Fundraising for Adoption
This weekend I was asked for the first time in my life to donate to someone who was trying to raise money so they could adopt an infant. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t asked directly, it was posted by an old neighbor and friend onto Facebook on behalf of her sister (also a neighbor but not really a friend as she was a few years older than me). Her post said something along the lines of “Please take the time to go to my sister’s fundraising page for this really good cause” – the “cause” being her sister wanting to but not being able to afford to adopt.
I went to the page, I have never been to a page like this, I guess although I know plenty of adoptive parents either they didn’t fundraise, they didn’t do it in this sort of version, or perhaps I was still of the age where I was deemed someone who didn’t have the money to ask for this sort of thing.
The page was simple enough, it explained they were dealing with infertility the last four years, that they work in an industry where they don’t make enough money to pay the costs for adoption (although they assure us they have enough money to actually raise a child) and they set a date for the end of their fundraiser. Their total ask is for $20,000 (they aren’t that close to the goal and my guess is they won’t make much more than 1/4 of it with this).
I looked at that number and thought “what would $20,000 in donations done for me, would I have parented?” The answer is possibly. It would have paid the hospital bills, the time I had to take off work, it would have been enough money to possibly move home and the time unemployed while I found a new job, or paying for day care for the first few months if I stayed in NYC. But mostly something like that would have showed me how people in my life believed I would be a good Mom and were willing to stand behind me in support. I felt so alone at that time in my life and having support would have given me a little hope, and that was what I was most lacking.
I get that adoption can be expensive, and I’m sure people who are deciding on adoption but don’t have the money feel it’s unfair – that you shouldn’t have to be wealthy to be a parent. But from my perspective money could have made a difference in my decision to parent – in fact for me not being wealthy meant I couldn’t be a parent to my own child. I wonder if I had done the same thing, put it out that I needed help to be able to afford the pregnancy and first months of being a Mother if I would have gotten any support, if I would have gotten the well wishes and the thoughts that I would be a terrific parent and the child I had would be lucky to have me that this other couple did. I honestly think instead I would be judged as looking for a handout, I would be thought of in a bad light for getting knocked up when I couldn’t even afford to have the kid. Maybe I’m imagining the worst, but I think it is far more acceptable in our society to be fundraising to raise someone else’s child than your own. I truthfully it seems like there is something wrong with that logic.