Some people love giving (and receiving!) gifts. It can be a nice way to show someone that you’re thinking about them. The gifting types often want to extend that way of showing their love into their open adoption. Whether you choose to send something for birthdays, holidays, or “just because,” keep reading for your next gift idea.

Some General Tips about Gifts

Every adoption relationship is different, so go with your gut and knowledge of your own relationship. If you’re not sure what to get one another, or what might be appropriate in your situation, you can ask your former adoption specialist for advice.

And your gift definitely doesn’t have to be about adoption! If you know them pretty well, get them whatever you think they’ll love, or something based on their interests.

But if you’re at a loss as to what to give, these ideas will help you get started:

Adoptive Parents to Birth Parents

Something your child made: If your child loves art projects, task them with making something for his or her birth family! Here are a few fun projects if they need some inspiration.

Jewelry: If your child’s birth mother wears jewelry, she might like something with your child’s birthstone or name incorporated in it. The same personalization could be applied to a watch or a nice keychain for birth fathers.

Notes from your family: Every adoption has a wide-reaching effect. Send blank cards in a self-addressed and stamped envelope to your friends and family members with two instructions: To express their love and gratitude to your child’s birth family, and then to mail it back to you before a specific date. Then, bundle up all the returned cards and send them to your child’s birth family.

Birth Parents to Adoptive Parents

Something that matches: A simple way to show your bond and connection is to purchase two of the same item and give one to your child’s parents. This could be an identical piece of jewelry or keychain that has your child’s birthdate engraved on it, the same piece of meaningful art, or anything of sentimental value.

Start a collection: Send a new ornament each Christmas, a piece of a Nativity set, a collectable figurine that they like, dishware they’ve been wanting to collect — whatever it is, add one piece per year and watch the collection grow together.

Share some of your family history: This can help your child’s parents teach him or her about their biological roots. Get creative with a photo album, a family recipe book you’ve collected, or some genealogy research that you’ve done.

Birth Parents to Adoptees

Scrapbooks: Photos of birth mothers and fathers together, extended biological family members, your pregnancy, you with your child or with the adoptive parents — whatever you’d like to include! Be sure to add notes and little stories to create a personal keepsake your child can look at over and over again.

Keepsakes: A meaningful piece of jewelry, a framed photo of you together, a blanket you made, a stuffed animal you loved as a kid that you want them to have, or anything of sentimental value to you. As long as it’s special to you, it’ll remind your child of you, and they’ll treasure it.

Gift cards: This is always a great option when you can’t gift something in person or you’re worried your child might receive a duplicate gift. They’ll be able to pick something out themselves. Depending on their age, gift cards to clothing stores, bookstores, or somewhere they can buy toys or games is a solid bet.

Adoptees to Birth Parents

Something about your shared interests: Maybe you both love spicy food, so you give them a gift set of hot sauces. Or maybe you both love reading, so you give them a gift card to their favorite bookstore. This can be a fun reminder of the little quirks they may have passed on to you that you appreciate.

Photo albums: Your parents probably kept them up-to-date with photos and letters when you were younger, but when you’re old enough to take lead on your open adoption relationship, your birth parents will still love to have some physical photos to hold onto.

Time: Again, now that you’re old enough to take charge of your open adoption connections, your parents won’t be arranging visits on your behalf. But the best gift you can give your birth family is some of your time! Get together for a meal, or send them a text to let them know you’re thinking of them, even if you don’t live in the same area. It’ll mean a lot.

Adoption-Themed Gifts

These gifts are great if your friend or family is an adoption triad member, you’re celebrating an adoption milestone, or if you just want to show some adoption love:

What’s been the most meaningful gift you’ve received in your open adoption? Any gift ideas you want to share?