Finding the perfect gift can be stressful. Add to that, the stress of finding the perfect adoption-related gift, and it can be overwhelming.
There are actually a lot of wonderful gift ideas for children that acknowledge their adoption. There are appropriate gifts for all ages, including books, jewelry, toys, experiences, and more.
I absolutely love plush toys that can record a personal message for your child. A favorite plush toy that can also give the comfort of hearing the voice of someone you love is a gift that is priceless. This is a fun gift from any side of the adoption triad and is one that is appropriate for older kids as well as younger. Big kids might claim to not like a plush toy, but most of them secretly love them.
Another fun idea for smaller children is recordable books. These books record you reading each page to the child, and it allows them to hear the story anytime they want to with the push of a button. There are many recordable books that are appropriate for adoption. The fun part of these books is that they make great gifts for any part of the adoption triad. A birth mother or father could record a book for their biological child as a gift. Parents who have adopted can record a book for their child. And even children can record a book when they have begun reading for their birth family or for their parents. This is a very sweet and personal gift.
I find that anything that is personalized is usually a great idea. You could give the gift of a handwritten message that is engraved (in your own writing) onto a necklace, bracelet, or key chain. There are many Etsy stores that offer this type of personalized gift. I have one that has my father’s writing that I had made when he passed away. But this would make a wonderful adoption-related gift as well. A birth parent could give this gift to the child they placed for adoption. Parents that have adopted could also give this gift to their children. Not only can you have a handwritten message, but you could also do an impression of your fingerprints together making a heart, or a variety of other personalized ideas. These gifts tend to take a bit of time to have made, so if you are hoping to do something like this, it would be a good idea to order it several weeks in advance of the occasion.
Photos are also a good gift. I think that is especially true in an open adoption where the child is able to spend time with or communicate with their birth family. I did a photo session with myself and my son’s birth mother. There are photos with both of us with him together in our home. I think there is great symbolism to having a photo with the three of us together. It shows that we both have come together to love this child. We accept our different motherly roles, and each other, and acknowledge our mutual love and respect for each other, as well as the love we share for our little boy. I think it helps my son feel able to love us both and not feel any guilt or worry in doing so.
There are also photo book options. You can create a photo book of your child’s life from birth to present. With online options, creating a photo book is easier than I thought! Some will automatically upload photos for you according to dates, which makes it very easy to just fill in the text boxes with captions. The photos are already in the right order from oldest to most recent! As a side note, these books also make great gifts for birth parents too!
If you don’t want to let the websites do all the work of the photo book, you can always place each picture individually too. This way you can organize the photos as you wish.
There is a large variety of jewelry options when giving gifts. I mentioned the handwritten personalization, as well as fingerprint engraved gifts. There are also birthstone gifts you can get. A simple necklace with your birthstone and your child’s birthstone is a nice gift. You could even add in the birth parents’ stones if you wanted to include them in the gift. For children who have a relationship with their birth families, this would be a nice gift with their stone between their biological and adoptive parents’ stones.
If birthstones aren’t something you are interested in, a piece of jewelry with the adoption symbol might be a nice alternative. You could also put a favorite phrase or quote on a piece of jewelry to share.
There are websites devoted to adoption-themed gifts. Whether you are looking for jewelry, clothing, mugs, books, and more, you can find them here. This site has gifts for all members of the adoption family, including children’s gifts.
A wonderful gift for children who have been adopted is a book that features an adoption story. Books for children allow them to understand adoption and to feel included rather than different. With open adoption becoming the norm, books that talk about adoption can help children understand the different roles their parents and birth parents have in their lives. If you are looking for adoption-related children’s books, here are a few available that you may want to check out.
Handmade gifts are always special. Are you good at art? Could you surprise your child with a mural on their wall? Or maybe a canvas painting that you made just for them? If art isn’t your thing, maybe you could do a simple photo collage and frame it for their wall? Would your child enjoy making a project together? You could go to a local pottery store and make something together. Or take a painting class together and display the results. There are many classes that are offered that can be taken together. Whether you like painting, sign-making, pottery, glass mosaic, woodworking, or photography, you can find a class that will help you create art while spending time together.
There are other classes that can also be wonderful gifts. Martial arts classes, music lessons, cooking classes, or volunteering with animals can be a fun way to engage children and teach them lessons in the process.
I think the gift of time and a unique experience is a great alternative to “traditional” gifts. Taking a child for a day to explore something that they enjoy, for instance, a local museum or amusement park, is a great gift for a child. Maybe you could spend the day at a nearby water park (indoor or outdoor, depending on where you live). They will have fun because it is something they enjoy, and they will also get to spend some quality time with you. Quality time with your child is always time well spent, and kids will remember these types of experiences with fondness. Spending time together doing something they love is a great gift for any child.
Taking a day trip, or even an overnight adventure, is something kids will enjoy. It doesn’t even have to be something that costs a lot of money. If museums or theme parks are out of the budget, consider a movie night or even a picnic at a park that you haven’t visited before.
Kids do not even need to leave the house to make memories or feel special. A gift for a child could be as simple as making a fort in the living room and spending the night in the fort with them. Reading stories or watching a movie from the fort with extra treats and a disregard for usual candy limitations will be a memorable time. If the weather is nice, a tent outside in the yard can be a fun overnight plan. Cooking food over a fire is something kids love to do, and the adventure of cooking on the fire, and the time spent together is something to remember.
What about giving them a whole night to choose the activities? If your child is into video games, maybe you play with them? Or maybe an evening of no electronics and just board games? Let the kids decide how to spend the day, with a promise that as long as the ideas are safe (no jumping off the roof into the pool because some viral video said it was fun) you agree to participate. If the kids choose to have ice cream for breakfast, that is a big yes. Whatever they want to do, you must answer yes (with that safety rule in mind). These “yes” days are becoming more and more popular with parents and kids and can make for a fun and memorable day together. I can’t imagine a kid who would not love the gift of a “yes” day.
Kids don’t always need an expensive gift. Often, the gift of time and attention is something they will love far longer than the latest electronics.
If you think your child is responsible enough, consider taking them to a local animal shelter and adding a rescue pet to your home. Before doing this, you would need to really consider all the responsibilities that pet ownership requires, and be sure that the family agrees with taking on the care of an animal. If the responsibility of a dog or cat feels a bit too daunting, many rescues exist that have small critters, lizards or reptiles, for adoption. The love of a pet is a gift that keeps giving.
For older adult children, you could get adoption-related tattoos together. Obviously, this isn’t something everyone would want to do. But if you like tattoos, sharing a tattoo with your child is very special. Handwriting tattoos are wonderful (again, you could always just get handwriting engraved on jewelry). There are many cute matching tattoo ideas as well. I love the tattoos I share with my daughter. Now that she is an adult and on her own, they make me smile when I miss her.
All gifts certainly don’t have to be related to adoption either. Most kids beg for the latest in electronics and gaming devices. Age-appropriate toys and books make wonderful gifts.
Some kids love gift cards so they can shop for themselves. These are good for the kids who have a lot already and are hard to shop for.
Gift cards for things you can do together is also a fun idea. A gift card to the local movie theater, for instance, or to a favorite restaurant is a nice idea. Tickets to a sporting event or concert would also be a nice gift.
Another fun gift would be to start a collection for the child. This could be a collection of anything they may be interested in, or maybe something new. For instance, a collection of holiday ornaments that are themed could be a fun tradition to begin. If you start with a small collection, and then add a new ornament every year, this can begin a fun gift-giving tradition that you can both look forward to. Maybe you can start a collection of hats from different states? Finding something that interests the child and that can be made into a gift-giving tradition is a fun idea. It can even be something silly, like finding unusual candy from other areas to try together. You could make the tradition of collecting menus from different restaurants you go to. Collections and traditions can be made from almost anything. Having a fun collection and tradition of gifts is a great way to take the stress from the gift (because it is a collection, the expectation would be to continue the tradition of adding to the collection). One of my children is really into art, and so for a period of time, we bought her canvas art from a collection she loved. She was always excited when she got a gift because she knew it would add to her collection.
I do hope you have found some useful suggestions. Good luck with your gift-giving!