Our shopping list gives some very compelling reasons not to go to a mega-chain store for your Black Friday shopping. You can:

  • Stay home
  • Remain warm on the couch
  • Avoid lines and general insanity
  • Prevent traumatization of exhausted retail workers
  • Give back to adoption and related causes
  • Get awesome stuff for yourself and others

Have we convinced you? Here are 16 items you should add to your feel-good, adoption-approved shopping list:

1. A cozy hat or hoodie from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption: Comfortable (and genuinely stylish) clothes, hats, blankets, mugs, jewelry and gifts — all adoption-themed without being cheesy. We especially love these because portions of your purchases go toward foster care.

2. An inspiring gift from Labours of Love Designs: Need a card or gift for a member of the adoption triad, or to mark an adoption milestone? These adoption-themed cards, gifts, and books are made by an adoptive mom and make great gifts for birth and adoptive parents or adoptees. Sales also help support waiting children and families through the Adoption Council of Canada and Children’s Action Network.

3. An uplifting tee from Together We Rise: Cute adoption-themed mugs, plush toys, pop sockets for your phone, shirts and more — they make perfect stocking-stuffers that support kids in foster care and foster families.

4. A family tree bracelet from HelpUsAdopt.Org: An already-popular option for adoption grants and crowdfunding, HelpUsAdopt also has a shop that has bracelets for kids and adults in every color imaginable, along with necklaces, gloves and more. 100 percent of proceeds go directly to the organization’s grant program.

5. Fair trade jewelry from Noonday: This collection of fair trade jewelry, ornaments and accessories is made by skilled artisans throughout the world. So not only are you supporting artists in impoverished communities, Noonday Adoption Trunk Shows fundraise for hopeful families. You can choose to contribute to an adoptive family you know when you checkout online, or you can attend or host a Trunk Show yourself.

6. Festive eggnog from Christmas Milk: Their story is about how a boy was adopted from foster care and asked for a drink that he’d once had that tasted “like Christmas.” His new parents tried everything they could think of. Then they gave him a glass of eggnog, and the boy yelled, “That’s it! That is the drink I have been talking about! It’s Christmas Milk!” Proceeds of purchases go toward foster care services.

7. A personalized throw from Swell Forever: Soft customizable blankets to last a lifetime, glass ornaments and more, Swell Forever provides grants for families pursuing adoption and foster care. Their entire organization is centered around adoption, but they also happen to make beautiful products!

8. Gift of a Forever Family Christmas Ornament 2019: Christopher Radko creates an ornament every year that celebrates adoption, and a portion of the sales go to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. It’s a super-cute gift idea for the holidays.

9. An adoption-themed book from Noodle & Boo: An eco-conscious company that donates monthly to several organizations helping women and children, Noodle & Boo creates products for babies, moms and more. As if that weren’t awesome enough, they have books about adoption and different families for kids that would make a perfect gift!

10. Empowering garments from Naja: For the ladies, in every way. This eco-conscious, fair trade organization offers a beautiful (and comfy) range of intimates, active- and lounge-wear, swimwear and more. Proceeds support the women who create the garments — single moms who are working to support their kids and prevent having to place them for adoption.

11. An “I Knew” necklace from Heart & Stone: Their “Giving is Good” collection has several pieces of jewelry (which you can also have personalized) that subtly honor adoption, and they donate a portion of the sale toward The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

12. Pajama pants from Sudara: Their pajamas and comfy loungewear is made by, and supports, at-risk women and girls in India. Most of the women are supporting children on their own, who may otherwise have to be placed for adoption in orphanages.

13. Just Love Coffee: Founded by adoptive parents, this company makes seriously good coffee, but also provides a unique way for hopeful families to fundraise their adoptions.

14. A Jockey Being Family Bear: With every purchase of one of these fuzzy teddy bears, Jockey will donate $5 toward post-adoption services. A new friend to cuddle plus adoption benefits? Win-win.

Donate Directly:

Don’t need any physical gifts this year? The best way you can give back to adoption, women and children, is to help as directly as possible. Here are few ways you can do that:

15. American Adoptions Birth Parent Scholarship Fund: We have our own program that helps finance college scholarships for birth parents who want to continue their educations. Learn more about how to donate to the scholarship fund, or learn more about the birth parents who have been able to pursue their goals as a result.

16. Holt International: There are several donation options to choose from. You can donate money to a child or to a waiting adoptive family, or you can donate towards items like coats or tuition to children in need. If you have kids yourself, you can let them pick what they’d like to give to someone their age on the other side of the world.

16. The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC): Donate toward foster and adoption services, benefitting the children and families who need support the most. Bonus: it’s tax-deductible.

Stay home this Black Friday, skip the tech stores and opt for something that gives back to adoption, instead. Let us know how you plan on paying it forward!