Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Should your wedding guests fund your adoption?

Miss Manners weighs in:

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am getting married in October. My fiance and I want to adopt a child from Guatemala; however, the cost is preventing us from doing so.

We currently have a house and are living together. We really have no need or want for wedding presents such as a toaster and china.

Many of the adoption agencies that we have contacted have given us information about setting up our own foundation in order to have friends and family donate money toward the cost of the adoption.

How do I let people know that I do not want wedding presents and instead would like money donated toward the adoption?

Gentle Reader: If only it were a question of how touching and worthy the cause, you would have a sympathetic case. Miss Manners would certainly put you ahead of all those couples who want their guests to give them money for the wedding itself, for the honeymoon, to pay off their credit cards or to take out a mortgage.

But how is she going to make everyone understand that their guests are not their creditors? And that decent people do not instruct their friends to pay their bills?

Wedding presents are voluntary tokens of affection from people who should care enough about you to put some thought into the selection.

Children are worth sacrificing for. As you have a fully equipped house, Miss Manners gathers you are not destitute, so perhaps you could find a way to pay for the adoption by sacrificing -- for example, by having a modest wedding and honeymoon. But she urges you not to sacrifice your dignity.


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