Adoption Gifts for Adoptive Parents

by Maggie McCormick

    Welcoming a child into your home is a momentous occasion, but adoptive parents don't always receive the same hoopla granted to those having a baby in the traditional way. When someone you know is adopting a child, you can make the occasion special with a gift that's just right for your friend.

    A new child has a lot of needs, from clothes and diapers, to bedding and toys. Some adoptive families will have an "adoption shower," similar to the traditional baby shower, but even if the parents don't have that, you can help out with some of these basic items. If they are adopting a baby, consider getting clothes that are a size or two bigger than the baby's age, packages of diapers, bathing supplies or bottle feeding supplies. Older children might have slightly different needs, though, and you don't want to forget them. The parent might appreciate you helping fill the playroom with toys or fill a closet with clothes. If the family is adopting an older child, something fun like a video game system that the family can play together would be a fun gift.

    Contact photographers, especially those who specialize in baby or child photography, to buy a photo package for the new family. Not only will this allow the family to mark the occasion of bringing the child to his new home, it will give them high-quality photos that they can hang in the home to create a better sense of family. Alternatively, you might buy a gift card to a photo printing company that the parents can use to either print pictures for the home, create a book of the child's adoption process and trip home or adoption announcement cards.

    A piece of jewelry can be a special way to mark the occasion for an adoptive mother. Consider a necklace or bracelet with the child's name or birthstone. Decorations for the home such as a wall plaque or a handmade cross-stitched pillow might display sentiments that relate to adoption, such as "Love makes a home," or "Love sees no color."

    Adoption can be expensive. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, adopting a child can cost as much as $2,500 for a public adoption, or $40,000 for private adoption, on top of other costs such as travel expenses, legal fees and home study charges. Though the parents can get a tax break to cover some of these expenses, you can safely assume that some of the costs are coming out of pocket. Many parents will appreciate a financial gift to help offset those costs, though you might want to couple this with a small token gift.

    About the Author

    Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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