Adoption Party Ideas

Jun 30

Last week I received an email from a reader, Mattie, who is helping her friends plan an adoption party in celebration of the adoption of their two daughters, age eight and ten. Mattie writes –

“I’m emailing to see if you or your readers have any inspiring ideas for an adoption party? My friends are finalizing their girls’ adoption at the end of July and are throwing them a huge party. We are trying to come up with something witty that has to do with joining the family, making the family bigger, etc. Or anything that would be cute and creative. She isn’t looking for anything too “themey” like luaus or princesses. The girls are 8 and 10. Thank you!”

When Mattie wrote me, I immediately starting thinking of ideas. I love the idea of a big huge party to celebrate a new family and right away thought that a thumbprint family tree guest book could be perfect. All of their family and friends could ink up their thumb and “sign” the tree. The print could later be hung up in a prominent spot in their home to remind them that family is more than skin deep.

family-tree-guest-book-idea{Photos by Jason and Anna Photography via Style Me Pretty.}


{Photo by Jonas Peterson via Inspired Goodness via .C is for Charmed.}

Because the girls have been with their new mom and dad for a couple of years now, I love the idea of a family photo line showcasing photos of favorite moments and special occasions they’ve shared together.

family-photo-line-adoption-party-ideas{Photos by Piknik Studios via Weddingbee.}

photo-clothesline-party-ideas{Photo by Jenny Jimenez via The Bride’s Cafe.}
wedding-photo-clothesline-adoption-party-ideas{Photo via The Knot.}

Borrowed from a common tradition in wedding ceremonies, I think a sand ceremony is equally as appropriate for an adoption celebration. Because, really, isn’t an adoption just as much about the merging of lives into one family as a wedding? They might also consider asking a close friend or minister to say a short blessing or make a special toast as a way of reflecting on the occasion. Another great idea would be to plant a tree together as a family to symbolize their unity and growing together.
unity-sand-ceremony-tree-planting{Photo by Micah Dahlberg Photography via Polka Dot Bride.}

kids-planting-a-tree{Photo via Tree Appeal.}

Finally, I think celebrating each daughter, the things they love and what makes them unique is a great idea.  If they love strawberry or chocolate, board games or soccer, puppy dogs or horses, find ways to include details that reflect them both. Interactive activities like candy buffets, crafts or team games like tug of war or badminton make a party memorable and keep guests talking about it for a long time to come.
sweet-candy-bar-buffet{Photo by John Rozier.}

vintage-coloring-books-birthday-party-paper-dolls-580x386{Photo by Jeremy Harwell from Vintage Puppy Themed Birthday Party.}

Mattie would love to know what you think, too. Do you have any great ideas for an adoption party? Please share!

22 thoughts on “Adoption Party Ideas”

  1. When my husband and I got married, we had a family bonding ceremony a little different than the sand ceremony. But the concept was the same. We wanted the two children from two different marriages to know that our union also include them. The minister read some passages about families and then my husband gave my two children a gift of jewelry to symbolize the unity of our family. My son got a pin with three leaves on it (mom, dad, and him) and my daughter got a heart with three shapes in it of a mom, dad, and child. This could be used for an adoption, too. All those who attended our wedding loved this part of the ceremony most of all!

  2. i got a little teary eyed with all this because it’s so sweet she’s having a adoption party and then your ideas just added to the sweetness. both my parents are adopted so this kind of party (which is revolutionary & a whole new take on a party) holds a special place in my heart! if i come up with any ideas i will pass them on. but yours our perfect!
    .-= jamie’s most recent blog post: =-.

  3. Awesome ideas Cyd! I knew you would find just the right inspiration for her. Since we are adopting as well, i’m starting to collect thoughts and ideas for our loved one, one day!

  4. Thanks, everyone! So glad you like the ideas. I love this idea for a party – a big gigantic celebration of love and family and two little girls who are becoming a family with people who love them more than anything. My husband and I talk a lot about adoption so this one strikes close to home and I’m glad everyone likes the ideas. :-)

  5. I’m Mattie’s friend that’s throwing the party. Thanks so much for the ideas. We’re totally going to use the thumb print idea and the pictures strung every where. Here’s what we have on tap so far…

    * Gigantic inflatable water slide (both girls have winter
    birthdays and want nothing more than this slide)
    * We are grilling hamburgers & hotdog, serving lemonade and sweet tea in mason jars. I’m trying to figure out a way to put a label on the jars that say, “Lawrence Family Established July 14, 2010”. I don’t want the labels to peel off due to the condensation. Each jar will be a keepsake for everyone that comes.
    * For the seating my husband is building benches to put around the yard.
    * We are going to set up an area where families can take family pictures.
    * For dessert we’re doing an ice cream sundae bar.

    Any other ideas are wanted and welcomed. Thanks so much for the great ones you already gave me!!

  6. Hi, we too are throwing a major adoption party this weekend to celebrate our children’s adoptions! So congratulations. We are having jumpy castles, obstacle course, games, prizes and for the adults we have food catered from a very popular resuraunt as well as I put together a video of the pictures of the children since coming into our lives to now. I had a suggestion regarding the mason jars. I do some canning and like labels on my creations and have found that you can get name tag stickers that you print personalized messages on your printer at wal-mart. They are the perfect size and do not come off with condensation however they will not make it very many trips in the dishwasher without fading and beginning to peel. But it would definitley work for that day and last as long as they didn’t wash them too frequently. My mother also made every guest a bookmark with our family picture and a poem about adoption and family to hand out. Hope this helps.

  7. HELP! My fiance & I want to have a wedding incorporating the adoption of my daughter by him. Is there any way we can do this at the same time? Any ideas, please.

  8. I have a great friend that has adopted three children that are siblins. A twin girl and boy about six and their older sister 9. They already did the party and celibrated. However it was small for family members. Her other friends and I think the mom needs a party since she didn’t do the whole baby show thing. How can do this moms only? Would any of you moms that have adopted want this kind of party?

  9. @Faith – My husbsnd and I are adopting an 11 year old in the spring. To answer your question, yes, you should throw your friend a shower. We received a huge gift basket from my co-workers full of family games, beach towels, picture frames, etc… I would have loved a shower, though, especially since this is our first child and I am not able to conceive. Was a little bit disappointed in my close friends and family, especially when I threw them all baby showers over the years.

  10. @Faith, I have adopted 4 children, and am in the process of adopting our 5th. I have never been given a “baby shower.” I would love it if my friends would have given us a shower when the adoptions were finalized. We did have a party for the children to celebrate them becoming a part of the family.

  11. I am planning an adoption party for our 8 y/o at the one year anniversary of the adoption. A relative mentioned this wonderful idea: purchase a small decorative chest and find special gifts for each year of her life up to her current age. Things that she will be able to keep forever that we don’t have because we didn’t have her as an infant, such as a monagrammed bib or a receiving blanket. This will give her her own baby/toddler treasures.

  12. My husband and I adopted three children last year but due to the unpredictable nature of adoption (you never know when the courts will finalize until it is done) and the hectic schedule of the holidays, we chose to wait until this summer to have a big blowout party. Thank you so much for the ideas!!!!

    @Faith, I think a mom shower would be an awesome idea! My church showered my husband and I with cards, money, and gift cards and it was very sweet but there is something pretty special about being showered with attention as well!!

  13. I’m planning an adoption party for my cousin who is finalizing in late June 2012. We had a party when we adopted our first two in 2010. We rented an old boy scout camp with building/bathrooms/kitchen facility as well as lots of outdoor space and a playground. We did simple food, deli fried chicken and cake and asked family to pitch in a side dish. We played games. One was Alecia and Tomas Trivia (since they had both been with us for fostercare everybody already knew them) bobbing for apples, kind of a carnival like theme. Their cake was from Walmart where you can scan a picture and have it put on a cake. We had went to FL on vacay and my all time favorite picture of them is where the water is behind them and they have their arms around eachother. There were three and five at the time, talk about CUTE! So long story short, now I am thrilled to be able to plan one for my cousin!!! And yes, a mommy shower would have been nice. Adoption is very long and stressful, even just a few friends gathering for pedicures and lunch would have been a nice guesture.

  14. Me and my husband got married December of 2011 and he is adopting my 3 year old son. The adoption will be finalized on April 3rd 2012. I am throwing him a Daddy Shower/adoption party. I am using father and son ideas to through the party……frog and caterpillar invites. They are registering at a couple of stores and everything involves the two of them and the family. I am thinking about renting some blow up slides for the kids and adults. Does anybody else have any other ideas to help me out?
    Thank you!

  15. We about to finalize an adoption after fostering our 7 and 9 yr. old daughters for over 3 yrs. I am planning to dress them in gorgeous Repunzel dress I found at the disney store, put their hair in fancy updoos with tiaras. We are having a ceremony at our church where we will sign the contract from the movie courageous(they have one for Mom’s too). We plan to play clips from the movie also. We are going to sorta of do it like a wedding, taking them to be our daughters. Afterwards, I plan to hire the horse and carriage that whisk my husband and I away after our wedding to take us to a local park where eveyone will join us for a cookout. The carriage driver wears a tux with tails and top hat. White horses and carriage. We will have a banner on the back that says forever family. The carriage will be a surprise to them! Love the other ideas, especially the treasure box with things for each year of their life!. Thanks for sharing!

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