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Celebrate Your Child's Adoption Day!

Updated on May 29, 2013

Ideas for a Happy Adoption Day Celebration

Your child's adoption day is a very special day of the year. It is a time to acknowledge what a gift your child is to your family and celebrate that you found each other! Some families celebrate this day on the date they brought the child home; others celebrate it on the day the adoption is final. Also, not all families have the same name for this special celebration. Adoption Day, Gotcha Day or Family Day are all being used. No matter when it is celebrated or what it is called, it is important to take time for your child's adoption day. Whether your child was adopted domestically or internationally, here are some ideas that may help to make the day feel extra special to your child.

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Idea #1 - Talk with your child about his or her adoption story

Most adoption experts recommend that you speak openly to your adopted child about their adoption and answer any questions they may have about how they became a part of your family or about their birth family. I have found that my kids love listening to stories about those first few days over and over again! How I had to change three very dirty diapers on an international flight without a changing table, when they first met our dog and how we came to be a forever family. Many adoptive parents create a life book for their child to describe the child's story starting at birth and explaining the child's adoption story in easy to understand words.

Idea #2 - Go out to eat

Okay, I admit! I love going out to eat! It is a great time to reconnect with your kids and talk while you wait for your dinner. If your child is adopted internationally, it may be nice to go out to a restaurant that serves the food of your child's birth country. My kids are adopted from Guatemala and even though we have found it difficult to find specifically Guatemalan restaurants, there are plenty of Mexican restaurants that serve pretty similar dishes. Where we live, there are even many Ethiopian restaurants, although I realize that may not be the case in all cities and towns, especially if you live in a rural area. If your child is adopted domestically, another idea is to just have your child pick their favorite place!

Idea #3 - Read books with an adoption theme

Books are great for kids both from an early literacy perspective as well as to learn about certain topics. The good news is more and more picture books are available with an adoption theme. These books help you to discuss adoption even with a very young child and help your child to feel more comfortable asking questions about their own story. Best of all, they are fun to read!

Idea #4 - Cook a great meal at home

If your child is adopted internationally, try cooking a meal from your child's birth country. Since my kids are adopted from Guatemala, I tried looking for a cook book with Guatemalan recipes. Lo and behold, I found one! Even though it doesn't have fancy photography, it does have a wide variety of recipes from different regions. I even found a copy of it at our local library! If your kids are adopted domestically, they will certainly appreciate it if you cook their favorite dinner. Better yet, let them help you in the kitchen and cook together!

Idea #5 - Give your child a special present

This doesn't have to be something expensive; in fact, often the most meaningful gifts don't have a price tag at all. Some families think ahead and stock up on souvenirs from their children's birth countries to give them on their adoption days. If you weren't quite this prepared, no worries! Here are some great alternatives!

There are a number of different products available with these designs. Please check for more options.
Also, if you are looking for a helpful resource of meaningful gifts with an adoption theme, please check out this site

Here are some other "Happy Adoption Day" card designs:

This poster can be easily customized with the baby's hand and footprints and other personal information. Beautiful keepsake for that first adoption day! Available in pink and blue.

Idea #6 - Plan a fun activity

Go to a place that your child loves to visit. Even if it doesn't necessarily directly relate to adoption, just have fun as a family! Go to the zoo, an amusement park or the children's museum. Last year, we went to an indoor play park with lots of climbing structures and tunnels to crawl through. The kids had so much fun on my youngest child's adoption day, that when it was time for my other child's adoption day, we went back to the same exact place again!

Idea #7 - Something sweet for your sweetie

Buy a cake or another special treat. Doesn't something sweet make your day? If you are short on time and don't have the chance to bake a cake yourself, buy a basic cake from your local bakery or grocery store in your child's favorite flavor as well as some cake decorating supplies. Add some colorful sprinkles, write "Happy Adoption Day!" with icing and voila, you have a beautiful Adoption Day cake!

Idea #8 - Play music, sing and dance

Get out the instruments and have fun! The book "Happy Adoption Day" by John McCutcheon includes the score to the lyrics of this song in the back of the book. If you don't know how to read music, make up your own tune or lyrics! Personalize your song with your child's name and include details of your child's adoption story. I can promise you that your child will not care if you are a great singer or not!

Idea #9 - Decorate the house

Balloons and streamers always create a festive atmosphere. Take some banner paper and finger paints to make your own personalized "Happy Adoption Day" banner. Add photographs from your first few days together to make it even more special. Or create a collage from each year you have spent together.

Idea #10 - Be giving

Make a donation to an organization that supports foster children in the U.S or your child's birth country. Some organizations have long-term sponsorship opportunities that allow you to help a family in need with expenses for clothing, food, medical/dental care and education. Often, these sponsorships don't just help an individual person, but can impact a family or even an entire community. If a long-term commitment is too difficult for your family to make, a one-time donation can go a long ways if many families consider this!

Have any other ideas to celebrate a child's adoption day? Please spread the word here!

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These are some wonderful Ideas for a Happy Adoption Day Celebration, thanks for sharing.

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you! ~Blessed~

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We are celebrating our daughter's 20th homecoming day. She made sure she would be home from college & friends for this special day. Any ideas for practically adult homecoming days?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Sounds awesome Kimberly, thanks for sharing. We are adopting a twelve year old next month and it hasn't been easy thinking of appropriate ideas for this age, we want special, not-too-childish & not too formal, thanks for the help. :)

    • Lorenzo24 profile image


      7 years ago

      We are in the process of adoption and I really appreciate your ideas. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: We adopted siblings who were 6 & 10 a few years ago. We had a wedding like ceremony where our pastor shared about adoption, asked us and our families if we would care for and unconditionally love the kids, etc. Then the kids walked down the aisle to us and the pastor spoke to the kids about what it means to be a part of a family. He then told them what their names meant. I had a necklace designed for both kids so I presented those to them. I gave my husband two little tags for his key chain, and I shared the ring that I got for myself (It is from James Avery and has four waves that represent my husband and I and the kids - I never take it off). We prayed together as a family and then jumped on a trampoline to "we are family" since the kids had been in foster care and were not allowed to jump on trampolines as foster kids (Colorado law).

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We just celebrated "Adoption Day" yesterday! It was a big hit for my 3 year old. She loves birthday cakes so much and my first thought was to bake her a special cake. However, I wanted her to know this was different than a birthday. So we put together a celebration that I think we think we can do every year and will work for future adoptions. So we went to Friendly's and plan to only go there this time every year! (not hard it's out of the way) Also, we decorated with streamers and hung pictures from the first day or two that she was with us. Also we showed her video's of the first time we saw her and the days and weeks after. She teared up when she saw the first time that I held did I. At night we read an adoption book before going to sleep. I like using the word "Adoption" even though she does not fully understand it yet, because I want it to be a normal word and not taboo. Today she woke up and announced that she was lost and that we had found her! At this point she has no idea that there are many ways to create a family so we just smiled and hugged her.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Although we have had our seven-year-old son since he was two months old, we are just now able to adopt him. We are looking for an appropriate way to celebrate the formalization. Any ideas? We have a sizable family who want to participate in a celebration.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 

      7 years ago from Guatemala

      Love this idea! I don't actually have any adopted children, but I know many families that do and feel that celebrating that special day when they became a part of the family is so important. On a side note, I live in Guatemala! :)

    • Prepperdad LM profile image

      Prepperdad LM 

      7 years ago

      Great lens. We have made little lifebooks for our kids and they love them.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image


      7 years ago

      Lens Bookmarked.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've thought about adopting before but what worried me the most is revealing to any potential kid is their adoption story and how they'd take it.

    • LizRobertson profile image


      8 years ago

      Love all the ideas here! While we were in Ethiopia for our adoption we bought 18 items in order to give our daughter one gift from her home country on her "family" day each year. On the night before family day we have "homeland day" where we make Ethiopian food, play Ethiopian music and look at books and photos from our trip, make a wish for her birth parents (which we write on a paper and burn in the bonfire) and give her the gift. The next day we do something fun as a family.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      Erin Hardison 

      8 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Love these ideas! We're considering adopting, and we'll keep this list for creating a great celebration.

    • brendayoungerman profile image


      8 years ago

      Love the lens! - I just featured it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good ideas. My daughter has always known she was adopted. We have a family celebration of sorts. But right now she's middle teens, so she's too cool for that. We're looking forward to continuing the tradition when she comes to her senses again. Thanks for the ideas

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      9 years ago

      Good thoughts! I like all of the ideas. Will need to remember them in the future!!

    • adoptiondesigns profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Heather, I posted the adoption poster for hand and foot prints above. You can also find it at in blue and pink (not sure if your child is a boy or girl). Working on a second version with flowers instead of hearts. The text, background color and personal details can all be easily customized. Thanks so much for the wonderful idea! Hope you like the design!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      @adoptiondesigns: can't wait!! will be looking forward to it

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great site! I have been trying to find an adoption certificate(like a birth certificate) so I can put the kid's hand/footprints on it that day and have it framed. I also found a great book called God Found Us You. Any ideas for the cerificate? I may just have to make up my own which is fine too.

    • adoptiondesigns profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank so much! I love your idea of an adoption certificate. I'll see if I can design something that may work for you. I'll publish it on once it's finished. Will try to post a blurb about it here too to let you know. Thanks!

    • justholidays profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens with many great ideas on the kind of gifts to get to your adopted child!

      Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      9 years ago from West Virginia

      Lovely ideas. I was thinking of doing a line of adoption birth announcements. You've also got some great designs that would work well with that. : )

    • maryspeller lm profile image

      maryspeller lm 

      9 years ago

      I like it. Great lens.


    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      This is so sweet! Lots of beautiful ideas for letting adopted children know how special and loved they are.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I imagine this would be quite the big day to prepare for but I have no personal experience.


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