This post was written by Adoption STAR CEO and Founder Michele Fried
Having a disability should not define a person, but unfortunately for far too many children a disability means that they are defined as “hard to place” and there are still some who label these children as “un-adoptable.”
At Adoption STAR we reject the idea that any child is un-adoptable, but unfortunately we cannot get away from the term “hard to place.” In breaking down what that term means we have found that it has nothing to do with the fact that an adoptive family is hard to find. Sure other agencies have cited struggles finding homes for children with special needs however Adoption STAR has found many wonderful adoptive families for children with special needs. But the challenge is the financial reality that the agency must waive or greatly reduce placement fees in order for adoptive families to be able to afford to make a commitment to adopt a child with special needs.
Adoption STAR is committed to placing ALL children but in order to continue to do so, much needed funds are necessary to operate an annual program that allows the agency to defray the costs associated with adopting a child with special needs.
It is very expensive to run an adoption agency. As a private non-profit (501c3) agency, Adoption STAR does not receive County or State funds. The agency relies solely on adoptive parent fees for services and donations. The agency does not want to constantly ask for money or run countless fundraisers, instead it hosts only one fundraiser per year and that is the Shining STAR benefit.
Because the public is so often unaware of adoption, Shining STAR helps to draw special attention to children with special needs in need of adoption in the hope that we can unite many children with special needs with forever parents.
Each year since the agency’s inception, the Shining STAR benefit has grown. The purpose of Shining STAR is simple. To raise funds to defray the costs of placing children with special needs. What does this mean? It means that 100% of the money that is raised during the Shining Star benefit goes directly to the Shining STAR program. None of the money is used for the operation of the program, but rather as mini-grants to subsidize a family’s adoption of a child with special needs.
Our Shining STARS are children born with special needs. These are very real children who desperately need families of their own.
Please help support this worthy program and help Adoption STAR prove that there is no such thing as an un-adoptable or hard to place child.
To make a tax-deductible donation for the Shining STAR program, please make your check out to Adoption STAR with Shining STAR in the memo line. Mail to 131 John Muir Drive, Amherst, NY 14228. Every dollar counts.