STFU Parents: When ‘It Takes A Village’ Includes Baby Fundraising On Facebook

Yesterday an interesting thing happened. I’d already had my eye on a developing trend for a few weeks when a tweet directed at my attention created a bit of a frenzy. Here’s what it said:

STFU Parents

This is a new-ish trend, brought about by the success of Kickstarter and other fundraisers on sites like Go Fund Me or Indiegogo. Those sites have had their share of criticism when popular, but perhaps frivolous, campaigns raise well over $1 million when other, less flashy campaigns struggle to reach their limits and serve a more serious purpose (like, say, a campaign to raise funds for teachers to buy school supplies).

That said, nothing comes close to parents using these platforms to raise funds to help them have or adopt a baby. The concept has some moral implications that raise the question, “What about this feels so…wrong?” It’s one of those occasions that the definition of “overshare” is relatively broad, because charity can apply to so many things.

Personally, I enjoy giving to causes that I stand behind, be it helping an artist to fund a new project or helping a family from losing their home due to circumstances out of their control. I think the fundraising platforms that have cropped up online prove that the power is in the individual, and we should all rely on each other, as opposed to insurance companies or our 401k’s, to get through life. However, much as I believe people should edit themselves when it comes to sharing poop pictures, I also believe people should be choosy with their fundraisers.

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  • Cynjok

    I would chip in if I could to help someone with cancer treatment or a natural disaster tragedy in a heartbeat–or even if their child has developed a disease that insurance doesn’t cover. But those things involve charity that wasn’t based on premeditation. No way I’d chip in to help with fertility treatments for someone because if they aren’t in a financial situation to do it, they should either adopt or just live childless like so many have to do who can’t conceive–if they cannot afford the initial investment toward becoming parents they probably cannot really afford a child.

  • SnarkFinSoup

    Oy. I found this post and many of the comments to be really upsetting. There seem to be many people commenting who are not aware of what the adoption process entails.

    The first part of the long process of adoption involves a multi-visit home study where a care worker (typically a social worker licensed in your state) looks in basically every detail of your life, with a particular focus on your finances, to determine based on current income, savings, outstanding debt, etc., to determine whether or not you can afford to parent a child. The average cost of domestic adoption in the US in $20K paid in several large lump sums. The gist: you cannot begin to actively pursue an adoption or foster until you complete a home study. Your home study will not be approved unless you have enough money to raise a child.

    My partner and I are in the process of adopting. We can comfortably afford to parent a family worth of a TLC program but do not have $20,000 sitting around our savings account. Additionally I am also in the process of preparing my home for a child and financially recovering from several years unsuccessful fertility treatments. I know many other adoptive families in similar situations.

    No, I am crowd funding my adoption. My partner and I are lucky. We have received several very generous financial gifts from family as well as applying for countless grants. We’ve cut out superfluous spending, etc, etc. We have found a way that works for us but it’s a struggle. Not everyone is as lucky.

    I am a huge STFU Parents/Mommyish fan but this post just made me sad. The process of adopting is so incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking and a total financial vampire. Even though I did not make the same choice, I can understand why individual or family who desperately wants to parent making the choice to fundraise for their adoption.

    I know compassion is pathologically uncool and the anonymity the internet offers often empower people to argue or judge something a bit more viciously than they ever would in real life but honestly a little empathy can go a long way.

    • Bran Chesterton

      I desperately want to have more cats, but I can’t afford any more. Can I crowdfund for that? The key word in both situations is “want” and not “need”.

    • Thomas Offal

      Yes, yes, that’s what folks always say — they can afford to raise the kid but not the fees to adopt him.

      It isn’t true — the vast majority of the time they get the kid home and beg for MORE money bc they can’t afford basics like diapers and a stroller (Denise Davis), dental care (so the poor kid is left to suffer in agony with infected, abscesses teeth like little Darcy Hogeland and Katya Dudek and!!!

      You do realize many women give up their baby because they cannot afford another mouth to feed? If you cannot afford to pay ALL your adoption expenses out of pocket you should be banned from adopting!!!

  • Annoyed

    Wow, people are lazy asses. Don’t have a kid if you cannot afford the child or if you want one get financially stable.

  • BettyMartin

    You raise good points…why is a bridal shower or wedding okay, but asking for money to get a baby feels weird? Does age matter? Does number of existing children matter?
    I think it feels weird and wrong because a baby is a human being, and it feels like buying and selling, maybe in a slave sort of way, maybe in a way that makes it feel like trafficking in human beings. No matter what, our inner selves feel it’s completely wrong.

  • EcnoTheNeato

    Late comment is late: Thanks to #4, I have a sudden urge to crowdfund a vasectomy. I don’t need one, but I’d like one and DAMN are they expensive…

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