In 2007, Philly natives Becky and Kipp Fawcett started the nonprofit HelpUsAdopt.org. The five-year journey that led them there, and to their son Jake, has them fighting to change the face of adoption
BY JENNA BERGEN
THERE’S NO PAYMENT plan for adoption. That’s something Becky Fawcett found out as she sat across from her lawyer in his Doylestown office, looking down at the estimate he’d written on the page: $35,000. Becky, then 35, had already spent $82,000 on five in vitro attempts, her womb refusing her most basic, human desire: to carry a child. To have a family.
Thirty-five thousand dollars.
“What if I don’t have it?” she asked the lawyer, her face blank, calling his bluff.
He shrugged, resigned to telling this woman what he’d had to tell countless others. “You could take out a double mortgage on your house, cash in your 401K. You could put it on credit cards. …” He looked at her left hand. “That’s a nice engagement ring. You could sell it. Or you could live a childless life.”
Even though she and her husband, Kipp, had the money, the words hit Becky hard. How lucky I am, she thought, the last finely woven thread that held her together starting to unravel as she suddenly imagined all the people who didn’t have that kind of cash — a financial roadblock putting an end to bottles and birthday parties and college graduations. Appearances forgotten, she put her head down and cried.
Photograph by Erin Patrice O’Brien from the Feburary 2009 issue of Philadelphia magazine.