Although there is no tangible gift that can thank a woman enough for bearing a child that she will entrust completely to another, it is understandable that adoptive parents may want to pass forward a token of appreciation and acknowledgment to their child’s birth mother and, in some circumstances, birth father.
Chosen adoptive families should consider this thoughtful gesture of appreciation to their intended child’s birth parents. This may occur after the match has taken place, at the hospital during the child’s birth, or after the consents have been signed. These gifts should come from the heart and should be not considered pressuring or anxiety provoking at all! However, some states have laws with regard to the monetary amount that can be spent on these sorts of gifts, so please check with your adoption attorney about the laws applicable to your adoption.
As the adoptive parents, you may want to pamper your child’s birth mother at the hospital by sending flowers or bringing her a small basket filled with special and loving items such as cozy socks, a robe, magazines, a journal and snacks. These baskets can serve as symbols of love, warmth and support in the hospital as well as when the birth mother has left the hospital and gone home to her ordinary surroundings, only alone and without the child she has carried.
You may choose to present her with a shadow box that she can fill with memorabilia of her time spent carrying and delivering your child. Or you might select a beautiful keepsake box where she can keep treasured photos and letters that may be sent to her in the future, if that is within your adoption plan. These boxes can also be created in a masculine style that may be enjoyed by your child’s birth father as well.
Birth parents may appreciate a piece of jewelry including your child’s birth stone and those of any other children that they may have as well. There are beautiful representations of these kinds of jewelry items on websites such as etsy.com, and many can be engraved as well. You could consider having special stationary created to give to the birth mother, birth father and/or any other family members involved in the adoption. These types of gifts may encourage birth families to write regular letters or birthday cards to your child, if that is desired and within your agreed upon adoption plan.
Recordable childrens’ books are a popular idea for adoption gifts where both the birth parents and the adoptive parents welcome the idea of the child hearing his birth families’ voice in the future. A simple yet lovely photo frame may be passed along to other members of the birth family that can be utilized in treasuring memories of the child as well.
Some adoptive parents feel more comfortable passing along gifts through their social workers, agencies or attorneys. Please discuss this topic with your adoption professional. They may have plenty of ideas for thoughtful gifts as well! It is imperative that you recognize that giving your child’s birth parent(s) a gift does not signify that you are trying to “buy their affections”, only that you are acknowledging your deep and sincere appreciation for this very emotional journey that you have traveled together.
This post was written by Purl Adoption Advisory contributing writer, Trisha Pavicich, who has worked as a Birth Mother Specialist and Home Study and Post Placement Specialist for various adoption agencies.