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“People do not give to ideas. People give to people with ideas.”/The Need For A Philanthropic Culture In Adoption

Most in the adoption community know that there is a clear shortage of post-placement resources and services for adoptees, adoptive families, and first families.  Even though the general population most likely thinks adoption agencies do, agencies are not really providing much of anything beyond the facilitation of placement.  And a strong argument can be made that what agencies offer is lacking at best.  Minnesota, for example, is considered a major adoption hub, but even the folks who live here in the lovely state admit we, as a whole, are not getting the job done.  To paraphrase someone in the know, Minnesota has some major pre- and post-adoption programmatic deficiencies.If agencies are not, who are the individuals and organizations attempting to fill in the gaps?  Adoptees, adoptive parents, first parents, and their respective projects and organizations of course!  This is the reason why Land of Gazillion Adoptees is partnering with the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN) and Adoption Mosaic on their fundraising efforts.  This is the reason why LGA is supportive of GOA’L’s current membership drive and past Kickstarter/Indiegogo microfundraisers of folks like Chad Goller-Sojourner.  This is why we admire and partner with the AK Connections, AdopSources, AFAADs, Rainbow Worlds, and MARNs of the world.  This is the reason why we have the upmost respect for Origins and the Korean Unwed Mothers Families Association (KUMFA).  And this is why all of you should consider offering financial support to these individuals/organizations and others. Without them leading the way (with incredibly small budgets), our community would literally have nothing in terms of post-placement resources/support.

A philanthropic culture doesn’t exist in adoption.  If you don’t believe me, just ask the adoption agencies that have folded/had to merge with others when placement numbers dropped (for multiple reasons) and the US hit the most recent recession.  Ask them if they were able to get grants, foundation funding, corporate sponsorships, or individual gifts.  Ask them how fundraisers via events worked out for them.  With that said, if examples from this past year are good indicators, a philanthropic culture based upon individual giving (over 90% of philanthropy in the US comes from individuals, not grants and corporate funding) can be fostered.  Consider the following successful efforts: KUMFA, The Origin(s) Project, Geographies of Kinship, and The Ungrateful Daughter.  As the old saying goes, clearly “People do not give to ideas. People give to people with ideas.”We do not have the greatest number of services and resources in adoption.  However, we are full of fantastic ideas, and if we indeed care about our community’s well being, a recognition needs to be made that the onus is on all of us as individuals to help bolster individuals/organizations with the ideas.  So, with that in mind, I ask that you please consider supporting a project or an organization this Holiday Season.  You would be surprised how much of an impact $10, $25, $100, $500, and $1000 can make on the lives of our friends in adoption who need support and resources the most.

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