Should We Have a Gender Reveal Party?

Gender reveal parties are all the rage these days, but should you have one if you're adopting?

Karen White February 11, 2016
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Finding out the sex of your baby is always exciting for new parents. It affects the way you decorate the nursery and the itty-bitty clothes you buy. But lately, “gender reveal” parties have become a popular trend. While it used to be a small gathering of the grandparents and maybe a few close friends, now it seems to be a huge to-do with games and custom invitations.

But should you have a gender reveal party if you are adopting?

I say no.

That may not be a popular opinion, but the truth is that that baby isn’t yours yet. Of course you are excited to be matched with an expectant mom. And you probably even know the sex of the baby she is having. Maybe you’ll choose to keep it a surprise or maybe you’ll tell everyone. But having a party to share that with all of your friends is assuming that this expectant mom will place her child with you.

Adoption is risky. Many will “fail” or the expectant mom will have a change of heart. All adoptive parents know that risk. So save yourself the potential embarrassment and sadness of having to remove you Facebook album with pics of the gender reveal party for the baby that may not become yours. Not to mention, if you have a party, people feel inclined to bring gifts. So you may wind up with a lot of stuff for a baby you will never have, or having to return it if plans change.

It also may feel coercive to the expectant mom. By holding a gender reveal party, you are in essence “claiming” the child as yours—which means you are saying the baby isn’t hers, which is wrong. Until the paperwork is signed, and any waiting period is over, that child still legally and ethically belongs to his or her biological parents. It may make the expectant mom feel like she has to follow through with her adoption plan because how can she disappoint you after you had this big party for all your family and friends? The match period is tough on everyone. You are just getting to know one another and you WANT the other side to like you. Even if she seems excited about the party, it is still not the right thing to do.

Lastly, remember all those baby showers you were invited to while waiting? And how you groaned and didn’t want to go? Well that is how everyone except maybe your closest of family and friends will feel about a gender reveal party. Have a “Meet the Baby” party after you have brought your child home. All of your friends and family will enjoy that a lot more than playing silly games to find out the sex of a baby. And you won’t have to wonder later on if any actions you took hurt your child’s birth parents.

If you’re ready to take the next step and adopt a baby, reach out to an adoption professional today! Click here to connect with someone who can tell you more about domestic infant adoption.

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Karen White

Karen White is the self-proclaimed leading authority on being "that mom." You know the one. The PTO Vice President, room mom, baseball team mom, AND leader of well-behaved kids (OK, the well-behaved part may be stretching it . . . like really stretching . . .) When she isn’t threatening to tackle one of her boys on the ball field if they don’t run faster, or convincing her 4-year-old daughter that everything doesn’t HAVE to sparkle, she is also a wife and stay-at-home mom of three. One of the three happens to have been adopted, but good luck figuring out which one it is, since they all have pasty white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes.


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