Q. If a couple is adopting, what are some things to consider when throwing a baby shower?
A. Treat the mom — or parents if the shower is coed — with the same amount of pampering, fuss and excitement as you would if the woman were pregnant, says Nicole Witt, executive director of The Adoption Consultancy, based outside of Tampa, Florida. Witt, whose husband, Chris, grew up in Cold Spring Harbor, helps guide women through the adoption process.
“That’s so important,” Witt says. A lot of what the mom dreamed about growing her family has probably been taken from her, Witt says, so make sure she gets to enjoy this rite of passage just as she would if she were carrying the child.
Witt offered these additional tips:
n Since shower timing doesn’t necessarily revolve around delivery, ask the parents what they want and when. Some will want the shower before the birth, while others will prefer it after placement, when they no longer have to worry about the adoption falling through.
n Choose a theme that doesn’t involve pregnancy for invitations, decorations, goody bags, the whole event. Focus on a storybook character or tie it to the nursery design. Be careful if purchasing game items because products might be inappropriate.
n Never discuss adoption “horror stories” at the shower. If someone starts, take them aside and hush them up quickly, Witt says. Also make sure guests avoid intrusive questions about why the couple adopted and the circumstances of the baby.
n Using eVite invitations provides an opportunity to include links that can educate attendees about adoption, such as this one about positive and negative adoption language: adoptivefamilies.com/talking-about-adoption/positive-adoption-language/. If the adoptive parents blogged their journey, you could link to that. Also, if the child was not adopted as a newborn, indicate on the invitation the age and size of the child so guests can buy appropriate clothing, toys or gear.