Crowdfunding is a pretty cool method of getting a project you believe in funded. You can take your drunk cooking show on a world tour. You can create a platform for the parents of LGBT* youth to learn about and understand their children. You can even raise 5 million dollars to make a movie about your favorite teenage Private Investigator. And now you can crowdfund an adoption.
Jarrid and Juli Wilson are a married couple from Washington (originally from California — I used to go to church with Jarrid). Roughly seven months ago, they talked to a young woman and convinced her not to terminate her pregnancy. She was living in an abusive home and didn’t feel prepared to bring a child into the world. But being devoted Christians, the Wilsons took it upon themselves to take her to her doctors’ appointments and eventually convince her to carry the pregnancy to term. They even helped her move out of her abusive situation and into a new place. She’s since asked the Wilsons to adopt the child she knew she would not be able to care for. They’ve agreed and in order to afford that major expense, they’ve taken to crowdfunding.
While I think it’s admirable that they’re willing to take responsibility of a child they insisted on being brought into the world (take note, Tea Party Republicans), there’s a lot about this that makes me uncomfortable. For starters, they’re imposing their religious beliefs on a woman they barely know. If you, as a uterus-owning person, do not want to have an abortion because of your religious leanings, that’s totally fine. But you should not push your beliefs into a uterus that is not located in your own body.
The Wilsons want to move the mother out to Washington (she’s currently in Texas) for the last month of her pregnancy. It’s not as if they’ve dramatically altered her life recently, so why not move her 2,000 miles from her home for the last month of a physically draining ordeal? The mother’s doctor and attorney have advised against that (duh). But they’re still seriously considering having this woman journey 2,500 miles at eight months pregnant when she can’t fly.
What really squicks me out more than anything about this story is that they’re essentially buying a baby. They are buying a baby and asking their friends, family and fellow churchgoers to help pay for it. To pay for the attorney and the medical bills and travel expenses. But they’re doing it for Jesus, so that’s all acceptable. All the issues of coercion and power are nothing against His will that they “save a baby boy”.
But what if they decide not to adopt that baby? What if they, after persuading this woman into going through with a pregnancy she was never comfortable with, realize they also aren’t ready to raise a child. There would be no consequences for them if they back out of that adoption. But that mother would have to surrender her baby to an adoption agency which clearly wasn’t her first choice. Or she would end up keeping her baby and financially struggling for a very long time.
I really hope this doesn’t become some sort of weird trend where churches go around talking people out of abortions and then snatching their babies up (it’d make a great young adult novel though, let’s be honest). There are a whole bunch of babies and toddlers and older children already out there waiting to be adopted. Why not give them a family instead of convincing people not to terminate pregnancies they don’t want and adopting those children. This isn’t Juno, people. Let’s try to get back to living in reality.