Baby showers are a long-standing tradition to celebrating a new addition. Whether the child comes through biology or adoption, it is a time to celebrate. As you are planning the best ways to celebrate, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Think About Timing. Deciding on the timing can be tricky. Having a shower prior to placement can leave a lot of loose ends. Not all expected placements will go as planned. Likewise, waiting too long can add a burden to the new family. Paper Pregnant Parties are a fun way to kick off an upcoming adoption—but consider keeping the gifts gender neutral. For Welcome Home showers, don’t wait too long. The new family will benefit from your generous gifts to help make a big transition a little easier.

2. Choose the Best Party Games. Most traditional shower games will also work for an adoptive baby shower—but many will not. (Think “Guess the Belly Size” or “Tinkle in the Pot.”) Make adjustments as needed or choose games that don’t focus on pregnancy or delivery.

3. Have a Celebration for a Child of Any Age. Don’t get stuck on the words “baby shower.” When adding a new member to the family, support will always be appreciated. Children and siblings can participate in Placement Parties or Adoption Parties – and will love being involved in the fun! Just be sure to clarify the age of the child and clothing sizes needed.

4. Skip the Party. Not all parents who adopt will be interested in a shower. In these situations, the best help may be with meal deliveries or purchasing needed items from a registry. This will ensure the family will have what they need and feel supported, without the challenges of a shower.

5. Help with Foreign Travel. It may be best to have a shower before the couple leaves. Ask partygoers to provide travel supplies or contribute to a money tree.

6. Consider the Birth Family. Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to allow the partygoers to recognize the birth parents during the shower. Set up a table with pictures or pieces of the adoption story. Partygoers can write notes of love and support or help tie a quilt to pass along to the birth parents. Although this may not work for every situation, it can help others to understand the beauty of adoption. While you are at it, teach your guests about positive adoption language. What better time to talk about ways to support adoption?

Showers are a great way to gather friends together for support. It is a rite of passage for new parents. Adoption showers are no different. This is the perfect timing to rally support for the growing family and help provide lasting memories. By considering what will be best for the adoptive family, showers can be the perfect way to celebrate this amazing journey.

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