To give or not to give shouldn’t even be a question, but there are many circumstances that make us wonder. If Birth Mom is on drugs do we want to supply her with diamond earrings? Probably not, but pictures of the child would be appropriate in most cases. Should Birth Family give gifts to the Adoptive Family? Only if they are anticipating a gift, have already been given one, feel like giving them a gift, or have arranged a holiday to exchange gifts. The best gifts Birth Families can give is information. Kids ask endless questions. Tons! More than can ever be thought of or put into a book. Having a picture, a baby item, a written memory to share with the child about themselves or a birth family member is a priceless treasure. Give information!
When giving gifts to a child please consider if they have other kids and non-biological siblings in the home they are living in.
The Adoptive Family is operating as one unit in their daily lives. The child is bonded and connected to their siblings even if they don’t share a genetic connection. The kids most likely have friends and relatives of the Adoptive Parents that treat the whole family equally. It could be hurtful to the other children to be ignored or segregated. The child you are giving the gift to may not understand why their brother or sister would be left out and it could make the joy of their present diminished to know that their brother or sister has hurt feelings.
I’ve often seen the embarrassed faces of foster kiddos as they are singled out to receive a toy but the biological kids in the home were not. Some would think the extra attention by the relative would be welcomed but more often one more reminder that they are different is not a joyful occasion.
Sometimes giving gifts to all the children in the home is not an option financially so think of family games, a shared gift card, a DVD, a photo album, a book, Dollar Store items, a recipe, homemade craft, art supplies, or information about the child as a replacement to only gifting to your biologically-related child. It truly is the thought that counts!
The Adoption Mannerism rule is, "Gifts for all or gifts for none."