What if I don’t feel the tug toward adoption or fostering, but I recognize the need and still want to help? Are there ways to do that? The short answer is ‘absolutely’!
There are many ways in which you can support adoption and foster care without actually becoming a foster parent or adopting a child into your forever family.
- Funding…I know you’re thinking ‘of course this would be the first one’, but to be frank, a lot of people want to adopt but don’t because it’s expensive and they feel they can’t afford it. Remember that you don’t have to give a huge check in order to be supportive. Every amount is helpful and you can even help with fundraising. You could do a yard sale for a family trying to adopt or you could set aside a few dollars each week or each paycheck to give to a family in need. It sometimes takes a long time to adopt so you’d be surprised how quickly that can add up. There are many other ideas here, but this can get you started.
- Respite…Foster parents sometimes have multiple children of differing ages along with their own biological children so it can be challenging to have adult time. You can provide a weekend or a night of respite care randomly or regularly to allow foster parents to be able to spend some time together having adult conversations and quality time. This can be such a help and blessing to them to recharge and refuel to go back to the hard task of parenting other people’s children as well as their own. This doesn’t even have to be overnight, but could just be a day of taking these children to the park or zoo to give a few hours of quiet to run errands or maybe even just to take a nap.
- Provide meals or gift cards…These two things alone can help both adopting or foster families. Adopting families can save some money of their own rather than spending it on a meal or items needed before and after adoption. Foster families can have one night off from meal planning or having to cook for many tiny humans so that they can spend more quality time as a family or use the gift cards for the many things which are needed in their home to make it welcoming for a new addition.
- Volunteer…There are a lot of organizations which help with adoption and/or fostering who need people to volunteer whether it’s in a certain area of expertise that you may have (accounting, legal, clerical, etc) or just to be a person to help answer phones, run errands or help plan a fundraising event.
- Spread the word…You can help raise awareness about the need for help in all these areas or host events alongside adoption agencies, foster parent training organizations or adoption attorney offices such as The Adoption Law Firm or ask any of these people to speak for your civic or religious organizations in which you are a part.
We hope this helps you to think outside the box a little bit more than being a foster parent or adopting a child in order to contribute to the orphan crisis across the globe.
At the time of this blog post, UNICEF estimates 140 million orphans in the world. Please help speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves and if you’d like to discuss this further, we are here to help.
Michele Willis is the mother of 3 children…2 boys the “conventional way” and 1 girl through the miracle of international adoption. Her oldest son is a freshman in college, her other son is a sophomore in high school and her daughter is in 5th grade. She also wears many other hats when it comes to career and volunteerism.