How to Honor Your Child’s Birth Family This Holiday Season

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The holiday season can be a challenging time for birth families.

When it feels like the rest of the world is celebrating the joyous time of year, birth parents often feel the urge to hide out until the hustle and bustle of the season has passed and all the holiday cheer-filled decorations have been safely tucked away.

For some people, the absence of a birth child during the holiday season can fuel intense sadness and loneliness. No matter how long ago the adoption took place, it’s normal for feelings of pain and hurt to resurface for birth families during the holiday season.

As an adoptive parent, you might be able to help ease that pain for your child’s birth family.

You may feel incapable of thanking them fully for the self-less gift of love they gave to you and your family, your thoughtfulness throughout the challenging holiday season just might provide the comfort and solace many birth families seek during this time of year.

While post adoption contact agreements vary for every adoption, evaluate the following options to see if you might be able to use one (or some) of them to honor your child’s birth family!


Mail a handmade gift

Sometimes it’s the littlest things that often provide the greatest comfort. Consider sending a simple handprint or footprint of your child or creating an ornament for the Christmas tree.

Send a holiday card

Include your child’s birth family on your holiday mail list but add an additional personalized note to go along with it. It’s a simple and meaningful way to stay in touch through the season.

Extend an invitation to participate

If you have an open adoption, an invitation to participate in the holiday festivities might be the greatest gift you can give to your child’s birth family.

Schedule a time to Skype or FaceTime

Even if your video call is brief, setting aside time during the holidays to allow your child to chat can be very special for everyone in the adoption triad. Through the years, your child can use this time to really bond and forge a meaningful relationship of their own accord with their birth family.

Invite them to participate in offering a gift

Some birth families really enjoy offering a gift to their child during the holiday season. The gift can be anything – something homemade or even a sweet after dinner treat. Be sure to ask first if this idea is within their comfort zone as it is not for everyone.

Send a text on holiday mornings

A simple “We are so grateful for you, Merry Christmas” text might be enough for a birth mother on Christmas morning to remember how grateful you are for their selflessness.

Extend the celebration

Who says holidays need to be celebrated on the holiday itself? If you’re unable to split the holidays between your in-laws, your siblings, and your parents just extend the celebration. If you have an open adoption, it might be a good idea to celebrate Christmas a week late or even a week early.

What to do if you have a closed adoption?

Sometimes it’s not possible to include your child’s birth family during the holiday season. In these instances, there are still things you can do to honor them throughout the celebrations.

Light a candle for your birth family

Keeping a candle lit for your birth family to honor them is a simple way to feel their presence and keep them close throughout the festivities.

Dedicate an ornament on the tree

A special, unique ornament on the tree dedicated to your child’s birth family is a sweet way to loop in your child’s birth family and include them spiritually each year.

Talk about your child’s adoption

While it’s recommended that talking to your child about adoption occur naturally and regularly, make an extra effort to do so during the holidays. Consider saying things like “I think your birthmother would really love how we decorated the Christmas tree”. Talking about your child’s birth family is a great way to honor them during the holidays, but it also can offer solace to your adoptee, who very well could be grieving in their own way throughout the holidays.

Make a donation in their honor

If you’re looking for a selfless way to honor a birth family’s selfless gift to you, make an anonymous donation to a charity of your choice.

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