Random acts of kindness: A part of the solution

April 28, 2017By Acts of Kindness, Behind the Shelf Blog, Random Acts of Kindness blog series

by Angela Pinkstaff, director of business development, for our Random Acts of Kindness blog series

I belong to a large online group of women who have experienced infertility, infant loss and/or miscarriage, which I joined some time ago. Eventually I met a few women who had moved on from trying to have a baby to trying to adopt a baby. In particular, I happened upon the story of a couple who had been chosen by a birth mom in October and were scrambling to prepare for their adoptive son’s birth, anticipated to be mid-January 2017. Just as I received my Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) Challenge funds from HRG, the adoptive parents were launching an onsite auction with donated items in order to raise funds.

I reached out to the adoptive mom-to-be and asked if I could just send her the money rather than bid on an item, which I did not think would be fair to win. They had an online fundraising profile created for donations so I was able to send it there. The info on their site indicated that they were trying to raise $25,000. At the time that I donated, they had received about $5,000 in donations and later raised another $3,000 through the auctioned items. Their $25,000 goal was probably not meant to cover all their expenses; domestic infant adoption can exceed $40,000 with legal fees, home studies, agency applications, and state-mandated paperwork.family

Their son was born in January.  Although I’m sure that was the best day of their lives, they, like countless others, are likely to experience crushing debt for years to come as a result of the costly adoption process. In giving them my RAOK money, I felt like I had done something, albeit small, to truly help someone’s dream come true.

It is key to understand that many parents who have chosen adoption did so after attempting to have their own children, sometimes unsuccessfully, and likely at great cost. Only 15 states in the U.S. currently offer infertility insurance benefits, which means that in all other states, men and women pay out-of-pocket for specialized care. Some couples who struggle to achieve natural pregnancy will have multiple rounds of fertility treatments including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which can cost upwards of $10,000 - $20,000 per cycle, exclusive of bloodwork, pricey fertility drugs, and routine appointment billing.

The road to adoption and family expansion can be challenging, expensive, and heartbreaking. In giving my RAOK money to a couple seeking to grow their family, I felt that I was part of the solution in some small way. I know it brought as much to me as it did to them, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of this opportunity. Thank you, Hamacher!