Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making a case for the Perpetual Adoption Fund

What is a perpetual fund?
A perpetual fund is a collection of usually donated monies set aside to benefit individuals or groups with the resources to accomplish vital activities where a large lump sum is needed.  The fund is perpetual in that the recipients of these resources pay back into the fund over time as a show of gratitude for the help they received and as support for those currently receiving or those who will yet receive in the future.
In most cases, the main pot of money in the perpetual fund is set up to generate a steady amount of interest, which is then used, along with repayments from former recipients, to continue benefitting individuals and groups.  The goal is to administer help without diminishing the main pot of money.  Contributions to the fund are continually encouraged so that, over time, the main pot of money grows larger and larger, thus increasing the amount of individuals and groups who can be benefitted.
Unlike a loan, there is no contractual obligation to repay the money received from the fund, however the motivation of gratitude to do so tends to create a very high payback ratio, often generating a higher amount in payback and sometimes creating a lifelong donor of those who were originally given the help.

Why is a perpetual fund useful?
The perpetual fund creates a long term solution for providing lump sum amounts to individuals or groups to accomplish important activities such as higher education or emigration as evidenced in the perpetual education and the perpetual emigration funds of the LDS Church.  See links below:

How does a perpetual fund work?
Donors provide the seed money.  Investment brokers help place the money in diverse funds in order to generate a steady stream of interest.  Ecclesiastical leaders recommend individuals or groups and help submit applications for funds.  A committee reviews the recommended applications and determines who will receive monies.  The recipient uses the money for the proscribed purpose and then begins paying back into the fund over time.
Making a case for the Perpetual Adoption Fund
Adoption is a worthy endeavor.  There are many children throughout the world in need of love and nurturing in order to lead productive lives.  Likewise, there are many families who could find it in their hearts to offer their love and homes to needy children, but can’t as easily find the funds required to adopt, especially internationally. 
Adopting usually involves travel and lodging, the services of experienced agencies, legal expenses, and money to cover government and paperwork fees.  Timing is a very important factor in order to adopt specific children and these circumstances usually require a lump sum to proceed.  Most families who are willing and able to adopt, usually don’t have sufficient, accessible funds to do so.  A majority of these families, however, could raise the money, or pay for the process, over time in smaller amounts.  
A perpetual adoption fund is the perfect solution in this worthy endeavor. 
Families would submit an application to the fund committee, including a recommendation from their ecclesiastical leader as well as a certificate of approval from the adoption home study office of their municipality.
Once approved, the appropriate monies would then be paid out to an accredited agency set up to help the family through the process of the adoption.  All agencies would be free to obtain proper accreditation by the fund committee in order to be available for use by fund recipient families in the adoption process.
After finalizing the adoption, recipient families would then begin paying back into the fund.
Ongoing donations to the fund would be encouraged and open to the public.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why isn't there a perpetual adoption fund?

One month ago, if you had told me that my wife and I were going to adopt, I would have laughed and thought you were crazy.  The transition from there to where we are now was unexpected.  I can't remember not being ready and willing in my heart to love another's child as my own.  I wonder how often this happens, where common folk like you and me come to this point and cross over.  As a family, we don't have much by American standards, but to the rest of the world, we are wealthy beyond comprehension.  We have a home, clothing, food, work, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have enough to love and teach and lead these children to greater opportunities in their lives.  We just don't have the money to get them here.
I wonder why there isn't an easily accessible perpetual fund to help people like us adopt.  I'm confident there are many other families who would welcome the opportunity to adopt, but are held back by the large cost, especially for international adoptions.