Adoption Celebrations and Rituals
An adoption party or ritual is a terrific way to celebrate a newly adopted child and introduce him or her to extended family and friends. This occasion may be formal or informal, religious or secular- it doesn’t really matter. The important thing to remember is to make it an occasion that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. It is a time to celebrate the uniqueness of adoption and to mark the beginning of the adopted child’s new life within his new family.
Another positive aspect of an adoption ritual is that it helps an older child to view his or her adoptive family as his forever family. It boosts his confidence that this family really loves and cares about him, and that he holds a special place within the family unit. This is his special day where he is the center of attention. Adoption Celebrations and Rituals
Ways to Celebrate
There are as many ways to commemorate an adoption as there are families who have adopted. The possibilities are endless. Be creative. The ritual can be a religious observance that new parents of faith participate in whether they have adopted or have given birth, such as a naming ceremony or a Christian christening or dedication. At some point during the ceremony, the adoption is mentioned and honored in some way. Perhaps a scripture verse is shared, a poem is read, or song is sung.
The ceremony may also be non-religious, and focused solely on the adoption and introducing the child to family and friends. Some families host a dinner party or barbeque, or attend candle-lighting ceremony. It can be formal or informal, whatever the family prefers. There is really no hard fast rule on adoption ceremonies.
Including the Birth Mother
In this age of open adoption, the adoptive family may wish to include the birth mother in the celebration as a way of honoring her. In the book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adoption [Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 1998] by author Chris Adamec, one such ritual was given as an example where the adoptive family “arranged a ceremony in which [the birth mother] handed the child to the [adoptive] couple and read a statement she had made. Afterward, the couple read promises that they were making [to her] and to the child.” The author goes on to say that it was a special and emotional time for all involved.
When to Celebrate the Adoption
The adoptive family may choose to hold an adoption celebration or ceremony soon after the child has moved in with the family. Other families decide to wait until finalization occurs, viewing that as the moment when the adoption is official. Some religions may have specific requirements for when certain rituals can take place which will decide the date and time. It really all depends on what the family has chosen to do and what they are comfortable with.
Adoption is a joyous time in the life of the adoptive family and the adopted child, and really deserves to be recognized in some way. Whether the family chooses to throw a huge bash to celebrate their new arrival, or keep it low-key and personal, it will no doubt be a touching and wonderful event that will hold a special place in their hearts for many years to come.