FAQ: Adoption fund edition
Understandably, I’ve fielded quite a few questions as a result of the announcement that I want to adopt and the corresponding fundraiser. Here are some of my answers, some of the short version answers anyway, to the questions you’ve asked.
Q. Are you serious?
A. Yes, totally. I’m going to adopt, become a parent through adoption, not sponsor someone else’s adoption or anything like that (although that’s a good idea too).
Q. When is this going to happen? When will you adopt? How long will it take?
A. This is often misunderstood, understandably, considering how I announced all this. To clear things up, though, any kind of finalized adoption is still years away. The kind of adoption I want takes a long time, to say nothing of the preparation I still have to do personally before anything can happen.
So right now, I’m thinking between three and five years from now, sometime between 2015 and 2017.
Q. If you’re not adopting for another three to five years, why are you doing this fundraiser now?
A. First off, because I need the money before then. The money will go into the adoption process – training courses, home study, legal fees, etc. – not some one-time “purchase price.”
Second, though, part of the motivation behind all this is to raise awareness among young people, especially young men, about adoption and get them excited about it and involved. Saving money is private. Raising money is public. I want to go public with this now since it has the potentially to encourage participation from others like me.
That’s the idea anyway. We’ll see if the experiment pans out like that or not.
[As a side note, the "experiment" part of this is the fundraising and public side of it, not the actual adoption.]
Q. But you’re single now, right? Are you going to adopt without getting married?
A. Maybe. That’s not my first option. I want to get married first. Still, I’m not against adopting before marrying (or adopting without marrying at all). My standard response for now is, “Well, the clock’s ticking for me then, isn’t it…?”
Q. You’ve mentioned other plans for the next few years too. How does this affect them?
A. Depends on the plans. If you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about, like for immediately after Korea, then this doesn’t directly change any of that. It helps to realize that my plans for finalizing an adoption are still years away, even though I’m beginning to seriously prepare for it now.
Q. Is there any guarantee on this, like where my money’s going?
A. No, not really. I’m like, if you can’t trust me with the money, you shouldn’t trust me with a child. I don’t mean that to be mean either. It’s a serious question everyone who contributes should consider. If you don’t think I’d make a good father or don’t think I should adopt for whatever reason, don’t contribute.
If you do think I should adopt, though, and trust me with that responsibility, the question of money should be pretty trivial, I think. In other words, if you’re questioning my trustworthiness with your money, I encourage you not to contribute to this fund (give the money to some other couple you trust who wants to adopt).
Q. Isn’t it creepy for a single guy to want to adopt, much less raise money for it? Do you really want to promote that?
A. Uh, yeah, absolutely it’s creepy. I’m scared about it too – don’t worry. I’m not even sure I’d give money to someone like me either… unless I knew the guy personally and trusted him. That’s why I’m going to people I know – my friends and family – and inviting them to join me.
As for the promotion, this one’s two sided. On one hand, you’re right. I’m not sure I do want to encourage singles, especially guys, to go out and adopt on their own. There are a lot of creeps out there. Seriously thinking about that makes me almost vomit in my mouth.
On the other hand, I totally want to promote this. It’s part of the reason I’m doing it, really. I want to encourage young people, even people who are still single, to consider, to prepare for, to get excited about adoption. Whether the actual adoption happens when we’re single or after we marry, I want to raise people’s awareness of it well before they’re “ready.”
As far as the money goes, raising funds from other people… yeah, I don’t know. I want to get people involved, not just observing. That’s part of the awareness process. But the fundraising part is all still an experiment. I still don’t know if it will work the way I want it to.
Q. What if you change your mind then? What if you don’t adopt for whatever reason? What will you do with the money if that happens?
A. The money will go to adoption, one way or another. If a major change happens in my life that prevents adoption (for instance, if I get hurt so I can’t adopt) or if I change my mind for any other reason, I’ll donate all the money received to a husband and wife couple who wants to adopt.
Q. What kind of adoption do you want to pursue?
A. I have this idea, not original to me, that it’s good to start local. So my thought is to adopt through the US Foster system, someone from Louisville. This also has the added benefits of being the least expensive avenue as well as letting me get experience first through the foster system.
The downside is that there’s more red tape than if I were to adopt from abroad. As a single male, that makes things pretty daunting, which adds extra motivation to get married within the next couple years.
One other wrinkle to add to the already tangled plan, I’d like to adopt interracially. The foster care system in the US has no shortage of African American children, so that’s what I’m looking into.
Q. What if you succeed?
A. Actually, no one asks me this. Like what will happen if I raise all the money, get married, and then adopt within the next few years? No one asks that, but that’s the upside I’m looking at. But it’s also just the beginning. Success is decades away.
Do you have other questions I didn’t answer here? Shoot me an email, and I’ll try to answer as well as I can, and I might even use your question here if it’s appropriate.