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Making Mother’s Day – By Making Adoption Affordable

PHOTO: Caroline Edgerton is among dozens of people receiving financial assistance from HelpUsAdopt.org. The grant enabled her to adopt Logan. Courtesy HelpUsAdopt.org
PHOTO: Caroline Edgerton is among dozens of people receiving financial assistance from HelpUsAdopt.org. The grant enabled her to adopt Logan. Courtesy HelpUsAdopt.org
May 9, 2013

NEW YORK - When the fertility clinic and all else fails, adoption can seem like the answer - except that it's not, in too many sad cases.

Adoption is an expensive and lengthy process which can take from $30,000 to $50,000 and two years or more. That's where groups such as HelpUsAdopt.org come in. In the past six years, the New York-based group has helped build 73 families by awarding $570,000 in adoption grants.

Becky Fawcett and her husband, Kipp, founded the group in response to their own experience.

"When I was struggling with infertility and miscarriages and wanted nothing more than to be a mother, when Mother's Day rolled around every year, it was one of the most painful days of the year," Becky Fawcett said.

The group is set apart from others, she said, by focusing on nondiscrimination, not defining what a family is, not charging applicants to apply and giving out the largest grants - up to $15,000.

Caroline Edgerton lost her husband and infant son in an accident in 2007. A grant from HelpUsAdopt.org helped her to close a financial gap and adopt a son, Logan.

"I was very fearful," Edgerton said. "I didn't know if I would be able to afford it and do it on my own and make that dream happen. Now I know that there are resources and there's a lot of support out there that is available."

Becky Fawcett and a committee of five people select grantees, looking for people who are making every effort to pay for their adoption themselves but are coming up short. She said she spends most of the rest of her time looking for donors.

"We have about 800 people a year who apply with financial requests over $6 million," she said, "and we have $200,000 to give away this year."

Edgerton said the organization has remained in the lives of her and Logan.

"It wasn't just, 'Here's your grant, congratulations, move forward.' Logan is now 15 months old and they've just touched our lives in such an amazing way," she said.

Families helped by the group since 2007 include heterosexual married couples, single parents - male and female - and LGBT couples.

More information is online at helpusadopt.org.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY