If you are hosting an adoption baby shower for a family member or friend remember they will have the same needs as any new parents would, but with some minor considerations.
You should stay away from planning a surprise celebration on the day they bring their child home. This can be an emotional time; the new parents and child (especially if the child is older) may need a period of adjustment. It is important to be sensitive to their needs. Delivering care packages and planning your celebration for a later date will be appreciated. Be sure to talk with the new parents and find out what their wants and needs are before setting a shower date.
Your invitations should be sent out 3 to 4 weeks in advance (6 to 8 weeks for out of town guests). Ensure your invitations include the time, date and location of the party. Don’t forget to set a date to RSVP by with your telephone number and address.
If possible, include the child’s birth date, as well as when he was officially adopted or welcomed into the home of his parents. This will help your guests pick age appropriate gifts. If the child was adopted from a foreign country, you could also add information about the birth country.
The theme for an adoption baby shower should be the same as with any other shower. However, if the child is older you will want to consider tailoring your party to suite their age and their likes. For example, a three-year-old girl may love everything to do with fairytale princesses and the color pink. Or a four-year-old boy may love collecting dinosaurs and toy trucks. Don’t be afraid to be creative to help make your party a special celebration to welcome the new child into your circle of family and friends.
Games & Activities
Baby shower games and activities are all about having fun. They also help set the tone for your party. An average shower lasts 2 hours, so look at playing 2 to 3 games. You should try to organize your ice-breaking games early. Mix-up groups and have fun!
It’s important to keep in mind you are celebrating the gift of adoption. When picking your games, stay away from maternity related games. If the new parents are adopting an older child your games should reflect that as well.
A great Adoption party activity is organizing a “Welcome Book” for the child. Ask your guests to bring pictures of themselves to assemble into a scrapbook page they will create at the shower. This will become a treasured keepsake to the new parents as well as their child.
The baby shower decorations you choose for your party will depend a lot on the style, theme, and number of people attending. Helium balloons, streamers and banners are standard decorations, but there are a lot of creative and fun ideas to add an extra touch to your décor.
If the adoption was international consider including recipes and decorations that reflect the child’s place of birth as well as his adopted families origins.
You should consider your shower theme, style and size when picking your party favors. Your favors can also be used as place settings, prizes or be handed out at the end of your party.
A popular idea for Adoption Showers is a special program for the guests to keep. Written inside maybe commitments to the child from his new parents, poems, and prayers for the future.
When labeling your favors, keep in mind that your party is in honor of an adoption. You will want to word your gift tags to reflect that. For example, a thank you gift tag may say: “Born into our hearts…Placed into our arms…(child’s name, and date of adoption)”
This is an exciting time for the new parents, and a baby shower or welcome party allows friends and family the opportunity to share in the joy. When hosting or attending a party to celebrate an adoption it is important to know the needs and wants of the parents. Know a head of time the age of the child, and find out if the new parents have registered. Keep in mind parents can register for older children as well as newborns at any retail gift registry.
By planning and hosting your adoption party you will be helping the new parents formalize the acceptance of their child into their circle of family, friends and community.
You will also be creating an occasion that will be documented for the child to look at in the future and affirm how much they were welcomed and loved from the start.