Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | March 21, 2013

The Baby Shower

Every woman loves a good baby shower. You have the silly games, good food, gifts, and just a great time of looking forward to the joys of parenthood. But what about when you are having a baby shower for an adoptive family? There are so many different aspects that need to be considered. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind if you are planning an adoption baby shower for a friend or having one yourself.

  • When do we have the baby shower? There are many options for this. For international adoptions, you might want to do the shower between your visits (if there is more than one). For domestic adoption, it can be difficult to plan because sometimes the referral comes when the baby is being born. I have known several people who have decided just to wait until the baby comes home, and that way people can meet the baby as well. This is sometimes difficult in international adoption because alot of families like to cocoon/nest after the baby comes home for bonding and attachment reasons. One thing to keep in mind is that, if the shower is too early, it can add to the emotional difficulty of the long wait.
  • Who hosts the party? During a pregnancy it is typically hosted by family or close friends. With an adoption situation, your friends and family might not be sure how to handle the shower, or if it would be proper. Out of their ignorance regarding the subject, they might not ever bring it up. So speak up for yourself. Mention to a sister, mom, or close friend that you would like to have a shower. This starts the conversation going. Most family and friends really want to throw you a shower, they just do not know the ins and outs of adoption and how to do so. A great person to throw you a shower is another adoptive mom, so that might be an option for you.
  • What type of gifts do we register for? For domestic adoption, this is an easy question because the baby will most likely be a newborn, so you just need to register for the basic baby items. International adoption can be more involved, because of the unknowns regarding how old the baby will be when they come home or how big they will be. This is why it might be a good idea to wait until after you have received your referral when you are closer to bringing the child home. You will have a better idea of the baby’s size and needs. One great tool for registering is the website It allows you to register online at multiple stores rather than just in one place.
  • Think of items that are specific to your child. Each child is unique and may have different needs. For instance, if your adopted child has special needs, register for items that might help them. If your child has weak leg muscle, be sure to register for toys that help strengthen these muscles.  Also, register for items that might be specific to adoption. For instance, adoption related children’s books and items that celebrate your child’s culture.
  • Educate people on adoption. The shower is a great opportunity to educate people about the adoption process. Have a storybook or roadmap of your adoption process so that people can understand what you have been through.
  • Celebrate! A baby shower is one of the best ways to get excited for your child, and also prepare for the child. Take time to have a shower, and enjoy this time!


  1. As someone who was expecting a domestic newborn when we adopted and got an almost 2 year old I am SOOOOO glad we did not have a shower before we got our daughter. Of over 300 adoptions a year that our agency completes we were one family of or 2 or 3 that do NOT get a newborn….so the odds were VERY low. And it was so wonderful to have her with me at our shower. She ooo’ed and aaaah’ed and it was nice! I also was able to read a poem I wrote about our journey….I wouldn’t have been able to share all that had we not waited!

  2. Thanks Kelli!

  3. As someone who’s adopted several times and now helps others adopt, I discourage people from having a baby shower prior to the birth/placement of the baby. One never knows what might happen to prohibit the placement to go through, nor what size, exact needs the baby/child may have. As someone posted above, it’s also very nice to have the baby/child with you when you *do* have your shower! 🙂

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