Baby Adoption shower 101 at iVillage Pregnancy & Parenting

Spending five months building a dossier of adoption paperwork can be enough to dampen anyone's enthusiasm for adopting. But there's a perfect way to inject a little fun into the wait for a match: an adoption shower. Here's how to plan one.

The Big Date Decision
Finding the right time to celebrate your impending arrival can be tricky. Your friends and family members may be itching to pick out baby clothes and blankets the second you announce that you're planning to adopt, but you may feel superstitious about having a fully decked-out nursery before your home study's even final. Work with your shower hosts to plan your party on a date that feels comfortable to you: after the home study's final, after you're matched with a child '- or even after your child arrives home.

Creating a Dream Theme
A traditional baby shower often features a sweet, baby-centric motif: teddy bears, nursery rhymes, or Peter Rabbit. For an adoption shower, you may opt to include aspects of your child's culture in the celebration. To celebrate a Russian adoption, serve blinis with caviar; as favors for an adoption shower for parents of a Chinese baby, consider sets of chopsticks, tied with red ribbons; brightly colored Guatemalan fabrics can adorn the tables at a shower for the future parents of a Guatemalan baby. If you're adopting domestically, play up the state in which your child will be born. Your friends and family can have some creative fun hosting a wine-tasting shower for the baby from California; Maryland crab cakes make an apropos entree at a celebration in honor of a Baltimore-born baby.


An Inviting Proposition
Invitations to an adoption shower don't have to be altogether different: Simply avoid the type that clearly reflects a biological mother's perspective (like an illustrated figure of a pregnant woman). If your hosts can't find anything they like, they can make their own, and log on to for help with the wording.

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