Who Exactly is the Charity Case?

Costs include various application fees of $1,000 or more, a home study that costs up to $3,000, a required $4,500 contribution to the orphanage and the travel to get their new daughter and bring her home.

The costs were daunting, Phillips admits, but they didn’t deter the family from their mission.

“Little girls in India are frequently thrown in a ditch or they’re sold to temples as prostitutes, horrible things,” she said. “A family like ours wants to save her from all of that — you’d think they’d make it a little easier. But at the same time, I realize all this is in place to prevent child trafficking.”

Yeah, the exorbitant costs are in place to prevent child trafficking.    Keep deluding yourself with that twisted logic.  As long as prospective adoptive parents are blind to the blurred line between saving a child from an imaginary fate and purchasing a highly prized commodity, they continue to be part of the problem.  

India’s limit to the orphanage is $3,500, by the way, not $4,500.  

Full fundraising plea article here.

6 thoughts on “Who Exactly is the Charity Case?

  1. The “pretty story that gets me what I want” (It’s god’s will, this child is too an orphan!, etc.) is a convenient and powerful one. Adding to its weight is the fact that our society thinks the desire for a child is “pure” and not to be questioned (unless we suspect that child might require aid from the government programs meant to benefit it).

    And obviously it’s better to grow up in the US than anywhere else in the world. This all goes without saying, so no research is necessary. Hence, many PAPs take being told to do research as a personal insult.

    But yeah, it’s stupid all right–stupid on a level only Western white privilege can achieve.

  2. I wish I was not so angry at this woman or at her family. I want to convince myself that their harts are in the right place but that they are just confused.

    As a foster mother in the United States though, I can guarantee that there are many wonderful children here in this country that have gone through more horror than she will ever know in her life and deserve a safe loving home. The US government even helps defray some of the costs of care for a child placed in her house. To me the idea that you need to go to some other county to help children is so sad since it means that you are blind to the suffering and abuses that are going on right under your nose. I believe that US children are just as worthy of our attention!

    Well, maybe she wouldn’t feel so much like a saviour for taking in a child from her own community; and having to do the hard work of dealing with social workers and birth parents in a system that is not set up to help her get what she wants, but to help a child either become safe with his/her birth family or to help the child to find another safe permeant home.

    I don’t think I should even get myself started on the child trafficking comment, or the idea inherent in this woman’s story that we need to save children from their country / culture of birth!

  3. Nicole — thank you for being a foster mother! I love your second paragraph — it reminds me of when brilliant Nigerian woman scholar Dr. Owerike Oyewumi said of Alice Walker’s missionary gaze towards African girls that she didn’t need to go outside of her own country to find children in need of a “savior.”

    I’m not as sweet as you towards this family. Your heart is not in the right place if you uncritically accept racist tropes. And if you are literate and have access to libraries and the internet and say stuff like what they said in this post it means you’re ignorant — and you’re responsible for irradicating that ignorance — but since you’re not going to do that you’re irresponsible — too irresponsible to be parents.

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