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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Support Family Preservation on This Giving Tuesday

During this year’s National Adoption Month, an organization called AdoptTogether promoted its own special day to celebrate adoption. They declared November 9 to be “World Adoption Day.” They encouraged people to draw smiley faces on the palms of their hands and to post photos of these tagged with #WorldAdoptionDay to promote their cause.

And what was their cause?

AdoptTogether boasts that it is “the world's first crowdfunding site for adoption.” On November 7, the World Adoption Day campaign was featured in an article for Forbes, which disclosed that AdoptTogether had “raised over $4 million and has served 982 families in their efforts to adopt a child.” Prospective adoptive parents need not stress any longer over how they will come up with the fees to “bring home” their new child. They can turn to AdoptTogether to secure funds donated by people like you and me, thanks to the organization’s foundersfolks like “iconoclast” Hollywood pastor Erwin McManus, “a best selling [sic] author,” and supermodel Jessica Stam, “one of the top earning supermodels in the world.”

Many adoptees, including me, feel crowdfunding to adopt a child is an abhorrent practice. Prospective adoptive parents put up websites and post videos of their “adoption journeys” in an effort to tug at our collective heartstrings, enticing us to donate so that they get the child they always wantedor the child they MUST save from what they view as either economic or spiritual tragedy. And now AdoptTogether has raised millions of dollars to assist these wannabe parents.

How far could those millions go in addressing the circumstances that result in children being made available for adoption in the first place? Wouldn’t that money be better spent assisting people who are truly in need rather than helping fulfill the fantasies of Americans who desire to build families or save souls by adopting other people’s kids? According to Amanda Transue-Woolston, social worker and founder of Lost Daughters:
One adoption fee could vaccinate tens of thousands of children or fund an entire medical center for a village. The average cost to adopt a newborn from a struggling parent could pay the TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] allowance of a family of four for three years.
And as Kevin Haebeom Vollmers, founder of Land of Gazillion Adoptees, writes in an article titled “Top Seven Reasons Why Adoption Fundraisers Are Problematic:”
What about the mothers, father, grandparents, and other extended family members who lose their children? What about the birth parents/first parents who are forced to relinquish rights to their children because of social, financial, and familial pressures? What about the parents who have their children stolen from them for international adoption?
I believe that the hearts of many of those who would support AdoptTogether are in the right place. They want to do good in the world. They want to help children in need. But I also believe that we can do much better for children in need than raising funds to separate them from their own families, countries, and cultures.