Many families celebrate the day their child was adopted. Families vary in what they call it: Gotcha Day, Adoption Day, Family Day, Adoption Anniversary Day.

There is no one “right” day to select as your adoption day. It might be the first time you and your child met, the day you went to court, the day your child came home, or the day the adoption was finalized. The idea is to celebrate the special aspects of how your family was created and/or expanded.

Listed below are some of the ways families can celebrate their adoption day:

  • Celebrate in a way that is similar to a birthday. Have cake, give presents, and throw a party.
  • No party, but give the child a choice for a special activity. Go to the zoo, museum, park, or have a special dinner.
  • Light candles to honor birth parents, foster parents, etc.
  • Go on a family outing to a baseball game or visit an amusement park.
  • Present a gift that represents the child’s birth heritage, i.e. the country, state, or city they were born in.
  • Review a child’s life book, and perhaps add a page to represent the past year.
  • Do a presentation in your child’s classroom about adoption and how families are different.
  • Send cupcakes or plan an activity that your child’s class can participate in that represents adoption, families, or your child’s cultural background.
  • Remember the children left behind–children still in foster care or orphanages–by volunteering with a foster care group. Or send a care package to your child’s orphanage.
  • Use the day to acknowledge other adoptive families that may be struggling by committing to provide respite a certain numbers of hours per month.
  • Write in a family journal.
  • Help your child to write or draw something in a journal about their life, their adoption, or their past.
  • Read a book about families and/or adoption.
  • Let the honored child sit at the head of the table throughout the day.
  • Make a crown to celebrate the special day.

In the past, adoption was considered a quiet, secretive event. Now, thankfully, families can celebrate the joy and happiness that has come to them through becoming an adoptive family.