For most families looking to adopt, the price tag is often a big consideration – for some it’s a deterrent. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, adoptions through private agencies can cost, on average, between $ 20,000 and $ 45,000, with some charging additional home study fees of up to $ 4,000. If a family is considering an international adoption, the price can reach $ 50,000.
While independent adoptions can help lower the price to some extent, up to an average range of $ 15,000 to $ 40,000, they still aren’t a cheap offer. Expecting parents often have to spend their savings or create fundraising pages in order to grow their family. And after all that, there is the added cost of the essentials that are needed for the child to join the family. So why haven’t we standardized the adoption baby shower yet?
Why we need adoption showers
For adoptive parents, baby showers can be a great way to cut down on some extra expenses during the first few months of a baby’s arrival in the family. While baby showers are largely the norm for biological families (at least in the US), they are often bypassed when adopting, perhaps simply for a lack of understanding of how to plan for it. a.
Kira, a birth mother from Utah who helped organize a baby shower for the adoptive family she was placing her child with, is a fan of the concept. “I really think a baby shower can help an adoptive couple with the financial burdens of having a child,” she said. Parents. “You have the normal things like the hospital bill and the baby’s purchases, but you also have the attorney’s fees, home study fees, living expenses for the birth mother if necessary. All of these things add up and an adoptive family can pay over $ 15,000 for a baby, and that just isn’t fair. Having a baby shower can at least help ease that financial burden a bit for them. “
How to throw an adoption shower
Ask for what they need.
Ask the adoptive parents in your life what approach to shower planning (pre-baby? After arrival? Halfway through study?) A loved one can take.
Confirm the age of the child.
When planning a baby shower for adoptive parents bringing home an older child, confirming the age of the child is crucial. The exact types of gifts (clothing sizes, baby diapers, or school supplies for older children) that will be useful to the family depend on the age of the child.
Consider a gift card shower.
“We had a shower thrown for us by our church,” says Susan, a mother from Texas who adopted a 13-year-old girl through international adoption. Parents. “Several of our very close friends asked if they could shower us, and we said yes. It was a gift card shower. We received gift cards for several different places — Walmart, Target and Old Navy. This was helpful because buying clothes for someone you have never seen physically is proving difficult. “
When they brought their daughter back from Colombia, thanks to the shower, she was able to do a lot of shopping and choose clothes that fit her well and that she really loves, adds Susan. “The gift of money may not seem personalized, but it really was the most useful thing. That way, she had what she really needed. And as an older adoptee, that’s important. ” For children who have been placed in foster care, being able to choose their own clothes, instead of being handed things haphazardly, as had been Susan’s daughter’s previous experience, can be crucial. to create comfort.
Set up an adoption registry.
Another way to make sure baby shower gifts are genuinely useful to new parents and their child is to encourage them to set up an adoption registry to help guide your choices and those of your loved ones.
“We adopted a 2.5-year-old,” said Taylor, a first-time mum from Michigan. Parents. “Considering he had already started potty training, we didn’t need so many diapers and the like, which can be a big expense. Instead, on our register we decided to put children’s books, some toys, blankets and clothes. We even had the option of putting money into our fund for a crib. ”By sticking to an adoption registry, you can not only make sure the family has what they need; Also avoid unnecessary items that would add clutter when they bring a new child home.
Wait for the post-placement.
Adoption showers are often best left for after the placement is confirmed and signed. “Wait until the baby is adopted to take a baby shower,” said Steffany Aye, founder and executive director of Adoption and Beyond. Parents. “A mother can change her mind about placing her baby for adoption until she signs the papers … It can be really disheartening for a family to see how much they have achieved in a baby shower, but there is no baby. “
Aye also adds that adoption showers are important because showering is a rite of passage; having one for an adoption hammers home that no matter how a child comes into a family, they are a family and are celebrated as such.
Ultimately, a parent deserves (and needs the help of) a baby shower, whether they are carrying a baby or not. If we’re willing to provide the kind of emotional and financial support that comes with a baby shower for birth mothers, why not extend the same courtesy to adoptive parents of all genders? As the disproportionately high costs of adoption persist, these parents need and deserve all the help they can get.