Is it wrong to ask for money to fund an adoption?
Many of you are shaking your heads in agreement. Others will wholeheartedly disagree.
Many people will struggle with this concept and even give into bitterness at the idea of someone asking for money to fund an adoption. Maybe you have been through the adoption process and never asked anyone for money. Maybe you wanted to adopt years ago, but never did because the financial burden seemed too heavy to bear. Maybe you chose to place your child for adoption when you were young, and feel having money would have made all the difference in your life. Maybe you’re angry at a system that demands more money to adopt a child than it does to abort one. Or, maybe you just hold the opinion that if a couple wants to adopt, they should be prepared to handle the financial responsibility on their own, without asking for help.
Money is more likely, the number-one hurdle and single most intimidating factor that stands in the way for so many people willing to adopt.
Our family has wrestled and prayed through these thoughts for years, and now find ourselves in the position of funding an adoption. In a situation that could easily seem overwhelming and discouraging, God seems to break through and say “take heart.”
At EXACTLY the same time last night, I received a letter from a reader that disapproves of our fundraising, AND a very large donation came in from someone we don’t even know!! Um, is that crazy timing or what?? Call it what you like, but I’m grateful. God knows I’ve struggled with wanting to do the right thing. He knew we needed to have some tough conversations, but He is so good to remind us of His protection and provision.
Dealing with Criticism
I wanted to share with you, the message I received and the response I sent back. I want to clarify that I don’t think this person had any ill-will or meant any harm. I was also surprised by how at peace I felt upon reading it. I believe she is speaking from a position many people probably share, and it has given me the opportunity to provide some clarity.
“I feel compelled to write after reading your request for money to help with the financial costs of adoption. First of all, we are the lucky parents of 2 adopted daughters. They are adults now in their 30’s and have university degrees and have been an absolute joy to us. We have 2 adorable grandsons and we feel so blessed to have them as we could not have our own biological children. You are very fortunate to have 3 children and as you know, it does cost a lot to raise a family these days!
For us, the adoption process was quite long, as we were interviewed many times and visited by the social worker before we were finally approved for the adoptions. Obviously one of the main requirements was that we needed to be financially able to raise our children and provide for them as once the final papers were signed by the judge in the court of law, we would be their legal parents and responsible for any and all financial needs. If we had chosen to be foster parents we could get financial help from our government, but there is no financial help for adoptive parents.
I applaud your desire and willingness to adopt, but I feel that since you are not financially able to take on this responsibility, You should reconsider this decision to adopt as It is not fair to a child to adopt them and not be financially able to provide for them. Asking or hoping people will send money to you, to enable you to adopt, I feel is beyond comprehensible! I feel it would be best if you concentrated your efforts on raising the 3 that you have as that will be financial burden enough. There are couples who are better able to provide financially and they should be given the preference.”
“I appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Congratulations on raising two beautiful children and thank you for the concern. You have presented me with a great opportunity to reevaluate and address some of the adoption misconceptions we’re trying hard to overcome. I’m sure you could share your own, personal adoption story and it would be unique and special to your family. No two stories are alike and ours is a prime example of that.
I want to assure you right away that we are capable of providing financially for our 3 children and even for a 4th. According to the numerous social workers and government agencies that have interviewed us and combed through our bank accounts, we meet all the income requirements. We may have differing opinions on what it means to provide, so I won’t go into that. However, I will say that if we really needed to, we could pay for the adoption expenses on our own without asking for help and still have the means left to feed and clothe our children. Now, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a stretch for us to pay such a large amount of money up front or that it wouldn’t be stressful.
I was fully aware of the differing opinions on this topic before beginning our fundraising efforts. Deciding to fundraise was a hard decision to make, one I’ve personally wrestled with for many months. But, I’d like to point out a couple of the reasons we ultimately chose to do it.
- Adoption is a very unique financial burden. In comparison to having a biological child, where the birth and hospital stay is most likely covered by insurance (at least in my case it was!), adopting a child requires a large amount of money up front. It is a lengthy legal process that requires a lot of time and financial sacrifice. I don’t know anyone that would say paying twenty-four to forty thousand dollars up front isn’t a big deal.
- Adoption is not just for wealthy people. With thousands of children in the United States and around the world, growing up malnourished, in orphanages, group homes or even abusive situations, wouldn’t you agree that any loving, stable family willing to open their door to a child in need should be encouraged and supported by their family and community? The fact is, not every adult making a six figure income has chosen to adopt, and there are still so many children that need homes.
- Adoption is not just for couples that don’t have other children. We need to get past the stereotype that says “if you have biological children, there is no reason to adopt.” With so many waiting children in need of loving homes, let’s stop disqualifying one another. The journey to bring those children home is long and sometimes messy, but we do it for the sake of the child.
- There is need everywhere. The malnourished, institutionalized children on the other side of the world need us. Children that have suffered unimaginable abuse and now carry the scars, need us. Babies at risk of being born into abusive, dangerous situations need us. Babies that have been born with medical needs and developmental delays need us. Black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian and White babies all need loving homes. Statistically, infants from minority groups, with special needs and older children are all harder to place. These are the children we want to help.
- Adoption and orphan care is a community effort. As Christians, we believe God wants us to care for those in need, protect those most vulnerable and stand up for the rights of the oppressed. It’s a command given to us ALL, to care for orphans. Our family’s part in this great community-wide orphan care effort is a commitment to loving and protecting a child for the rest of their life. Someone else in our community may feel led to alleviate a portion of the financial burden on a family choosing to adopt. Others may choose to foster children temporarily, giving them a loving and safe haven for a short period of time. Others may choose to support hunger relief efforts through an organization like Compassion International or World Vision. Everyone has a part.
Thank you for taking the time to listen. Everyone’s story is unique. Our greatest hope is to inspire more people to adopt, and to help remove the walls of uncertainty that stand in the way. One such wall is the financial burden. We’re hoping our story will encourage loving families to seek creative ways to fund their adoptions, so more children can be cared for and loved.
- Are you considering adoption? Bethany Christian Services offers a free webinar on “Making Adoption Affordable” Find it HERE
- Bethany also offers some great financial resources to pursue once you have completed the home study phase of your certification. Go HERE for a great list of available grants and organizations that may help with financial costs.
- You can read more about what we’re doing to raise money HERE or click HERE to go directly to our fundraising page.
Do you know someone that is adopting? Pray for them, encourage them, and if necessary, help them financially. Adoptive families need all the encouragement they can get! We need MORE families that are willing to adopt, and MORE individuals willing to get behind those people and say “we’ve got your back.” That’s my opinion, and I’m unashamedly sticking with it.
Dear Lemp Family ~ Please don’t be discouraged by other people’s opinions. You know you are doing the right thing. This is a sensitive time in your life and your emotions are running high. Criticism can cut you to your core. It’s unfair to judge you, especially since you are doing such a wonderful, kind act. If someone doesn’t like your decisions, they should keep it to themselves. If people choose to help you financially, they are doing so willingly as a gift. No one is required to donate to any cause, so if they do, it’s out of the goodness of their heart, not obligation.
So feel thrilled that you are fortunate enough to be blessed with another child, and try to avoid the hurt that comes from self-righteous, opinionated people who feel it’s their place to tell you how to feel. Don’t let it diminish your joy! Congratulations!
I see no problem with what you are doing and wanted to give you my support. Even if a child was placed with a family that did not have much income, it is still infinitely better than being an orphan. I wish more people would adopt children, you are giving that child the chance to have a family, there is no price for that.
People fund raise to start businesses and so many other kinds of things, I think helping a child get a loving family is a very worthy cause.