It’s time we spent more time talking about people who are doing good in the world, don’t you agree? Hank Fortener is one of them.
Growing up in Ohio, Hank’s parents had 36 foster kids over the years and adopted eight in total. Hank saw first-hand the power of giving a home to someone who didn’t have one. It’s something most of us take for granted.
When I found out years ago that I wasn’t likely to be able to have children, I briefly considered adoption. In-vitro and other costly and emotionally-wrenching options didn’t even cross my mind. In fact, knowing how expensive it was, it wouldn’t have been possible. I had also witnessed friends spend tens of thousands of dollars only to end up emotionally spent and feeling like failures. I don’t judge it, I just knew it wasn’t for me. However, my husband at the time declared us “too old” to start the adoption process so I simply let it go. I chose not to let it define me and became a Big Sister so I could have a child in my life. Don’t feel sorry for me. I would find it insulting. This is how it is and I accept it. It’s how I roll.
But there are many families who can’t have children of their own and choose to adopt. Or they add an adopted child to their family. Or they’re same-sex couples who adopt rather than go the donor or surrogate route. There are lots of reasons why adoption is a choice, and Hank Fortener is helping with a crowd-funding website specifically for adoptions. AdoptTogether links donors with families embarking on the difficult and expensive proposition of adoption. It’s a non-profit enterprise and families are screened by a board and must submit documentation, etc. As a registered US charity, donors even receive tax receipts. AdoptTogether gathers corporate donations as well and has helped thousands of families.
This isn’t about adoption versus natural birth. This is about helping those who already want to adopt to wade through the quagmire of red tape and high costs. In addition to those whose in-vitro didn’t work, I also know of a few couples who gave up on adopting because it’s such an arduous process. It should be easier to give a kid a home. Families can post a profile on the website for free. It’s something positive in this little corner of the world.