Adoption is a positive experience that should be celebrated. Whether you are the adoptive parents or you know someone who is adopting a child, it’s always fun to throw a party so those who are close to you can participate in this wonderful experience.
Having a theme gives you the framework for the invitations, decorations, activities, and the menu. It helps keep the focus on the celebration and enhances the memories in the years ahead.
Before you decide on a theme, first determine how many people you want to invite. Make a list of prospective guests. Then realistically check to be sure you have enough room to accommodate everyone. If you don’t have the space in your home to hosts all the guests you want to invite, look for other venues.
Adoption Party Venue
Before determining where you want to host the adoption party, there are some things you need to consider:
- The number of people you want to invite
- How much money you plan to spend
- The ambiance of the setting
- Services you expect when hosting it away from home
If you plan to have a small group of guests, the most economical place to have the party is at home. This is also typically the most intimate setting. However, if you hope to have a large crowd, look around at other facilities.
Here are some ideas for adoption party venues:
- Community centers
- Public parks
- Cultural centers
Adoption Party Themes
It’s always fun to have a theme for any celebration, and an adoption party is no exception. This is a time for fun and festivity, so choose an upbeat theme.
If the child is an infant, you can have a more traditional baby shower. However, if the child is older, a theme that symbolizes her becoming part of the family will create lasting memories to make her feel special.
Here are some ideas for adoption party themes:
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Pieces of a Puzzle Party
Give each person a piece of a puzzle when they arrive. Have a table set up with a puzzle that you started but missing the pieces that each guest is provided. If the adopted child is old enough, he or she can add the last piece to complete the puzzle.
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This works best for an older child or one who has transitioned from the foster system. Ask each guest to bring a book with a family theme as a gift to the child. At some point during the party, have the guests each read one poignant paragraph from the book or speak about what family means to them.
You can decorate with book covers and serve cake decorated with a book theme. Have a list of conversation starters based on books, such as, "What is your favorite book and why?" or "What character do you most identify with?"
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Family Tree Theme
A family tree party is great for adoption parties with mostly family members in attendance. Have each person bring a small personal photo or snap a photo as they arrive and print it out. Provide small frames with ribbons added so they can be hung on the “family tree.”
Have a small tree that’s ready to plant. After everyone arrives and has some refreshments, bring everyone outdoors for a tree-planting ceremony with each person in the family doing a task. For example, a couple of people can dig the hole, a couple of them can add fertilizer to the hole, and one or two can place the tree in the hole while someone else shovels the dirt back into the hole to cover the tree roots. This symbolizes each person’s role in the family and how important everyone is.
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If this adoption is international, have a party featuring the culture of the child’s birthplace. Decorate the party area with items related to the country and serve the native food. If you’re unsure of your cooking skills when it comes to international cuisine, find a restaurant that specializes in it and have it catered.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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This party celebrates the fact that the child has come home to his “forever family.” There are quite a few things you can do with a homecoming theme. You can decorate in the child’s favorite colors with streamers and piñatas.
Give each person in the family a T-shirt or jersey in the family’s favorite color with their name and number (birth order or date of birth) on the back. Play active games (i.e., relay races) if you’re outdoors or sit-down games (i.e., bingo) indoors.
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In-Our-Hearts Family Party
Create special memories for your adopted child by having an in-our-hearts party. Decorate with paper or plastic hearts, serve heart-shaped cookies, and take pictures with the whole family standing inside a heart made from wire and flowers or crepe paper. Present the child with a family heart—either a piece of jewelry or a box to store mementos in.
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The Sweetest Day Ever
Show your adopted child how much you love him by having a sweetest-day-ever themed party. Feature a candy buffet with fruit punch. If you want to go all out, have each person in the family dress up as their favorite candy or in bright colors like you would find in a pack of M&Ms. You can celebrate your child’s adoption anniversary every year with a sweetest-day-of-the-year party theme.
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Treasure Chest Time Capsule
A time capsule is perfect for either a baby or older child adoption. Each guest can bring one thing that relates to the adoption, the child’s country of birth, or the person’s relationship with the child. After everyone arrives, you can put all the gifts in a nice “treasure chest” that you’ll open when the adoptee reaches a certain age.
Instead of burying it as you would a traditional time capsule, you can put a lock on it and place it somewhere in the house to remind the child of the celebration. The party can have a treasure chest theme, with small replicas of a pirate’s chest dripping with beads you can find at any party store.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Freezer Meal Party
Birth parents aren’t the only ones who lack time after a baby arrives. If this is a celebration for the adoption of a baby, ask each guest to bring a frozen meal—either one that the guest prepared or one from the grocery store. You can serve traditional baby shower refreshments, such as small sandwiches, teacakes, cookies, cupcakes, and punch.
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Sip and See Party
Since the guests are probably eager to see the newly adopted child, a sip-and-see party is the ideal type of event. This is a form of an open house party, so the guests are given a window of time to come for a visit. Offer light refreshments for a sip and see, but don’t go overboard.
You also don’t need to worry about having seating for the total number of people because your guests will come at different times. Games are unnecessary for a sip-and-see event. After all, it’s about the child, not the entertainment.
Most Important Aspect of an Adoption Party
As you’re planning the adoption party, remember that the most important aspect is celebrating the new arrival to the family. Having a party in his honor, the child should feel special and wanted as much as he would at a birthday party. Even if the child is an infant, you’ll have pictures and stories about the celebration that you can share as he or she grows up.