for harsh medical condition either. Kids are begging on my door to raise money for computers, school sports, scouts. I have seen kids playing instruments outside the bank with hat out raising money for music trip. Park district even though they get tax money and fees also have a bucket out time to time to subsidize their programs. I have been at the store with kids peddaling candy bars outside. We don’t door to door sell anymore. It’s consumerism for a cause. I was a birthday party for my cousin’s girls and my aunt’s neice on her other side of the family was selling raffle tickets so her son could play preschool baseball. Why? How often at work are you asked to participate in a sponsorship for breast cancer walk (since you have to raise money to enter the walk) or some coupon card for high school track and field for another’s child?

    Why is it so shocking people do so for adoption?

    My agency said specificially in the last HS for our second adoption attempt that we were going to pay for the adoption with savings. I don’t know how you get to be 30 and not have retirement to borrow against? Least a third of fees are paid ahead of travel. No one really has money lying around. It’s in the house – actual house value not just items in the house. It’s in retirement. It’s in investment account. The question is really liquid money. Ability to take out loans. And not wanting to take penalty for early withdrawl.

    You can donate or not.

    If it’s noble to be charitable why is so considered so shameful to be the recipient of charitable actions?

  41. lgm Says:

    Regarding the comment that fund raising is a “charity’ thing. Soon you will see and hear lots of activity regarding fund raising for the U.S. Presidential candidates. They will raise millions to get the power and position that they want regardless of weather they have money in the bank or not.

    Regarding the adoption fund raising, I never even knew it was an option when we adopted from China. And when we adopted from Ethiopia, it was NOT allowed (as mentioned by a previous poster). A friend suggested a fundraiser and using a picture of the child. I wasn’t going to do ANYTHING to jeopardize our son coming home so I passed. We sold some personal items and are still paying off our home equity line of credit. I have given to one person 2x for their fundraiser. But their circumstances touched my heart. When they traveled to China to adopt their daughter, they found out that there were 2 siblings as well!! So I just had to be a part of bringing those 2 boys home.

    And I do agree with some of the posters that some people do NOT even need the funds. They just want to take other people’s money and not touch their own or take out a loan. I KNOW that happens and that sickens me. I think its a case by case basis. But too many people are jumping on the fund raising bandwagon. It has become easier. If you do it, you must use some tact and think of the child.

    My girlfriend adopted 3 little ones from Guatemala and I gave her something for each trip to buy something for the kids. And I was part of the Home study process, I would have been offended if I couldn’t be a part of the whole thing. But this is also my childhood friend and we are like family.

    Either way, can we please just take it easy on each other. Have a great day everyone!

  42. Littleladybug Says:

    I didn’t read the comments posted because I am at work right now and can’t but as soon as I get home I will. I just had to speak my mind on this. When we adopted we were lucky in that we had a savings from our wedding that we were able to use to adopt our little girl without needing help, but if we did we would of not givin up our dream to adopt a little girl and would of asked for help in some way. I do not think this is wrong at all. I have two family members who gave birth to thier children with server medical needs. Thier insurance did not cover all the expenses, not to mention the countless things that they need to add to their house to help the children. The costs were crazy. our family got togher and did a hugh funraiser, raising over 10,000 dollars in a few short months. This helped the families and were able to give their children the medical care they needed without putting thier finaces in jeapory. They both are now grown adults who don’t think for one minute they owe us anything for helping them out in their time of need. While this is a little different then adopting it all for the same reason. The love of a child. The parents of the children you were talking about should of been more clear on what the money was for, not for the child they adopted but for the partents the orphange for the other child the (country’s) goverment. There is no cost for the child, we are not buying a child. We need money to cover cost of paper work, travel, fees from goverments or states, social workers and adoption agency’s. Never for the child, so why was this not explained to these children. They owe nothing to anyone but themselvers. Should we pentilized those who say a prayers that things move quick. Should the children feel they owe to people who gave a gift when they came home or a family member who through a baby shower to help the new partents out?? I could go on an on on how people help us after we adopt that is no different then a church or community coming together to help with adoption. How about the people who brought food over when we got home from china or family memember who took care of my animals while we were gone and got our car cleaned??? this is all the same thing. Just because money was not exchanged does not make it any differnt. We didn’t need money to adopt, but we need well wishes from other, a shoulder to learn on, people to pick us up from the air port, meals brought to us when we got home. All these things add up to alot of money if we had to pay for a private service to do it for us. So in my eyes, our daugter does not owe anyone anything, but me and my husband are for ever greateful to those that helped us along the way. And me and him only owe a debt of thankfulness to each and everyone of them and we will be sure my daugter understands that when and if she ever questions this matter. No one should have to give up there dream to adopt, if they need help then no one, no one should tell them how to get it as long and they are doing it a legally!!! There are alot of children who are here because of the kindness of others.

  43. laura111va Says:

    I think Amyjo and klem said it best, I thought it was extraordinarily rude to hijack a thread that was meant to allow others to share their wonderful news with attacks on the families’ method of funding the adoption (I just couldn’t figure out how to post until today). I think the annonymity of the online community makes it very easy to post mean spirited rants that have more to do with the posters’ frustrations than anything the target ever did.

    So, really, CONGRATULATIONS to all of those with referrals – I don’t care how you pay to take care of your family – it’s none of my business.

    That being said, there is something that makes me squeamish about “fundraising” and I think it tracks to people who adopt to save a child – no child deserves that label – they deserve to be loved and cherished as the gifts that they are to the families that are lucky enough to get them. But, frankly, people have different financial backgrounds and comfort levels w/ debt etc. If you want to sell tee shirts or have yard sales to raise the money needed to adopt and grow your family – have at it. I don’t have to visit your blog or go to the yard sale – that’s the beauty of our county.

    Last, I don’t think you can extrapolate from the experience of two adults – I grew up with a sibling that became suicidal in her teens, and I can tell you the picture is much more complicated than learning one piece of news. We can learn from experiences of others, but two adults are not a compelling survey to me. Okay, I feel better now, thanks RQ for this blog and the forums, it is a great place to learn, but really, can’t we all play nicely?

  44. fortheloveof...china Says:

    In lieu of fundraising, here are a couple of things that we are doing that you might find helpful.

    1. For those looking for savings options, you must check out Smarty Pig! It’s an awesome savings tool. Seriously. AWESOME!

    2. When we get our referral, we will owe our agency $3800 (a combination of fees and prepaid post placements). We just got a credit card with 0% on purchases for 12 months. We are going to pre-pay that last $3800 with that card. That’ll give us the next 12 months to pay it off interest free.

    3. Between our own accumulated frequent flyer miles and miles that we are purchasing from friends’ accounts, we’ll be able to purchase at least one, if not two air tickets for travel. Check into buying miles from friends and family. They can “donate” them too.

  45. SuzanneS Says:

    I think KrissyJ makes a good point. The fundraising is not to help the child, the fundraising is to help the parents. Fortunately we did not have to fundraise. We charged all oru travel expenses to a credit card and then paid it off with the credit (fortunatley we travelled at the end of the year so it wasn’t a long wait for the funds). BUT, had I had to fundraise, I would have talked to my child about it when it was age appropriate and explained that mommy and daddy needed help getting to China. I would reiterate over and over that it was mommy and daddy that had the need.

    I can certainly see how a child would feel indebted. Much like my mom did after my grandfather worked a 2nd job and scrimped and saved so she could go to college. Granted, it’s not quite the same thing, but she sensed a huge sacrafice on my grandparents part and felt she owed it to them to excell at everything. That’s a lot of pressure for a young adult. I can’t imagine that kind of pressure on a young child.

  46. lojeslj Says:

    I think like anything in life, this really is not black and white but instead shades of grey.

    The family that posts sad or cherubic SWI referral pictures saying “Help bring Mei Mei Home!” while drinking daily Starbucks lattes and vacationing frequently in Aruba will most likely raise some eyebrows. I personally would not feel my money should support their lifestyle choices.

    But the other end of the spectrum is the RQ family who found out upon the adoption of their dd that she had two brothers at the SWI with her, including her twin. The push to raise funds for the adoption of the brothers right on the heels of the first adoption seemed appropriate to me. Very few families are THAT financially well off to afford that, even with loans. Donating my money to reunite a family, that felt right.

    For adoptees that feel fundraising of that sort (here is a child, help me bring them home) is inappropriate, I don’t invalidate their personal feelings. But there are also adult adoptees who very vocally advocate against adoption, or against adoption where they would be minorities in the community. I just don’t think that we as AP’s can do or not do everything every adult adoptee feels is correct. I don’t think it’s possible. There are as many points of view as there are adoptees. I understand some points of view are more common, some more egregious, don’t get me wrong. But to say NEVER do it, no matter what, because some adoptees had even serious issues with it is trying to second guess how our own children will grow and process their own adoption. Like all parenting decisions, we do the best we can with the situation we’re in.

    As for luck vs hard work, I think for most of us it is a combination of both. I was lucky to have parents that paid for college. I worked hard in college to get into a good grad school. I worked hard in grad school to get into a good post-grad program. I was lucky/sacrificed/worked hard (a combo I think!) to get into the military so my grad school debts were paid. I was lucky to have a great post-grad program and worked hard to avail myself of the opportunities to learn. I was lucky to have the perfect job fall into my lap when I was getting out of the military. I’ve worked hard to do well at that job. I’ve been lucky the economic downturn has not affected us, and I’ve been lucky we’ve not had any catastrophic problems.

    Luck or hard work? Both I think. I don’t discount hard work at all. I do think even those that work hard can have some bad luck that negates the whole ball of wax.

    My two cents…

  47. mallmarie Says:

    Now, here’s another thought: how can anyone really NEED to fundraise when the CCAA requires that prospective parents have $80,000 in net worth? I know that the equity in one’s house can be part of this figure, even if people don’t have regular savings. So why not take out a home equity loan?

  48. still dreaming of china Says:

    wow so many strong opinions – families do things everyday that not everyone will agree with so lets remember that and try to be respectful of others feelings.

    I am glad RQ brought up her two examples although I can’t imagine that one thing like that happened and turned this girls seemingly “perfect” life around – I am sure there were other underlying issues as well and this was the tipping point for her (just my opinion) – maybe not – I guess no one knows for sure but like I said I am glad that RQ brought it up becasue I had never thought of it like that before.

    I do personally feel that you should not have your childs face plastered on fundraising materials as though it is a rescue operation. On the other hand I find NOTHING wrong with doing some fundraising – how much or how you go about it is a personal choice.

    Now I must be honest that I persoanally don’t think I could host a fundraiser of any sort for “ourselves” – I just wouldn’t feel right.

    In our case we are approx a year away (fingers crossed) and friends of ours came to us and said they are going to throw a stag and doe type dance/fundraiser to help raise some money for us. I was very touched and to be honest very thankful and appreciative that everyone wanted to try and help us out.
    Do we NEED them to do this for us – NO
    Did I go into this adoption process needing to have a fundraiser to complete it – NO
    but am I excited about it – YES
    any bit helps and my friends and family are so excited to do this and try to help us out. I think they see that for years we struggled with infertility (again very costly) and several miscarriages etc.. and now our adoption that is turning out to be much more costly and timely than first expected and they just want to try to lend a helping hand.

    When we started this it was suppose to be 9 months and approx 15,000 less than what it will end up costing – again I am not saying we need to have it but our friends are excited and want to help out.

    They are saying it is to help rasie funds for us but we don’t have our daughters picture (nor would I use it) and we will not be using her name etc..

    Oh and the comment about tax credit is a little ridiculous – here in Ontario (maybe different in other places)we can add the adoption costs to our income tax (only the year we return with our child) and the most we would get back is approx $1,500 – so even if you had a fundraiser it is not even close to the $35,000 we will end up spending in the end.

  49. wait4ever Says:

    Why do people even tell their child about fundraising when they are older. They don’t need to know. I doubt people will come up to them 5 or 6 yrs after the adoption(or later) and tell them they gave $10 towards them coming home. If they do, shame on them. People need to do what they can in this economy. Be kind. The wait is hard and the economy isn’t making things easier.

  50. orangeismyfavoritecolor Says:

    My husband and I adopted in 2002. A friend of ours had a baby shower for us and made up an invitation saying that anyone wishing to make a donation toward our adoption expenses were invited to do so. I have to admit that I felt unconfortable with that. We used that money ($1,500) to pay for our tickets to China. We borrowed money from my retirement and took out a signature loan to cover most of the 17K for our adoption. It would never have dawned on us to do hard core fundraising but it was a different time. I have to admit that some of the fund raising rubs me the wrong way. It has the feel of “you owe me something” especially the families that say “we need another $5,000 if we are going to make it.” I am probably going to tick some people off but I have to say “Should you be adopting if you cannot afford it?” I realize that there are special circumstances like job loss and the costs associated with this long wait that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the families who go into knowing that they will have to rely on the kindness of others to pay for a huge part of their exenses. My husband and I would have loved to have adopted another child from China, but to be honest we did not because we could not afford it. We did not feel that placing our daughter’s immediate and our long term financial security injeopardy was the right thing to do.

  51. noahs-mom Says:

    portlandval brings up a good point. With our agency we had to sign a document saying that we would not share photos of our child and any of their personal or identifying information on the open internet until our adoption was finalized. They caution that the child is not ours legally until the adoption is finalized. They also talked of the importance of respecting our children’s privacy. It is the child’s right to first know their own story and adoption circumstance and then decide who they share that with. Once it is out there you cannot take it back. Other agencies must not require this of their families. Fundraising on a blog would not even have been an option for families with our agency…assuming APs are adhering to their policy.

  52. Noendinsight Says:

    some countries – like ethiopia – do not allow fundraising. in fact in the past there have been blogs that were brought to their attention where the families were fundraising and they notified the family they would no longer be able to adopt. there was one family adopting three siblings and that fell through.

    my daughter is not a charity and we would not have adopted her if we could not have afforded to. in fact, we were ready to adopt in 2004, but waited until 2006 to have some savings above and beyond paying for our adoption. turns out our cushion ended up being a lot less because our adoption costs increased so much….oh, and we also got to wait over four years vs. eight months.

    we wouldn’t change a thing – but in our family we didn’t and weren’t going to adopt if we could not pay for it ourselves. even if that meant saving for years.

    we have friends who desperately want a second child. their first child was conceived through ivf. they can’t afford another round of ivf….so guess what? they can’t have a second child. i can’t imagine fundraising ever crossed their minds.

  53. KrissyJ Says:

    For those who say that you must first make sure you’re financially ready to adopt before setting out, well, WE WERE! In fact, for years we’ve been living below our means in order to save as much as we could. We had every dime and then some of the $20-$30K (and then some) needed to adopt from China.

    When I mentioned that my husband and I are the “charity cases” at this point, of course, I was using that as a figure of speech. No, we’re not in a bread line. But our life savings has been STOLEN from us, yes, STOLEN by birth mothers who wanted a “free ride” on us, by attornies, and even by China! We’ve been doling out money in an attempt to adopt for nearly 6 years, and we have no child! So do I think it’s disgusting the way the adoption process works, that in essence it often seems like we’re “buying” a child? Yes, I absolutely HATE it. But that’s the way it works.

  54. Pengyou Says:

    I think glasshouses said it well when she/he said that “The distinction that people are missing, is that “fundraising” in and of itself it considered fine and necessary by most. However, ADVERTISING that it is for adoption of your child is the issue for many, especially for many adult adoptees.”

    Personally I applaud families who take on extra jobs, start businesses, save, wait, etc. I think this is to be commended. Where it turns for me is when someone flat out asks for money for their adoption or does any or all of the above is “advertised” or promoted as a fundraiser to “bring a child home”. It becomes about pulling on the heartstrings of people in a way that suggests one should contribute or buy the goods/services to “save the orphan”. Fundraising turns the family building process and the children into a cause or a mission. It commoditizes our children. It turns them into a poster children for adoption. It labels them indelibly as an orphan.

    For me the topic strikes a nerve for a couple of reasons. The first is that active fundraising it so rampant, it has a tendency to color all international adoptions, not just the adoption of the family doing the fundraising.

    Secondly, I am constantly hearing from families that choose to fundraise that we as a family are “lucky” we didn’t have to. I have a very hard time with the suggestion or implication that those of us who did not fundraise were somehow “lucky” or “blessed”. That suggests that we got to where we were by chance as opposed to a ton of hard work and sacrifice. We didn’t just have a pile of cash “lying around”. We systematically worked over the years to get to where we were so that we could do things like afford our adoption.

  55. melissa2710990 Says:

    I am curious how the children whose families used fundraising to adopt them are presented with this information? Isn’t some of it in the way it would have been deliverd to them? Why would they even know?

    My family sponsors 3 children. One in Sri Lanka, One in the US and one in China. We receive letters from these children and hear from these children often how gifts we send are spent. Isn’t this the same thing? Why is it bad to help children and families who need our assitance?

    We did not need help for our two adoptions, but for those that do, is that a crime? Why are we standing judge over these families who want to bring their children home? I don’t get it… What about the donations we make to children who are fighting cancer or some deadly disease? Haven’t you all contributed to individual children to help? I am not sure why it is so different. Why are we making the word charity a crime anyway? Isn’t the intent of the word charity, people helping people?

    Having visited China and seen orphanages, I think the children are much better in homes with parents who want them and are ready to love them, even if they need help in getting them here.

    If I choose to give to someone who needs help, that is my business. If people choose to ask for help, that is their business. We shouldn’t judge people based on one fact that we are finding out about them… as with anything else, there is always more to it then what we know.

    As a group we often discuss not wanting our families judged, and not wanting our children judged, but yet we are being borderline cruel to each other on this list… How can we ever hope to have tolerance towards our families when we aren’t practicing it ourselves?

  56. theadair6 Says:

    I’ve always thought about this…and at this time I’ve contacted a few organizations that will let me “borrow” the money $5000 up to $10,000. To be paid back with in a five to eight year time. Of course the tax credit will help some. I just couldn’t ever do a fund raiser that would be asking for money to bring my child home. Yes…many people do it…missionaries do it for support reasons…but I just am one that can’t do it. I will also be getting some inheritance from an aunt that passed away and this will really help a lot. There are grants out there too…I will try one or two since a lot don’t give to singles. This makes it even harder. I just think that some people wonder though it you have to raise the money how will you then support this child afterwards. I just don’t like to ask people for money. That’s just me. But everyone has to do what they need to to get these children home. There is no real right or wrong way.

  57. still dreaming of china Says:

    melissa2710990 – well said!

  58. anderson5246 Says:

    I feel the pain of starting out on this adoption journey over 5 years ago and finances were set then…. the economy fell. However, we keep asking ourselves should we go on and if the answer is yes then with that answer we know we have to afford it (the adoption, travel, etc.) ourselves.

    We have been hounded by people that started on this adoption journey with us and have decided to drop out of NSN line and go the SN route. However, once that took the SN route they soon learned they did not have all the finances they needed so…… the letters, e-mails, pleas, etc. for help have started coming in. They make you feel so guilty for not supporting a fellow adopter.

  59. jackie Says:

    I think people on both sides of this issue feel passionately about their views – that’s why discussions get so heated. I think it’s nonetheless a valuable discussion to have (although maybe not a blog entry about celebrating matches).

    As others have posted, there’s a difference between selling possessions, making jewelry for sale, etc. to fund an adoption and asking people for donations (i.e. having donors give money to the family’s personal “charity”).

    I do think that people should be allowed to solicit donations, without being demonized, if they so choose. You do what you gotta do, right, and I don’t think people who solicit donations are necessarily bad or undisciplined money-managers or would solicit donations if they understood it might be harmful to their referred child.

    At the same time, however, if PAPs are going to ask others to contribute funds to offset adoption costs, the message should be (IMHO), “hey, we’ve chosen to build our family through adoption; it’s crazy expensive; any chance you’d like to give us some money to help pay for it?” rather than “help us bring home an orphan”, which gives me a pretty icky feeling, both as it portrays the adoption community as a whole and as it potentially impacts the child in question.

  60. Bliss Says:

    melissa2710990 Says:
    “I am curious how the children whose families used fundraising to adopt them are presented with this information? Isn’t some of it in the way it would have been deliverd to them? Why would they even know?”

    If the whole community knows because everyone contributed – how would they ever NOT get to know it? Maybe they even get mobbed about it…

  61. lizzyf1 Says:

    wow! thinking you all over reacted into other people’s lives. (I’m talking both sides). Do your own thing with whatever works and don’t worry about everyone else.

    This site has majorily dissapointed me on this post

  62. portlandval Says:

    I’m sure this discussion seems harsh to people who cannot take the child’s view. I think the problem is the FOCUS on the child. I don’t have a problem with fund raising per se. But the focus should be on the parents as the charity case, not the child.

    If you are okay with putting your adult faces up on the web with a message that says, “hi, we’re a couple who don’t have money and we need some of yours to make our dreams come true. It’s for a good cause and we wish we could do it on our own but we can’t seem to make it happen with our own incomes. Look, we are really well meaning and good citizens so give me some money, please! You can help make our dream come true and help someone at the same time”

    I think that would be okay because adults are doing it of their own volition and have that right. But, putting the child up there is “outing” their plight without their consent and I object to that. They will already know they had a rocky start in life and maybe they want that part of their lives to be PRIVATE….Privacy, what a quaint notion.

  63. aluckybug6 Says:

    portlandval asks a great question – how would you feel if the focus was on your need for money in order to adopt? If there was no information about the country or child? Would you feel differently? And lizzyf1, do you really believe it is good advice to advise pre-adoptive parents to “Do your own thing with whatever works”? While much of parenting is relative and situational, we have enough information from adult adoptees, social workers like Jane Brown, BTDT parents and authors like Cheri Register to know that some decisions and actions we make as adoptive parents will help or hinder our child’s emotional health and well-being. Shouldn’t we listen to them and follow the advice that is most likely to result in the best outcome for our children? Think of everything we have come to learn about attachment and the ways to foster it. Should parents ignore that advice now because it isn’t what works for them? Should we ignore race and culture and pretend they don’t matter because they complicate our lives as parents? I can hear some folks saying “It’s not the same thing.” It is the same principle – don’t do what works for you if there is long term potential to cause distress and emotional harm to the child. This is why I feel strongly it should not be done – not because I am judging others, but because I believe passionately it positions adoption and our children in a way that is harmful to them.

  64. chickensoupforchina Says:

    Portlandval brings up such a good point. Privacy. Another reason I don’t have a blog. I think my daughter is entitled to privacy. That’s why I don’t post pictures of her publicly, nor do I share her/our adoption story in a public forum. IMO, it’s not my place. I don’t want to answer questions later on as to why I wasn’t respectful of her right to privacy. There are plenty of places online where families can privately get support, vent, and share without divulging too much personal information. Actually, RQ is a great site for that.

  65. ldw4mlo Says:

    And again, it is not what the parents feel, as in I don’t think the family thinks a child is a charity case.

    It is what the child percieves and feels.
    This stuff is about the child.

  66. KarenInCa Says:

    Also-I’d like to mention that domestic adoption from SN usually entails first doing foster care (paid for, and with additional subsidies) before adopting the child. Is that considered “Fund raising” for the adoption? How about getting the full tax credit for adopting domestic SN when the APs paid less than the credit amount? Is that fund raising? How about the SN subsidies that come monthly to APs who adopt domestic SN until the child is 18? Does that count???
    Or is the negative thought of fund raising ONLY considered negative fund raising when it’s not considered an “entitlement”?
    Im not bashing domestic SN, so please no flaming. I’m just curious as to what people might think the difference is. And what makes one acceptable and the other unacceptable.

  67. mom23boys Says:

    portlandval, I am glad you also posted that it would be okay if the parents made it more about themselves. As I said in my earlier post, I do not think I would have an issue with seeing a blog asking for travel money for themselves because they have not been able to come up with the whole amount. I actually think it may raise more money- as I think for that- I may chip in, knowing how hard it can get at some points. I also agree with others, the fundraising is not an issue at all if you leave the child out- raising money anyway possible, especially creatively is a good thing, just leave the child out of it.

  68. ldw4mlo Says:

    This is not to each his own. And this is not about “us” parents.

    It is about the child.
    The child who has a right to privacy. T
    he child who has a right not to feel beholden to a community.
    The child who has the right to not meet someone in the grocery store or at church who will tell them I helped bring you here, honey.
    The child who shouldn’t one day see all the charity work it took to get them here.

    And it is very naieve of folks to think that such a small thing like feeling like a charity case would upset an otherwise happy child.

    Let’s see, they lost their birthparents and birthfamily
    They lost their birthcountry.
    They have dealt with goodness knows how many transitions in their young lives, medical issues, attachment.
    The feeling of being kidnapped at times

    To willingly add charity case.

    Not right

  69. cdh Says:

    “Fundraising to adopt does nothing more than to instill the thought about our community that our children are commodities that can be bought and sold and it horrifies me.”

    Our children certainly are not commodities BUT we can’t adopt them without paying significant fees. That fact makes some people in the general public think of them as commodities. It’s not whther people pay from savings, get grants, or fundraise….it’s that the bottom line is you pay around $25,000 to bring a child home from China or you don’t bring a child a child from China home.

  70. abbyMom Says:

    We would not ever ask for a handout to adopt a child. To us it makes us wonder how a parent doing such a thing could possibly have enough money to raise the child after the adoption. Day Care is not cheap if the child is too young to be in school full time. There are also other expenses such as diapers and food not to mention CO-Pay for insurance. Not to mention start saving for higher education.

    Maybe CCCWA needs to change the income level qualifications. We were asked how we were going to pay for our Adoption and maybe this should be a requirement.

  71. daisycat Says:

    Fundraising for adoption is not usual for European adoptions and yes I find it a strange concept. As with most things there will always be conflicting view points. But I do find it annoying when people fundraise yet still have the finances for a vacations, and plan to take their entire family to China, take a pre adoption tour with guides/hotel costs etc. Plus want excersions and to stay in the most expensive hotels!

  72. azawa Says:

    I am not exactly sure how to word this, but what I think about when I hear about fundraising, blogs that give private info about children and other forms of private information being on public display is that children do not have a choice about what is being shared by their parents or friends and relatives.

    Parents may be well intentioned, but the way I see it is that we as parents are responsibe for thinking about that even if it is years away.

    We have to anticipate how our children will feel about our public actions when they are old enough to be aware, not make assumptions, but explore all the possibilities, positive and negative. I often think about babies or young children whose parents share their private stories on a blog. Not the day to day stuff but the intimate details of abandonment, finding sites and medical information.

    Please consider how your child will feel when they are a little older. We as parents do not own that information, we are stewards of the story until the child is old enough to care for it for themselves. Imagine the story as an object that you as the parent must carry and protect until you can pass it to your child.
    If you give it to a stranger will they treasure it as much as you do?

    I hope that I wrote this so people could hear it. I have experienced adoption from two different positions, an adoptee and and adoptive parent. As an adult adoptee I still keep some details of my story private. Finding out that my parents shared any part of that with family, friends, or strangers for the purpose of bringing me into the family would have been very upsetting to me. I just feel like the attitude of “do anything to bring the child home” lends itself to the idea that the child is a charity case who needs to be saved. Not a good way for a child to begin a new journey.

    My two cents, the long version!

  73. portlandval Says:

    It is so interesting to read this discussion because we are talking about the BOUNDARIES of what the adoption community finds acceptable on this topic.

    So, I started asking myself, WHY don’t I cringe when I see little kids on a poster for March of Dimes or Easter Seals? Yet, I want to spit up when I hear about a tin can fundraiser in a community store for an China adoptee?

    The difference is the relationship. My family and community are not going to have a relationship with the poster children but they will have an ongoing one with the fund raiser adoptee. There’s a LOT of baggage that goes a long with all that. Some of it you CAN control and other information you cannot control. You lose control of what other kids will say to your kid, how people will judge qualities about them and all sorts of undesirable, unanticipated yucky stuff will come up due to oversharing. I’ve learned this the hard way about myself. People can use information against you in ways you never predicted. I’m not the open book I used to be.

    The glowy, happy feelings of bringing a child into your life can get crushed really easily…if you doubt that, just look at yesterday’s blog and comments. Probably a real downer but everyone interprets things through their own filter if you put it out there! I really wish people would not put their kids out there for this reason. Adults have well developed defenses, kids do not.

  74. RayRDT Says:

    OMG !!! I just got home and saw ALL the posts ! RQ is red hot today ;)

    For adoption #1 (in 2003), we had the money in our bank account. The same goes for adoption #2 (LID end of 2006). We saved it up, on our own.

    If the situation had been different (meaning no $$$), DH and I would never ever ask anyone to contribute or lend us money for our adoptions (fundraising included). We do things on our own (like I said before). It’s always been that way. We would’ve taken a loan. The thing is we don’t want to own anything to anybody. I also see it as setting a good example for our daughter. When you want something, save up the money for it.

    That being said, what other people choose to do is their business BUT, I would definitely NOT contribute/lend money to other people for their adoption (fundraising included).

    Just my 2¢.


  75. mallmarie Says:

    RQ, you knew this was going to be a controversial subject when you introduced it. People were going to have passionate points of view one way or the other. So why is my earlier comment “on moderation” when it violates none of the rules of the site? It is not nasty, not directed at any individual, does not mention religion, politics or an agency. It deals with the net worth rule set by the CCAA. I do not see why there is a need to withhold this comment from being posted.

  76. ladeeesquire Says:

    mallmarie: mine came up as “moderated” to. Its not a conspiracy its just the program and RQ’s efforts to curb spam. They post soon after.


  77. oneblessedfamily Says:

    Since when is it illegal (or against the rules) to fundraise for Ethiopian adoptions. I’d like to see the actual rules on that one please.

    I think that there would be some benefit in people not being allowed to count the content of their homes at insurance value when it comes to their net worth.

    “Fundraising” is such a loose term. We did actual labor for fundraising and never announced it was for our adoption. We just took on extra work. I shared with a group of friends that I walked into a local grocery store the other day and saw a huge poster and tin cans at every register to help bring home a little girl from China. *That* is wrong, IMO.

  78. Gweny Says:

    Ugh, I would have cringed if I saw the poster and tin cans … yep, that goes too far.

    IMO, have all the garage sales you want, bake sales, etc. Just don’t use the adoption as leverage when you do it. I think that is when it starts to cross the line, IMO. If you feel the need to say what it’s for, maybe use something innocuous such as, say, the money is going towards airfare for the adoption.

    My husband and I also worked extra jobs to save money and our parents contributed a little towards travel but that’s it. We never did the “help us fund our adoption!” thing.

  79. ladeeesquire Says:

    “Fundraising” is such a loose term. We did actual labor for fundraising and never announced it was for our adoption. We just took on extra work. I shared with a group of friends that I walked into a local grocery store the other day and saw a huge poster and tin cans at every register to help bring home a little girl from China. *That* is wrong, IMO.”

    Tin cans??? Puke. Seriously. Puke.

    Mary~ you did not “fundraise” by taking on extra jobs and selling stuff you “raised funds” BIG, BIG, BIG difference.

    I see the question asked over and over of the we did fundraising crowd, but never an answer…. would you do a chip in on your blog to get your kid braces? or to put in a pool? If not, why not? Is it because that’s “different” in your mind?


  80. kcbock Says:

    I’m shocked over the strong feelings of this discussion. Who cares? If you want to fundraise– go for it– if you have no need to fundraise then great for you. I don’t think those who do not fundraise should look down their noses at those who do. It is an individual decision and it is not being “unprepared” or wanting something now as opposed to waiting. We all know that many of us could easily afford another child but to come up with the $28k to adopt is not easily done. So this is not a “if you can’t afford another kid then don’t ask for money” discussion. We were lucky enough to have equity in our house for our first adoption over 4 years ago and that is how we paid for that one. This past adoption was different. We had saved a large chunk and were planning on saving more but we saw Finley’s picture and were smitten. So, we thought we would have had more time to save $$ but we didn’t and we needed to find some money to finish the adoption. We did not have any equity in our home (Southern California– not many of us do) and had already tapped our savings to pay for the fees up until then. So we sold old kids clothes, had garage sales and yes, went to some of our close friends and family who we knew supported our adoption. We didn’t solicit $$ from hundreds rather from a few who we knew cared. If we had longer we would have saved more money and would have been fine but we didn’t have the time and our whole process took only 6 months from start to finish.

    By no means am I trying to get those who are being amazingly judgmental to approve of our fundraising but I am explaining there are different reasons we all have. It is repulsive to me that others would balk at or look down on those who fundraise to bring a child home. That is just ridiculous and I am shocked at how judgmental many of you are. I think many of you look to the future with all the “what if’s” the future could bring with regards to our kids. “Will they feel bad about this?” or “Will this hurt their self esteem?” and my response is that many over think all of this. Why are you looking so far into the future and trying to determine the “what if’s” of life. Shoot my bio kids could hate me someday because of something I did and I’m sure my adopted kids could also but I am not going to live my life worried about the possibility of that happening. If you all think that fundraising is going to damage a kid and make them drop out of school and their life go to pot– then you are naive. That was one story and I am sure there were other factors that went into that adoptees decline. Seriously– only because she found out her parents fundraised- you got to be kidding. Come on, we are all smarter than that. We all know there was more to it than that. Please stop being so scared of the future and live and love your kids– if that means bringing another child into your family through fundraising– then who cares!!! Better a child find a home than remain an orphan because you were worried that child MIGHT someday be upset about your decision to fundraise. I would be more upset that someone chose to leave an orphan in an orphanage and not bring them home because of this issue.

  81. Gweny Says:

    I just saw the blog that started all of this with the little girl’s picture under “please bring her home!” Ugh. Oh – and with the money counter too smack dab above it.

    I then tried to put myself in the shoes of that little girl and how she would feel looking at that and I was again mortified. If you’re going to fundraise consider giving the poor child some privacy and not show her picture next to the dollar signs. Ugh. Ugh.

  82. KarenInCa Says:

    RQ there is a huge difference between “having a difficult time raising the funds because of change of circumstances” eg: change to SN and need to get funds fast, or losing a job in the middle of everything, and “fund raising to SAVE an orphan”. Granted, some people will do it to gather funds because of change of circumstance, and will use the “save an orphan” campaign in order to get more funding, which IMO is not good…but I dont think someone can legitimately say that asking for funds due to change of circumstance is the same as raising funds to save an orphan causes.
    If that’s the case, then borrowing against my 401K for our first adoption was also a charity case! You do what you have to do to bring your child home. I seriously do not think my child(ren) will think that we saw them as “charity cases” because we got money from somewhere other than our (abundant) savings account.

  83. mia08 Says:

    when you fundraise with a child’s picture you are associating a dollar worth to that child. how would you feel?

  84. mallmarie Says:

    On the day the door re-opened for single parents, I confess I started looking at the waiting child lists once again. My nine-year-old would love a younger sister, and I would be eligible for a child of age 7 or older. After having lost 100 pounds, my BMI is now acceptable. I meet the income requirements and my health is excellent. But I’m not doing it because I can’t afford it. Period. I will not borrow any more money because it would be irresponsible, especially since my 15-year-old will be ready for college in two years. I will not ask for money from relatives or friends. This is one dream I just can’t achieve. Not sure if anyone else here is a “House MD” fan, but those of you who love him along with me know that one of the recurring theme songs throughout the series is “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

  85. chinagirl07 Says:

    Hmmmm, sounds like there may have been other issues that needed addressing as well. I think of fundraising as a way to help others build their families through adoption, not as charity cases to save the orphans. Adoption is expensive, there are those willing to help witht he costs, not to save a child, but because they are helping build a family. I don’t think any families who are fundraising think of their children as charity cases. Somewhere it is mentioned to help those in need-families wanting to adopt is a good start in my opionion. I can’t mention “where” it states this but it is!

  86. chinagirl07 Says:

    Seriously, Susan, you equate raising money for a pool to that of adoption?

  87. chinagirl07 Says:

    lizzyf1, you hit the nail on the head!

  88. PIJill Says:

    I wish I had written @LadeeSquire’s post, upthread. It says everything I think! OneblessedFamily, the edict regarding fundraising for Ethiopian adoptions comes directly from MOWA and has been in place for at least the past 5 years. They do read blogs and the adoption listservs, and they have denied families if they catch them doing it, because their rationale is, if you can’t afford to pay for an adoption, you can’t afford to raise the child.

    Someone mentioned upthread that we shouldn’t judge each other about this, because it is a personal decision, but I disagree with that. Our actions as IA parents directly impact how the families that follow in our footsteps will be treated in the process. We adopted from Ethio and had to submit extra financial paperwork because of two familys’ public fundraising via their blogs – their fundraisers, which we all knew are not supposed to happen, actually cost me money in new paperwork. I get to judge them for that. Their actions made adoption harder for everyone else that year. I get to judge them for that, too.

    We don’t do this process in a vacuum. I don’t judge your hair, your clothes, your weight, your job, your taste, your car, or your dog, but when your actions impact other IA families, I do judge. Google ‘adoption fundraiser’ and look at all the personal blogs that come up. The countries we adopt from? They see it too, and I believe it impacts the process for all of us.

  89. GrasshopperDreams Says:

    This topic is a slippery slope, so here I go with both feet…

    I see three different kinds of fund raising: earning funds, gifts, and soliciting funds. I would do the first, may accept the second and would not do the third. I would not solicit funds because 1) I see it as a violation of my family’s (and future child’s) privacy, 2) I would be asking for something that I did not earn (other than the fact that I am adopting a child), and 3) I would not want my child to carry that burden.

    Whatever you decide to do, please think about what your future child would say to this, how those who donated money will interact with your child, and what BTDTs are saying. What we do now will have consequences to our children throughout their lives.


  90. pandababy Says:


    Thank you for your eloquent post. We should, indeed, be “stewards” of our childrens’ stories. My husband and I fiercely protect the information that belongs to only them. I was horrified to come across a blog of a family whose child has the same disease as one of our children. In the blog, the mother outlines the course of treatment, complete with the names of the child’s medications, her prognosis, etc. On another blog, a parent waiting to adopt a child with the same illness as ours has discussed “bringing home this child to die within the love of their family”….with the “donate” button next to the entry, of course. Is this not using a child’s circumstances to drum up funds?

    I have an acquaintance that never misses an opportunity to share the latest comment made by someone regarding her child’s visible sn . She seems genuinely upset that people are constantly pointing out her child’s appearance. However, she plastered her child’s photo on her fundraising materials and kept referring to their process as a “special needs adoption” while requesting funds. So which way is it going to be? It can’t be both. People can’t expect to utilize a child’s medical situation as a method of validating their fundraising and then be mortified when people notice the same special need upon arrival home.

  91. PIJill Says:

    Ugh.I just reread my comment, and @OneblessedFamily, I am sorry – I started off addressing your comment/question directly regarding Ethio and fundraising, and then got off on a tangent that spoke about ‘you’ as a general form of address meaning everyone (and not you in general), and I apologize if my comment reads like the whole thing is addressed at you. It is just poor writing!

  92. mallmarie Says:

    Chinagirl07, in regard to your comment about the adoption/swimming pool comparison: rather than using the swimming pool as an analogy, how about using college tuition. The expense of sending a child to college these days makes the cost of an adoption seem like pocket change! Would you think it was right for someone to put a picture of their high school senior on their blog with a “chip in” for Yale tuition? Would you do it?

    The point is, if you can’t afford to send your child to Yale, you wouldn’t do it. You’d send them to a state school or perhaps a community college. Or maybe they couldn’t go at all for awhile.

    Adoption is not so very different. No one adopts “by accident.” It’s a planned event. You can’t send your child to college without saving some money and arranging for financing. You can’t buy a house without doing these things either. Why should anyone feel they have a right to put their hand out and ask for money (ESPECIALLY from other adoptive parents!!!!) to adopt a child, rather than going about this major expense the same way?

  93. KarenInCa Says:

    Ladeesquire Im not a “pro fundraiser” but your premise is a bit presumptuous. Of course no one would put up a fund raising chip for buck teeth. Children in families live with buck teeth if they dont have dental insurance. OR you can make monthly payments to some dentists, that you can afford. You cant do that with matching. You have a certain time to come up with the funds or NOT. I really cant believe anyone would equate building a family with vanity tooth work.

  94. strawberryshortcake Says:

    OK, let’s try this another way:

    Please raise your hands…How many people here were so freakin’ embarrassed when their mom told her friends that you just got your period for the first time and they commented on it to you?

    How many people were sooooo embarrassed when your parents pulled out your baby book to show it to your first boyfriend? Or your Mom said in front of all her friends:”Don’t mind her, she’s upset because she doesn’t think she has big enough boobies.”

    Or any other truly embarrassing thing…

    Now think about if the topic of your embarrassment was what bridge in China you were left under…and that people paid for your mom and dad to “buy you” because you would never ever get a husband or wife in China.

    THAT is why you shouldn’t share this with other people.

  95. meg Says:

    I agree that “raising funds” and “fundraising” are two different things. Yard sales, selling crafts/home made items to help subsidize an adoption are acceptable…..raffling off a bunch of stuff for a $10 “chip in” is not ok. If you can’t come up with a way to raise funds….then maybe you need to take some more time and save up the money or figure out another way. Sorry….having kids is expensive bio and adopted. I would like to put a chip in button on my blog to help pay off my kids braces…..anyone want to help???

  96. LouiseMe Says:

    I’m just surprised by the number of people who are so willing to completely discount and disregard the voices of adult adoptees who have a problem with this. It’s not just two or three who are saying this. Adult adoptees are such an amazing resource for us AP’s. Why would we willfully not listen to what they’re saying? People keep saying “well my child won’t feel that way” or “it won’t make a difference to my child,” but there’s no way to predict your child’s future emotional health. Maybe they won’t feel that way, but why risk that they will? Good intentions do not guarantee a good outcome.

    Seems like people are all too willing to listen to adult adoptees when they’re saying, “I love my family and am glad I was adopted” but turn a deaf ear to anything else that they don’t want to hear.

  97. meg Says:

    LouiseMe….agree agree agree!!!!

  98. Gweny Says:

    Totally agree.

    Out of curiosity, I presented the scenario to my husband (who doesn’t come to this website) to see what he thinks. His first reaction was “huh? Why would someone do that? Would you ask someone to chip in for a biological child’s birth?” lol He also doesn’t have a problem with fundraising per se, but definitely attaching it to the adoption and, most certainly, the child’s photo IS a problem.

  99. Elsie Says:

    LouiseMe, exactly my thoughts!

    It’s crazy to read through all these responses and the discussion over fundraising ~ when it’s acceptable, when it’s not. Which isn’t the issue, it’s the child. It’s about listening to those that have walked that path and through their experience, learn.
    Nothing behind that makes it right no matter how we choose to justify it. Sincerity doesn’t equal truth and it doesn’t always protect us.

  100. ladeeesquire Says:

    Is not one pro fundraiser person willing to answer my question? Really, I am honestly curious.

    Would you put a chip in on your blog next to picture of your buck toothed (but still adorable) child with a plea to “Please give to help us get Bucky braces”??

  101. mommy Says:

    My heart goes out to those families who want to adopt but can’t afford it. China is relatively inexpensive to many other international adoptions which are more than $30,000.

    With that said, I don’t really understand people actually doing fundrasing to finance an adoption. Why would someone even consider adopting if they knew they couldn’t afford it? I have friends who desperately want to adopt, but the can’t finance it….so they’re not starting the process.

  102. cindyinlbc Says:

    I adopted my daughter three years ago. I have to say that it had been a lot more expensive than I thought it was going to be – from diapers to daycare. I really feel if you can’t afford the adoption expenses and are depending on “fundraising” than you wlll have a problem with paying for everyday and unexpected expenses. I spend over 1,300 dollars a month on daycare, diapers, food, etc- believe me – am not extravagant by anymeans. Those families depEnding on fundraising- can you aford that?n

  103. still dreaming of china Says:

    Two years ago my brother in law passed away very suddenly at the age of 36 – he left behind a 6 month old baby and his wife – they had mortgage insurance but didn’t have life insurance yet. All of the friends got together to put on a fundraiser dance type event to raise money for the baby (or whatever the mom needed to use it for). Now because the house was paid off she put almost all of it away for his education. Either way everyone wanted to come out and support and it was a great night and successful.

    In no way does anyone look at him like a charity case nor would I ever expect him to look back at that event with ill feelings. From the comments I have been reading here a lot of people would think this event was just wrong and totally inappropriate?? I don’t think so at all.

    Don’t get me wrong I personally don’t agree with putting my child’s face on fundraising materials but I don’t have a problem with having some sort of fundraising event.

    Our friends wanted to throw us the same type of event to help us with some of the costs and we were so touched. We certainly are not depending on this money to be able to complete the adoption but we are so touched that people are so willing to come out and celebrate and support us.

    Also I would never put it out to people as “help us bring her home” or “help us to adopt” or anything like that – I would not be comfortable with that.

    Lastly we were taught basically on day one of starting this adoption that we are not “buying” children – all of the costs are really just that legal costs, travel costs, admin costs etc… the only cost even close to our child is the donation fee but even that is a donation fee not a fee we pay for our child – so I am surprised how so many people are wording their harsh comments about money and relating it to “buying” our children and then being charity cases etc..- it is quite disgusting.

    I think all we can do is agree to disagree – I think that some very good points have been brought up today but it is sad how judgmental and harsh some people have been – it is really quite sad – I can’t imagine how we expect people to not be judgmental of us and our children yet you are so judgmental yourselves.

    This topic has sadly made me rethink what I should post or not post on here and how much support or lack there of I can get here from others who I thought were part of a large supportive community. I have never seen such harsh words and comments towards peoples personal decisions.

  104. LittlePete Says:

    I am astonished at the level of judging going on here. If you disagree with fundraising, then don’t fundraise. Never crossed my mind but the notion that there exists an income standard that determines whether you can be a good parent or not is, in my opinion, absurd. It is an artbitary standard imposed by a communist country who forces women to leave their babies by the side of the road. As has been pointed out by some here, agencies provide grants to qualifying families. what is the differnce? Judging motives without a full understanding of a situation, without walking in the shoes of others – is beyond comprehension to me. WE ALL BOUGHT OUR KIDS, WE ALL TOOK THEM FROM THEIR HOMELANDS, WE ALL HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT THEY WERE ABANDONED BY THEIR BIRTH FAMILIES! To attack each other, when this is supposed to be a safe place to share our hopes, fears and joys, on such an issues just makes no sense to me. Please think before you judge.

  105. lifeafter18seconds Says:

    RQ – Please delete my link out of the new SN referral post you have up. I want nothing to do with your site any longer. Everyone can have their own opinion on Fundraising and I respect that but to leave a nasty comment on my blog which is essentially my daughter’s lifebook is just down right wrong! Please just delete my link so I can move forward from this mess. I added my link thinking I would get support and genuine happiness…instead I get harrassed.
    Thank you.

  106. strawberryshortcake Says:

    Little Pete-
    If you think you bought your child, well, there’s a bigger chasm between you and most of this people on the board than re fundraising!

    And as to grants from agencies…I don’t see most agencies having you put your child’s face out there and telling them that she had cleft lip and she was left outside the police station on a freezing day. the HOW of the raising of funds is the issue. NO ONE here is condemning people who work extra, or sell stuff (unless plastering the kid’s face on the etsy page) or applying for grants. No one says you can’t get monies to help out. People are taking exception to the HOW of it.

    And as to your apparent distaste for China – I hope you can paint a more neutral picture for your child(ren).

  107. mew Says:

    Little Pete….

    That is a very level-headed comment. Thanks!

  108. ladeeesquire Says:

    To answer the question, yes, I see family building and putting in a pool as different things. But, its not really my opinion I was after. Actually, in thinking about it, I think begging for money to put in a pool is better. At least I’d only be embarassing myself instead of making IA children seem like second class citizens.

  109. LittlePete Says:

    Strawberryshortcake: I’m sorry if the word “bought” is distasteful to you, but what other word would you use? If you want to question my motives, my unconditional love for my daughter, etc, that would be entirely consistent with what has gone on here for the folks that have chosen to fundraise. As for China, I will tell my daughter the truth. As has been stated on this website over and over, I have the right to disagree with the politics of the nation without extrapolating that disdain to a nation’s people. I can never, ever, repay my daughter’s birthmother for the sacrifice she has made – it is unimagineable to me and I think about her everyday.

  110. ladeeesquire Says:


    I did not buy my child. Period. If you feel that way I wonder why you would even involve yourself in obviously unethical activity.

    Its one thing to receive a grant. Its quite another to send out flyers to the community begging and hoping that people will feel sorry for the child and dig deep.

    I’m not even sure what the explanation of abandonment has to do with the conversation.

  111. dsjohnson117 Says:

    We all want the best for our children. I think we just need to keep in mind that we don’t want to exploit them in the process of bringing them home. By exploit, I mean “use or manipulate to one’s advantage”. Yes, it is to their advantage that we bring them home; we just don’t want them to feel exploited when they are older.

  112. englishgirl Says:

    Well, LittlePete, you have taken this to a new level by suggesting we all “bought” our children because I would never in a MILLION YEARS use that terminology and I hope for the sake of your children you stop using it or you might find yourself paying for therapy!

    The level of funds put in place by China is not absurd – -they want their children to be looked after. They want their children to go to homes who can afford to look after them.

    And exactly for those reasons: That we took them from their homeland, that they were abandoned, that they were raised away from their culture we MUST stand up for these children and let people know that it is NOT allright to make them community charity cases on top of all that they will carry and need to reconcile already!!

  113. strawberryshortcake Says:

    Little Pete-
    I never questioned your love for your daughter. I would not do that.

    I do question your views on China, and Chinese history. You have an obvious distaste for it. And your daughter is Chinese. IMO, you will have to learn to leave some of that anger at the door as she learns about her culture, what is a part of her, lest she learn to hate part of what she is. And yes, you can hate parts of it, but IMHO, we have to let the kids make those determinations on their own and not color their world.

    Technically, China does NOT make any mother abandon her child. China put in population control methods to control a quickly spiraling population. Old Chinese beliefs made it that most people decided it was more important to assure a male child than to be honorable about the life that they were holding in their hands. THAT is what makes people abandon children because of their gender. But we don’t know why our children were left. It’s a possibility. It could also be an SN, or it could be how many children are already in a home, or an unwed mother, or a million other reasons.

    And as to “bought”…well, dear gawd, I hope you don’t tell that to your daughter. I believe the word is “adopted”. I NEVER paid for my daughters. I paid for Home Studys and Immigration paperwork and notaries and that whole list that you know.

  114. Deborah McBride Heppes Says:

    I am looking forward to rumors and referrals!

  115. wtg4lilly Says:

    Like so many others I don’t think I have ever commented here. I understand and am saddened for those children who were adopted and years later were upset (to say the least) of the circumstances that allowed the adoption finances to be covered. Clearly, in my comfy home with all my needs met, all I can see is the desire the parents had to have a child and the support of a community in allowing that to happen. There is no way I can put myself in the head of what our child will see some day. However, I think another thing to do might be to speak with a child, any child, living in an orphanage and explain that “there is a familiy, a mom and a dad who want you to join their family so much. This family has worked desperately to overcome many obstacles to make it possible for you to be part of their family. This mom and dad live in a place with many friends and family and these people, the ones who have never met you want you to be a part of this family too. These people don’t exactly know how to help. Some of these caring people have held a baby shower and bought this mom and dad some things they think you might need. But the one obstacle left before this mom and dad can become yours is that they need to have saved up a lot of money to make this happen…” The story from here can have 2 endings. I do totally believe there are children/adults who have deep psychological scars from their experiences and I am in no position to undermine them. I just imagine the problem might be even a little deeper than a community event to help defer costs.

  116. mom23boys Says:

    LittlePete- I did not buy my daughter… period.

  117. mia08 Says:

    little pete- the correct word is adopted. not bought. i buy my tampons. i didn’t buy my daughter. nor was my husband bought. that is an ignorant statement that perpetuates all the stereotypes that adoptive community works hard to fight.

    this is going to come across as witchy but i genuinely would love to know how you got through a homestudy believing you bought your children.

  118. pandababy Says:


    You believe that we all “bought” our children? Oh my goodness. Did I “buy” my bio. daughter when I paid my OB/Gyn fees, hospital fees and anesthesiologist fees? No, I paid for services rendered. Just as I paid for my social worker’s services, my agency’s services, the services rendered by my child’s SWI, etc.

    I am amazed that a person, who I have no doubt loves his daughter beyond measure, would equate adoption with the buying and selling of human beings.

  119. LouiseMe Says:

    I paid an exorbitant amount to bring my biological son home from the hospital. I no more “bought” him than I will “buy” my Chinese child.

  120. Mamman Says:

    LittlePete: I definitely did not buy my kids, and neither did you or anyone else who adopted from China. It is not the word “buy” that is wrong, it is what it is directed towards. It isn’t the kids I bought. I bought the services needed to bring them home. There’s a huge difference!

  121. babygirlsmom2 Says:

    I commented early yesterday and have read some to catch up. But, here is an interesting twist.
    We were in China a month ago to pick up our SN son

    (wanted to add that because of a comment that was made about my other comment–yes indeed I think he would have been left behind because he is a boy and is 7 and may need amputation of both legs from the knee down)

    When we had our “interview” with the chinese official on “gotcha day” or whatever you want to call it. He asked us “How Much Did you pay to adopt your child”? I was stunned! I have NEVER heard of an official asking this question. I sort of made up a number of $20,000–I was caught off guard. I really was not prepared to give a total which is probably more than that with all the renewals, etc.

    Has anyone else run into this question? And why would they want to know that? I’m wondering if the next question could have been “did you take out a loan?” or “did anyone help pay?” It was weird.

    We were blessed by family members to “help” us at the end due to a tough economy and my husband being in Construction. We did not “advertise” with a picture to others, which seems to be the hot button here. Not judging for that, but I’m humbled to say we have a wonderful supportive family and they love our boy like we do. It was a blessing.

  122. jasonsmom Says:

    Littlepete – I hope you don’t share your perspective with your child. I cannot imagine telling a child that I bought him or her. I told my 12 year old son this comment and he asked if you weren’t aware that buying a human being has been illegal for quite a long time. My MIL’s parents did not have insurance when they had her; I sincerely doubt that they considered the payments they made to the doctor for his services in delivering her “buying” their daughter.

  123. LittlePete Says:

    To all: I’m sincerely sorry for using an inflammatory word like “bought”, and I should I have limited the use of the word to our situation and how I see it. I truly apologize. I’m a pragmatist and I see it as just a word to describe to monetary transaction that many have complained about over the years – for instance like agency fees that arbitrailiy change. The birth of children are usually picked up on health insurance, not usually an option for adoption. We all have wonderful kids that we love and adore and I was just trying to show a different perspective towards folks who are going about adoption in a different way. My heart aches for the two families who posted their blogs expecting joy on this site and instead were flogged. I’m sorry.

  124. Calamity4e Says:

    Wow! I don’t check this site for a few days and WOW!

    At this point, I don’t know that anyone will actually slog through and read my comment, but what the heck– after– WOW!

    I agree with what RQ wrote. I read quite a few adoptee blogs as well as some first mother blogs. Fundraising is not well-liked, mostly, I would say it is detested. By fundraising, I mean fundraising in which the child to be adopted is used to garner more participation in the fundraising event.

    If folks are simply fundraising without advertising why– that is different, IMO.

    I won’t even get into Grants and publicly seeking flat-out donations for an adoption.

    I do not favor these methods, but to each his own and I recognize that every family has thier own unique circumstance.

    DH and I choose to live well within our means and we saved our money. It took much longer for us to adopte our first child so between the extra money we ended up saving and our tax return and saving a bit more, we were able to pay for a second adoption about two years later.

    We have yet to go on a real vacation. I have only recently bought any clothes for myself that are not from a 2nd-hand store, our home is in dire need of new windows, siding, much more work, etc. We are just now starting to look into incurring these types of expenses because we made choices about how to save and spend our money.

    It seems like nearly every China adoption blog has a fundraising ‘something’ going on that clearly states to bring “Child” home. I hadn’t noticed that to be quite the norm six years ago.

    With regard to the commenter who posted,

    “I do get how people need money to complete an adoption, but I also know of people that found out they were pregnant -without insurance- and had to come up with the money for the dr, hospital bills and anesthesia during delivery and it pretty much amounted to 15,000. I could not imagine someone fundraising for their hospital bill. . .”

    Such an individual would likely be ‘strongly’ encouraged to place thier baby for adoption– if they sought family planning assistance– because they are not financially equipped. Something you will read time and again if you read just a couple first mom blogs.

    So. . . in such a situation, why is the epectant mom considered by our larger society to not be fit to raise her baby due to finances– while on the other hand it is OK for adoptive parents to publicly fundraise for their adoption?

    This is another reason why public funraisers for adopting are, yes, detested, by other members of the adoption mosaic.

    Really interested in hearing thoughts about this from others.

  125. waitingforjoessister Says:

    My husband and I paid for our children mostly on our own and with assistance from some inheritance. Thank God for generous people.

    I think it is all in the presentation. You don’t want their picture or story out there, but I think it is okay for people to help you have your dream. I wish I could help more people like all of us,….desperate for a family.

    I think if your child finds out, and you didn’t share pics and stories about him/her (because I don’t like that idea),…you can say,….we wanted a baby so much,…some generous people helped us make that dream come true for us. Just my opinion.

    I like this blog better when everyone is nice to each other. We need each other. :-)

  126. lovemygirl Says:

    I find it a BIG problem to “fund raise”
    If you have family that wants to help you, you want to get a second job, you want to make something and sell it, you sell your beloved tea cup collection to raise the funds to adopt then by all means I think you should do so and support those choices. But for those of you that have chip in buttons on your blogs, who are constantly having auctions of donated items(once or twice is one thing) having your friends send out mass emails to their mail list asking for donations…..I have a real problem. I probably am contacted at least once or twice a day with these things.
    Adoption is expensive, I wish that it weren’t, you had to qualify financially(that did not mean you only met those requirements when you did your paperwork) yes I understand stuff happens…..happens to the best of us. But as others have pointed out you do not fund raise when you are trying to get pregnant, or have IVF…..again those things are expensive and if you can’t afford it it becomes something that is out of reach.
    I find it really over the top when I see blogs of people who have been waiting 5 years and now they are getting close….now they are racing to raise the funds. Sorry what have you been doing the last 5 years? I also find it disturbing when people fund raise and then I see their whole family travels to China…..I am sorry you don’t want to leave your other children at home, I am sorry your children want to be a part of the experience….if you can’t afford to even take yourself, then please do not ask others to foot the bill. Yes HARSH, but the majority of the people I know in the adoption world(been here 5 years) feel EXACTLY the same way, people just don’t like to say it out loud. I would also like to ask what charity are you donating your tax refund to that you received even though most of your expenses where donated??
    If you make clothes and all of your efforts go towards your adoption….I will be first in line to buy something from you. If you tell me you have always had the dream to adopt and ask me to hit your chip in button….I will be the last person to hit it, and I will walk away feeling very sorry for you and the child you are adopting. If you can’t afford to adopt how can you afford to raise a child??

    When we first started this journey you almost NEVER saw people fund raising, and somehow it seems to have gone crazy and I see it so much that I am stunned.

    FLOG away:) but if you flog don’t let me check your blog and find one of those buttons:)

  127. joelyrome Says:

    I chipped into a fundraiser once for a family to bring home 2 children from China. They were desparate for the funds….or there was no way they could bring home both children. This family had 3 other children adopted from China as well. I was *shocked* when I found out that they brought their 3 teenagers along on the trip. I wish I could have afforded to bring my other children along on our trip! But, I thought I was donating desparately needed money–I was donating to their family vacation! Never again!!!

  128. vivinchina Says:

    When my first child was born we paid $14,000 which half my husband’s insurance covered and the other half we paid in 10 instalments…. my second was born in Canada, same first class service and “free”. When we decided to adopt 5 years ago, with all the expenses that we didn’t know that would occur, we made a loan which is already paid off but now that we are going special needs, my husband already opened a line of credit to make sure we will not be short of money. My first daughter is graduating university and the second is in private school, so we know for sure how much a chils will “cost” you till the day they are independent adult. If we couldn’t afford another child in our life, and being able to provide all her needs to see her flourish in her future, we would not go ahead. There are many ways to raise/save money without using your child’s name or face on it. I plus a group of parents participated in many fundraisers like selling chocolate, cookies,working in bingos to help pay for my kids dance costumes and travel expenses but we never exposed our kids. My mother always told me that I should walk according to my steps.

  129. vivinchina Says:

    opsss I meant “a child will cost” not chils….

  130. marciap123 Says:

    Quick question. What happens to the child waiting in China if their adoptive family does not come up with the necessary funds by the time they need to travel? Perhaps the question has already been answered above, but I haven’t had time to read all the posts!

  131. azawa Says:

    Well said. Thank you.

  132. Calamity4e Says:

    Eek, sorry for all the typos!!!!

  133. emcdc42 Says:

    This will sound like a broken record – the issue isn’t fund raising it is using your child’s image and denying them privacy.
    I do not think it right to accept the referral of a child if you do not have the money or do not think you will have the money to pay for the adoption at the time of referral. This can prolong the time it takes to bring your child home. I believe that is wrong and not in the best interest of the child.

  134. mallmarie Says:

    Someone commented that people raise funds all the time to help pay for medical expenses such as chemotherapy and surgery. That is a totally different issue. No one plans to get cancer, or acquire a medical condition that needs surgery. As I mentioned in my previous post, adoption is not an unplanned event – especially now. If someone came home with a child who had unknown medical needs that were hugely burdensome for the family, I would gladly donate whatever I could to help this family give their child the medical care he or she required.

    It appears to me that at least part of the “fault” here lies with the adoption agencies. It is the responsibility of the agency to determine right from the beginning whether the prospective family has sufficient funds to adopt, or has a specific plan right from the beginning to acquire these funds. IMHO, no one’s dossier should be submitted anywhere until this has been established. The agencies are perhaps not as diligent about this as they should be. They are hurting right now because of the excessively long wait, and if someone comes forward to apply, they will probably bend over backwards to see that client get paperwork together and send it where it needs to go. Obviously the client is paying for some of their services even before the adoption takes place, so their payments are keeping the agency going.

    I respectfully ask what the families with “chip ins” are going to do if the required funds are not contributed? You do realize that if you can’t come up with the money and you can’t go, you’ll never get back the money you’ve already spent.

  135. tfarmcats Says:

    I know that most people will not read my comment either but here goes . . .

    One of the major reasons I still read RQ is for the info and to equip and help our family travel this journey that is filled with daisies and butterflies and minefields.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but when I started this process back in 2003, my head was so up my butt about raising Chinese children. For me it was all about becoming a mother and loving this sweet little girl.

    It still is (and loving her rascally little brother, too) but
    to deny the complexity of growing a transracial family is just foolishness. To ignore the wealth of knowledge that adult adoptees provide for us APs, no matter how painful or inconvenient it may be, is a recipe for future heartbreak.

  136. mallmarie Says:

    tfarmcats, I read your comment :-) and I hear you! My first China adoption was in 1996, before all the info we have today was available. There are so many things I would have done differently if I had known then what I know today. Hopefully our kids will forgive us for the mistakes we made in parenting, because they’ll know that anything we HAVE done wrong was done with a loving heart.

  137. joelyrome Says:

    Someone wrote: “Adoption is expensive, there are those willing to help witht he costs, not to save a child, but because they are helping build a family. I don’t think any families who are fundraising think of their children as charity cases.”

    I’d like comment than most of the adoption fundraisers I see may not say ‘we are saving a child’….but they definitely present the situation as such. Especially for children who are close to aging out.

  138. China1020 Says:

    I do hope that we can put this topic to rest. It is almost as hot as the “when are you too old to adopt question”. One would assume that most people enter into the adoption process with secured funds to do so. To present yourself otherwise is fraud. That being said many people need to understand that everyone has the dream of parenting. This crosses all financial levels. It is unfair to assume that adoptive parents must all have a “professional” level of income. Many families live on less money and have more than enough love to share. They may have to negotiate what and when they purchase desired things vs needed things but they do their best to make ends meet and raise up good children. When we explored the adoption option I said “it is very expensive” while my spouse said “its less than a used truck”. It is all in the perspective. Do I love my purebred expensive bull terrier less than my mixed breed rescue dog? Of course not! I would cover any expense to see that they both got the best of care should they require it. Children, so much more valuable, are the same. We live in a society where anyone can produce a child without any restrictions by society. If all bio parents had to go through what adoptive parents had to in order to be allowed to reproduce, many would be denied. I agree that fundraising is likely a very grave issue for adult adoptees. I personally am thankful that I have not had to consider doing it. I accept that others might as I am not walking in their shoes. I also feel very bad for those who openly shared their happy news only to be slammed by so many. Shame on all of you who had to pour out such poison on those who offered up their stories. I wonder how the adopted children would feel reading all of the comments made by these supposed adults. If you have nothing nice to say than move on. I know how hurtful it felt to be deemed too old to parent and will never feel the same way about this site having ridden through that storm. I may not share my blog when the time comes as it was too painful to hear the negative comments directed at older adoptive parents.
    LID June 22, 2006….soon to be parents!

  139. tripma Says:

    Regardless of where you stand on the fundraising issue, I am completely confused by the argument against fundraising that is based on the concept “if you can’t afford to pay for a child’s adoption expenses, you really can’t afford to have that child” or that somehow a parent is being short-sighted because you don’t have the answers today for how you will pay a lifetime of costs for a child (from diapers, clothes, lessons, college, etc.)

    Adoption has a HUGE up-front cost that the typical biological birth does not. How much, on average, does a typical family pay to give birth? I’m speaking in generalities here – the average family, the average insurance company, the generally healthy child, no infertility issues, etc. Maybe a family having a biological child will spend 2K? Could that family have come up with 25K to fund an adoption? And yet, few will criticize the average family and tell them that because they had to pay 2K *only* for the services related to the birth of their biological child that they are somehow shortsighted in bringing that child into their family. Likely, that family happened to have $2K in savings, or was able to save it over 9 months or whatever. Few will judge the parents’ decision to add to their family. Yet, it costs the same to raise the average child who joins a family through adoption as it does to raise the average child who joins a family by birth.

    Considering whether you can fit a another family member into your monthly budget and long-term financial plan is ENTIRELY different than coming up with ten of thousands of dollars of upfront adoption costs. Adoption costs are one-time fees unique only to those choosing to grow their families by adoption.

    How you choose to deal with acquiring those one-time costs, I think, is the issue at hand. However, the notion that having difficulty/being unable to come up with these HUGE onetime costs renders someone an unfit, un-wise, or otherwise irresponsible parent makes no sense.

    I feel my point is supported by organizations that offer grants. For example, to qualify for a grant with my adoption agency, the family applying could make up to $98,000/year. To me that seems like a really nice annual salary, yet even those generously giving grants recognize that asking a family to save a lump sum of over 25% of their gross annual income in a rather small period of time is no small task. (Incidentally, the grantor doesn’t ask you to cash out your retirement.) Yet, the grantor recognizes that your annual income will allow you to financial support your child on a day to day basis.

  140. waitingforalyssa Says:

    Well said tripma…

  141. portlandval Says:

    It’s NOT raising funds that I have a problem with. I went around raising funds for both my adoptions…don’t hold a picture of your child out to people when you do it as a justification for needing more money. USING the child as a REASON is what I object to because
    1. ample data from adult adoptees who say it is insulting, 2. ignoring their right to privacy as if what you want to share is what they are going to want to share
    3. commodifying…making them into “things” other people think we purchase. It’s disappointing that people cannot understand this point of view. No problem with raising funds because adoption is very expensive and so is bringing up a kid.

  142. sierrasmom Says:

    I just want to say this….my bio children should feel they owe their community something…because the community was instrumental in raising them in many ways. No I did not fund raise but I have no problwm with my DD feeling she should pay back to her community…either this one or the one she lives in as an adult. Its what I teach my children, So I don’t really understand why some are saying that it is bad if they feel they owe their community something. And IMO if a person tries to commit suicide there are probably many underlying factors.There are many teens who revolt against their parents…for just as many reasons….”too much religion”,” not enough good values”, “too strict”, “too lenient”, ‘over protective”, ‘not around enough”. We do the best that we can and I for one don’t believe there are any right or wrong answers in any of this!!! I wish we could fast forward 20 years and see what kids are having issues. I don’t believe for one second that it would be as clear cut as some may want us to think!!!

  143. MississippiMom Says:

    Families should do what they need to do to get their child/children home. Period.
    Circumstances change, things happen, funds are needed.
    We have never had a fundraiser(3 adoptions) but we have given thousands..that is right..thousands to those in the adoption community who HAVE had them.
    I hope the parents who use fundraisers to help with costs are not “shamed” into doing things differently by this post or the comments made.

  144. mia08 Says:

    we are not adopted (most of us) we don’t have to understand it. we are being told by a big part of the adult adoptee community (and in my case my husband, who btw is secure in his adoption and still would feel like a charity case if his parents had fundraised for him) that this is an issue and we are discounting it. whether we agree or not it is how a community feels and good chance that our children will. i am not willing to take that risk and assign a dollar value and “worth” publicly to my daughter.

    it is not about us, or what we think. and we are not entitled to adopt. if we don’t have the upfront costs, then we don’t have it. it is not something we are entitled to because we want to. i think that is getting lost along the way.

  145. Anita Says:

    mia08 says

    “it is not about us, or what we think. and we are not entitled to adopt. if we don’t have the upfront costs, then we don’t have it. it is not something we are entitled to because we want to. i think that is getting lost along the way.”

    YES – I couldn’t agree more. One more thing – hot topics are to be discussed not put under the carpet for another time… this topic will be discussed once your adopted kids reach their teens or adulthood, hopefully that is. With hopefully I mean, that it is a much healthier parent-child relationship if this is discussed in the home instead of elsewhere. This discussion – as I see it – is a good preparation for many more discussions to come…

  146. 3happybirds Says:

    there is much i want to say, but knowing no one will eve read this, i’ll just say that i am so discouraged by all of this. a topic that is sensitive and could be an opportunity for growth has made me depressed and greatly dissapointed. we don’t know how our adoptive (or biological) children will later react to any of the things we do before and after they are adopted (or born). we just have to do our best. parenting is hard and amazing. i trust that God’s love and acceptance of them will help overcome any mistakes we make, whether intentional or not.

    fundraising alone can’t possibly cause a child to later feel like a charity case. i have never thought of my daughter’s adoption as a charity case. i just see her as my daughter. fundraising or not, my viewpoint of her is the same.

    oh, and if everyone waited until they had 35K sitting around in their bank account, very few of us would be able to adopt, and therefore so many more kids would be left without forever families.

    work hard. save as much as you possibly can. then fundraise. that’s my opinion.

  147. cejones1701 Says:

    Wow! I don’t get on-line for a few days and the blog explodes! Lots of points of view here.

    First, I agree with @portlandval. I don’t believe fundraising is bad, per se, but you should not exploit the child to do so. Using their picture and situation is never a good idea. Privacy is a good thing that is difficult to get back once it is given away.

    Second, @sierrasmom, I agree with you that we should all owe our community. We’ve all heard the phrase “It takes a Village, to raise a child” and I truly believe this. My community (church, school, neighborhood, whatever) helps my children to be better people. I expect that my children will take the good things that they have gotten from their community and play it out to others as they get older.

    Third, Sometimes you community wants to be part of the action, so to speak. For example, have you ever had a missionary leave from your church and people will give him/her money? This frequently happens in my church. They can’t go themselves but they want someone else to go. It let them feel included and good about themselves.

    While I have never done fundraising for our adoptions (we have 2 adopted children and are waiting on China), I wouldn’t necessarily flog some for doing it. Tho, I think it should be done with sensitivity towards the child. And, why are you doing it? Do you really need the money, is it just to help offset some of the costs, or is it to let people be part of the experience?

  148. Caians mom Says:

    *Deep breath*…here goes: I have read about many topics on this blog and learned many things. This has been a wealth of information for me on adoption, attachment, diversity, culture…and I think, for me, the perspective of adult adoptees is vitally important. I would have had no idea of the huge potential negative connotations of publicly fundraising with a child’s picture were it not for RQ’s blog. I agree, that can’t be discounted. But there is a huge learning curve: for parenting, for adoptive parenting, for attachment parenting, you name it. When I started reading Yahoo boards in 2004 (APC comes to mind), I knew NOTHING about China adoption. We were all beginners once. All of us will take in this information for the first time, process it and make our future decisions based on what we learn. If someone comes onto the blog and asks what’s wrong with fundraising, they should not be flamed for it. Why can’t we gently explain (As RQ did) what the perspective may be in the future?
    That being said, I agree with the position that while DH and I “raised funds” for our adoption, we did not hold fundraisers. But when a friend in the adoptive community was deciding to go ahead with a quick SN adoption, we helped coordinate a community yard sale and the family was one of the beneficiaries.
    Also, I agree with the objection to using a child’s picture. As I said, I personally would not ask for someone else to help pay for my child’s adoption. But if another family wants to do that for their adoption, that’s their choice. As I said, I think its worthwhile to educate them on the issue of publicly posting their child’s photo and why that may be an issue but other than that – their choice.
    In 2008, my DH earned about $55000 and I earned $40000. My husband was laid off from his job in April of 2009. We ended up moving across country for him to take a new job. Last year, he earned about $36000 and I earned $34000. We both feel blessed to have jobs and to have kept our house. We adjusted our spending dramatically. We are not the only family this happened to. What if we were in the middle of an adoption? What if, like many, we started in late 2006, never expecting the expenses of renewing our paperwork multiple times? For many of you, if you were dealing with the possible end of your dream of parenting, would you be so harsh and judgmental (sorry, but that’s how many of the above posts sound) about people’s income and the idea that if they can’t come up with $25000 without fundraising they shouldn’t parent? That’s quite a leap – I think we can educate about fundraising with a child’s picture – gently and NICELY – and not make parenting judgments.

  149. WaitingForStork Says:

    We were LID 8-16-06…and had paid up to date. But did not have enough funds to complete since payments have raised over the years. We had family that were going to help us out & some savings…but life has happened and that is no longer the case.

    What did we do? We ENDED our process. Our referral will go to another person in this very long line. We are sad…but life is not given to you. You must pick yourself up and move on.

    We felt very strongly that either we paid for most of the funds & family could give small gifts, or we WERE NOT going to do it. Our church would give us prayers, encouragement and fellowship and we told them NO MONEY PLEASE… we would have given back anything they tried to give to us. Fundraising for an adoption made us sick to our stomachs. Many do it and think it is a great thing, but not for us. We could sell things normally…garage sales, ebay, ect. If we needed some more money that way.

    My husband is an adoptee and feels very strongly about this-his parents didn’t have much. Yet they provided an adoption for him on there own…we wanted to do the same.

    In the end, we could not see paying for more updates, ect on top of the completion money needed. No one fundraises for a pregnancy or IVF…why should they for adoption? My super high-risk pregancy cost upwards of 30k…then a hospital stay for me & baby of another 5k…all that was AFTER insurance. Not to mention 5k total for Fertility treatments! So our funds were gone but for a good cause…a miracle baby happened!! So our adoption dream had to end…

    I know this will make many here mad-but when adoptees say over and over that it is not right to accept money for an adoption (other then baby shower or family gifts) when will PAP’s listen?? If you want to donate those funds completely toward your childs orphanage…then that is a different thing! But to use them yourself just to complete your adoption…your child may be the one to see how selfish that is if you can’t. And I hope you can give a good enough reason for their sakes.

    We ended our dream…I’m sure we aren’t the only ones.

  150. Pengyou Says:

    Does anyone have any specific links to adult adoptee blogs that I could read on this topic? Thanks.

  151. Gweny Says:

    Here’s one blog. When I have time I’ll find more. How can you dispute this?????

  152. mbs140 Says:

    **sigh** I always promise myself that I will no longer get on this site as the brutal discussions get me crazy!!! Too bad that “non adoptive” families do not spend excessive amounts of time bashing each other for their choices. In the example given, the child that tried to commit suicide, I STRONGLY believe that there are/were other issues present and that the child did not simply attempt suicide due to the fact that their parents “fundraised” for their adoption…..give me a break. Clearly, the child was fragile and did not have a healthy outlook on their sense of self.

  153. Anita Says:

    Yes I agree, mbs140, that of course there might be other reasons for trying to commit suicide – but will you take the chance by adding one factor to your childs life, i e fund raising – knowing that so many adoptees feel so strongly about this subject and knowing that there is also people “out there” that think that we buy our children and that public fundraising using your childs name, history, picture etc adds to this picture? And what about the privacy issues – doesn’t your child have a right to his/her own privacy? I have a problem with fundraising. I am not adopted myself. Two of my siblings are adopted. My children are adopted. A lot of people that have experience from adoptees growing inte adulthood have problems with fundraising. It might me a professional experience or a private one. In my world you try to avoid actions that add to the fact that your child has lost its birth family. It is a loss, for many a tremendous loss. For others the loss might not be felt in the same way.