Poverty and Relinquishing Moms…A Fairy Tale??

February 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm 14 comments


I really don’t know why I bother sometimes. I was visiting this site today and reading a post about how a young woman and her husband are trying to adopt a baby. She states in the article that their combined income is less than 13,000. Can you imagine? I mean, I make double that and with my fiance’s income we are close to three times that. And it can still be a struggle! Especially in a down economy!

I made the simple mistake of asking them how they planned to support their child. I don’t know their situation. Maybe they have a really great support system or whatever. I don’t know! That’s why I asked! I stated that it was ironic to me that they would be trying to adopt in such a similar financial situation that generally causes women to relinquish.

And Grand Meister Douche had this to say:

Jim Upchurch

February 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

Ryan & Noel,

Congratulations and best wishes! Don’t be discouraged by the negative comments. They do have points that need to be considered, but if we’re talking anecdotally, I’ve heard both positive and negative stories (mostly positive) from those who’ve been adopted.


The irony is your logic, not the situation.

You said, “A lot of children are surrendered to adoption because of money issues.” You state this as something you know, but I’m not sure that’s really even knowable. Do you have research to back this up? It would probably be better to say, “my guess is…” or something like that.

But even if a lot of children are surrendered because of money issues, you don’t know if this is true of the child the Cordles will welcome into their family. They’re just beginning. They don’t even know the situation of the “possible” adoption yet, so how could you?

This is what really grates on me regarding those who say “adoption is always evil.” To say that means that you think you know everything about every situation anywhere. I grant that sometimes adoption is wrong and there are terrible abuses and mistakes. But that doesn’t mean all adoption is evil. If you have a beef with how your situation turned out, then warn people of the specifics of your situation. But don’t pretend that you know everything about every situation

Okay, um first of all, if you scroll back through the comments, I definitely didn’t say “adoption is always evil”. I didn’t really say anything bad about it at all. Epic fail, dude.

What bothers me here is the total lack of education that people have about adoption. Of course poverty is one of the main causes of relinquishment. Agencies hound women and make them feel like crap because they can’t afford diapers or formula. Babies are expensive! Over the course of a child’s life it can cost around 184,320 to raise a child.


Here are some articles I found on poverty in relinquishing moms just in a quick five minute google search. I’m sure if I looked a little more I could find hundreds of links just like these!

This study by the University of Queensland found that relinquishing mothers were “predominantly in the lowest income group”.


 This article says that “The decision to relinquish a baby appears to be a consequence of an unwanted pregnancy experienced by an economically deprived single mother”


 This article talks about the coercive tactics agencies use on pregnant women. Including, guess what? Using poverty to convince women they aren’t worthy of their babies.


 This one says “Poverty is the leading cause of relinquishment”.


 Poverty IS one of the leading reasons that women relinquish. I hate that there are uneducated people out there trying to convince people there aren’t.

Women are constantly told they are not good enough and should give their child to a family who can give their baby the pony, the pool, and the house in the cul de sac. If all of these things fall through and your child will be poor anyway, what is the point of giving your child away to be poor with someone else? There really is none. At that point it becomes about being honest and stripping away the facade.

Personally I’d be surprised if this couple qualifies to adopt based on their income. If they do, I hope they do some very valuable research into some of the deeper, darker parts of adoption no one really likes to talk about it. And take it from me, you can’t get information about adoption from people who haven’t been there. That’s like telling people who’ve had cancer that you know what it’s like. You can’t. It just doesn’t work that way.


Entry filed under: adoption. Tags: , .

Back Again (ish) Adoption Quiz Time

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tony  |  February 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    the state will pay for the adoption process and since the child is “special needs” they may even qualify for a monthly stipend (could end up doubling their income

    • 2. kateiskate  |  February 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      That is interesting. But would a couple below the poverty level qualify for an adoption and pass the homestudies? My adoptive mom told me they had to prove their income, bank accounts, and show W2s for prior years when they adopted me. Never having adopted myself, I can only imagine their are income requirements you have to meet. And rightfully so.

      Thanks for your comment. Never thought of that.

  • 3. maybe  |  February 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Why should they receive a monthly stipend to adopt a special needs child? If I give birth to a special needs baby who is going to give me a monthly stipend? No one.

  • 4. joy21  |  February 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    In California you might get a monthly stipend for a biological child.

    That is beside the point, I can’t believe those people are so ridiculously stupid. I just really can’t.

    You kicked ass over there Katie 🙂

  • 5. chowchow22  |  February 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    They give stepends to help get kids out of long term fostercare and adopted. It helps with any medical expenses they may have, but it would be nice if everyone could get that instead for special medical needs, wouldn’t it?
    I think they can adopt with that income btw. Anything special needs through the state, claims to have no financial requirements in Kentucky.

    • 6. kateiskate  |  February 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      I agree. I think it would be great if more struggling families could get some of that to help take care of their kids. There is a lot I don’t know about income requirements and things like that but it does seem wrong to me to allow people who do not at least make above the Federal Poverty Guideline adopt. I mean, why set them up to struggle?

  • 7. rox  |  February 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    REally good point

  • 8. Anha S  |  February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Excellent post Kate!

  • 9. Jean  |  February 18, 2010 at 1:23 am

    I guess you missed their clarification in the comments that their jobs provide tangible benefits that place them well above the poverty line. Their housing is free and all of their bills are paid by their ministry. The $12,000 a year they make on top of all of that is gravy. And Kentucky has a pretty low cost of living besides.

    • 10. kateiskate  |  February 18, 2010 at 7:10 am

      I did see that. But did you see the part where she said that 1600 dollars is a lot of money for them? I would agree that it’s a lot of money for myself as well. But raising kids is expensive business! And to be quite honest 12,000 a year to just use as “gravy” isn’t a lot when you factor in car payments, groceries to feed a family, medical expenses, essentials, and other things including saving a nest egg. I would say I spend around that on my “gravy” type things and there is no way I could financially support a child. Did you see in my post the link to the MSN Money article stating that it costs around 184 grand for an average family to raise a child over 17 years? Divide that by 17 and that’s 10,823 a year.

      My point here is less about this particular couple and more about the fact that women regularly relinquish due to poverty and it is incredibly ironic that people who are either worse off, about the same, or only slightly better off end up adopting these kids.

  • 11. eagoodlife  |  February 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Let me first come out here as an adoptee who doesn’t know everything.I do know that babies should stay with their b-parents if at all possible and that perhaps our support should be going into making sure that happens.Money and goods are not everything, good parenting and love are, particularly for a child who has been relinquished and suffered that trauma of that loss if they have to be adopted.It needs to be a last resort..good parents are for children, adopton is not about finding children for parents.

  • 12. Shannan  |  March 4, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    The part that bothers me so much about this and adoption in general (that I am just now learning) is that agencies use poverty and being single as two of the biggest factors that a woman should place her baby. “You are single and poor” = “You cannot keep your baby.”
    But then if a paying couple wants to adopt, the state and often times churches will help subsidize the costs of the adoption so they can raise the child even if they don’t make very much money.
    And they let single woman adopt as well.

    It. Boggles. My. Mind. The double standard is disgusting.

    We paid a lot of money for our three adoptions and I wouldn’t change my situation for anything and adore my hero children…but I am wondering if all that money shouldn’t be going into the system to support singe mothers rather than going into the hands of our crook agencies.

  • 13. Shannan  |  March 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    “Grand Meister Douche” 🙂 funny..

  • 14. Sickened  |  March 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I really don’t see how you are qualified to speak to this particular type of adoption. You DO NOT know what is covered by the state (for example, all the medical care will be covered in special needs), you do not know what stipend from the state the parents will receive for caring for the child, and you certainly don’t understand what would happen to this child if she is not adopted.

    How many people are interested in adopting special needs children?

    Should special needs children stay in foster care or in institutions until they are 18 or 21, at which time they would be moved to a state-run facility?
    I bet the child’s life would be fabulous then…but you wouldn’t know about that or CONSIDER those consequences.

    The money doesn’t matter. Because if the child was raised by the state and later institutionalized or put into a state program, YOU and everyone else IS STILL PAYING FOR IT.

    In examples like this, it is the best option for a child that most people don’t want.
    Someone will love the child…..and she won’t be raised by a cold, uncaring, institution.

    And if you believe a child is better in an institution, than you are a cold person. Maybe you should investigate the outcomes of children raised in institutional settings.

    Do more research before you spread hate and your message…because you clearly don’t understand these situations, special needs children, or adoptions other than your own.


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