When a new family is formed through adoption, it's definitely cause to celebrate. But figuring out what to give---and when to throw the party---can be tricky. It's good to consult with the adoptive parents to see what makes them most comfortable, as some prefer to wait until after the adoption is final to officially celebrate, and some may want to keep the party small if their new child has been having trouble adjusting to the big changes in his or her life.
The Child's Heritage
If the child comes from a different country, you could include a menu, decorations, favors and entertainment that reflect their background---anything from blinis with caviar for a child from Russia to dim sum for a child from China. But even if it's a domestic adoption, consider framing your menu around the local cuisine---crabcakes for a baby from Maryland, gumbo for a baby from Louisiana.
Many families do fill out a baby registry with gift ideas, so check first before you buy. Even if they haven't created a registry, they may be able to suggest ideas---this will be especially important if their new child is older and may have some particular hobbies you can encourage with your gift. If they don't have specific suggestions, consider creating a gift theme for the party (i.e. favorite children's books) and have guests all share their favorites with the new addition.
Adoption is just the way this family was formed---but once the child is in his or her new family, it's just like any other family. So don't feel like you have to make the party all about adoption. You can create a theme that simply fits the child's age and preferences (a princess party for a grade-schooler girl, a nursery-rhyme theme for a baby boy).
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