A baby shower is a rite of passage and something most new parents look forward too. Many may consider avoiding this step when a family member or friend adopts a child, due to the many references to pregnancy, labor, and birth that is associated with baby showers. While it's a good idea to avoid any reference to birth or pregnancy during the event, an adoption baby shower is a great way to welcome a new child into the family.
Considerations When Planning an Adoption Baby Shower
- Consider the age of the child. Plan the Perfect Baby Shower Web site offers the following guideline: "If the child is under the age of 2, an adoption baby shower is appropriate. If the child is over the age of 2, consider hosting a welcome party."
- Avoid surprise adoption shower parties. While it seems like a great idea and most of us love surprises in general - this thinking may not carry over to adoption and bringing new children into the family through adoption. Many children and their new families need time to adjust. New surroundings and meeting a bunch of strangers all at once may be too much for the child.
- Again, most parties in honor of others do not involve the honoree, but when it comes to adoption, involve the new parents in the planning of the adoption baby shower. Consider the benefits of having the shower after the child has joined the family. Having the gathering after the child is home also allows people to meet the child, and the parents can register for the items they really need - like accurate clothing sizes, and age appropriate toys.
- Even though family and friends will be eager to meet the new addition, a few weeks home is a good idea and allows the new parents to fully attach to the baby. Don't be offended if the new parents don't allow the baby to be passed around.
- For couples, consider hosting a couple adoption baby shower since adoption is more of a couple journey.
Theme Ideas for an Adoption Baby Shower
- International adoption - child's country of origin or culture.
- Traditional baby shower themes - think soft colors, or the theme the adoptive parents have chosen for the nursery.
- Focus on parenting - the joy and love of a new family member and the child that is becoming a part of a new community.
- Sibling adoption baby shower - a party hosted by siblings for the new baby. What a cute idea when children can invite over their friends to introduce new siblings.
Adoption Baby Shower Games
Choosing appropriate games to play at an adoption baby shower is also very important and one of the key differences between a traditional baby shower and one hosted for a baby who entered the family through adoption. Be sure to select games that make no reference to pregnancy, labor, or birth.
Adoption Baby Shower Invitations
When creating the adoption baby shower invitations, include the following:
- child's name
- child's birthdate
- child's age
- adoption date
Try to word the invitations so guests know that this child entered the family through an adoption. Include parents in this part of the party planning and ask for the input on the guest list.
It is no fun being surprised by a guest who may not be happy abut the idea of adoption or a guest who uses hurtful and rude language about adoption.