As open adoptions are becoming more common, families are beginning to look for gift ideas to give birth mothers for Christmas, birthdays and Mother’s Day. Although gift giving during the adoption process is not advisable, gift exchanges during special times of the year once the adoption is finalized can help strengthen ties between birth and adoptive families. Many of the following ideas can be used to celebrate birth fathers, birth grandparents and other members of the extended birth family as well.Adoption Related MerchandiseThere are many special trinkets, pieces of jewelry, cards, and books available for purchase which reflect this unique relationship. Some of the items may be enhanced with the adopted child’s birthstone and engraved with significant dates. Popular items to mark special occasions in adoption are bracelets, necklace pendants, picture frames, figurines, and books with inspirational quotations.‘Mom’ Related MerchandiseEven though the child’s birth mom will not be parenting the child, she will always be the woman who gave the child life. The importance of this role can be signified by sending flowers on special days, giving gifts portraying images of mother and child, and giving books, poetry and artwork that speak to the bond that exists between mother and child.Shared ExperiencesAs adoptive families get to know their child’s birth mother, it may become apparent that both families share more in common than just their child. Perhaps there is a special movie or book that touched both families and may be appropriate for gift giving such as a title in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Maybe adoptive families can purchase tickets to a performance or activity that the adoptive family and birth mom can enjoy together, in the spirit of helping the child connect with his or her past. These significant gifts are as individual as the people involved and are also dependent on the level of openness in the adoption relationship.Pictures and LettersEven though sending pictures and letters is usually a very common thing for adoptive parents to do for birth moms, these can be presented in a way that makes them even more special. Some adoptive families may want to create a scrapbook for their child’s birth mom which gives more detail about the experiences of the child. A framed photograph of the child doing something she or he has in common with the child’s birth mom would also make a very nice gift.Phone Call or VisitThe nicest thing an adoptive family can give to their child’s birth mom is the gift of their child. Have the child call to wish his or her birth mother Merry Christmas or make arrangement to visit each other on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, which has recently been recognized as Birth Mother’s Day. These gifts of contact will not only be cherished by the child’s birth mother but also by the child.Gifts Made by the ChildIf the adopted child is younger, handprint and footprint crafts are easy to make and will be very much appreciated by the child’s birth mom. For older children, gifts can be created from what the child has a particular interest in. Adoptive families could give a sound recording of the child playing an instrument, a video tape of the child playing a sport or participating in a performance, or a creation made by an artistic child to show how much they appreciate their child’s birth mom.Any recognition of the unique relationship a child has with his or her birth parents would be valuable, even if it is a small token gift. Even a card simply stating that the adoptive family thinks of the child’s birth family once in a while honours the child’s past and helps to make adoption a positive experience.