The elephant in the adoption chatter room is not pink; it's bright green and named Money.
Here are some of the hard, awkward questions I've heard since starting this process.
Please note: I believe we should always, always be filled with grace (Col. 4:6) when educating others. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Some are genuinely curious, and even if they are just plain mean — still give grace.
Question #1: If you can't afford the adoption, how can you afford to care for the child?
Let's say a family needs $30,000 to adopt one child. Let's say the family has 18 months to raise the funds. That's about $1,670 each month. Is that even close to what it costs to care for a child each month? No.
I plugged in some numbers for our own children. We spend an average of $200-250 each month on each child (including food, clothes, medical, education, entertainment, and gifts). That's a difference of $1,420. Every month. For 18 months.
That's why families can afford to care for the child ($250/month) but can't afford the adoption ($1,420/month).
Question #2: I wouldn't ask you to help me buy a brand new truck, so why are you asking me to help fund your adoption?
Anyone who compares a truck, a house, or a boat to a human life is not ready to engage in conversation about funding adoption. Just smile and move on. Clearly, they do not want any part of your fundraiser. And that's okay because people don't owe it to you; they aren't under any obligation to contribute.
Question #3: Why does it cost so much to help a child who needs a home? If there are so many orphans in this world, why aren't countries begging people to take them in?
Because there are despicably, dreadfully, disturbingly evil people in this world. Without the red tape (and the huge expense that comes with it), children would be "adopted" into the sex trade; "adopted" in order to sell their eyes or kidneys or other body parts; "adopted" for child labor; or "adopted" for God-only-knows what else a wretched mind can imagine.
Question #4: Aren't you just buying children?
I had c-sections with both of my biological boys, and Simon's was around $20,000. Did I buy him? No. The hospital was paid for their service.
Similarly, in adoption, we pay for services.
We pay for:
Services cost money. Children don't (at least they shouldn't; please make sure you research before choosing an adoption agency).
What questions do you have about adoption?
Or, if you are an adoptive family, what hard questions have you been asked?