Adoption Gifts:: Practical Suggestions from Adoptive Parents


November is national adoption month!

Hearing the gavel bang announcing a new, permanent family member is one of the most exciting sounds we’ve heard. It can take years for an adoption to be finalized and many families, including a few of our contributors, choose to celebrate with a party (check out our new Party and Catering guide for help finding the perfect location and treats), complete with adoption gifts. 

How can friends help celebrate an adoption?

The most important thing to remember is to follow the lead of the family. Adoptions can be a complicated mix of emotions. There can be immense joy and relief paired with sadness and loss. What might feel exciting to the parents, could be devastating to the child. For children adopted from foster care, there can be an added layer of trauma and loss of a legal bond to their birth family that can complicate the day. Ask the family who is adopting how they’d like to celebrate the day and follow their lead.

If the family is open to gifts, here are some tried and true adoption gift suggestions.

Family experiences: Going to a fun restaurant, the zoo, or even a night away at a waterpark can be a great way to celebrate. Check out our indoor play guide or day trip guide for local suggestions.

Build A Bear: Make the child, or even take the child, to Build A Bear, to memorialize the day with a new furry friend. You can even record a message to the child they can listen to for years to come.

Books: Share your love of books with the family. A few great books about adoption are:

You could also share a book series that is sentimental. One of our contributors received the Little House on the Prairie series as a way to celebrate her daughter’s adoption. As her daughter grew-up, she had the joy of reading them with her.

Professional photos: A before, during, or after the adoption professional photo shoot is a wonderful gift. One of our contributors loved having a professional photographer with them during the adoption hearing to capture the whole day. This allowed her to be fully present in the moment. View the photographers we love. 

Individualized gifts: Find out what the family is excited about. Is it a new name? Or maybe a break from home visits? Plan a gift around that excitement. For one contributor, it was her son’s name change. He received a personalized fireman coat with his new last name on it. 

Memory book: When your family grows by adoption, it can be challenging to find a baby or memory book that fits the family. Etsy has great options for capturing the unique way adopted children join families. This also serves as a great tool for talking with the child about their journey to a forever family.

Food: The days leading up to an adoption can be very busy with last minute appointments, home visits, and planning. A gift of a meal or gift card for food can be a very practical way to ease the burden on the family.

Regardless of how the family decides to acknowledge their adoption, being present and walking the journey with them is the most important adoption gift you can give.


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