Adoption Ceremonies for Rainbow Families

Title image with two dads and their daughter and the title 'Adoption Ceremonies for Rainbow Families'

Looking for a way to welcome a new member into your family? This is a quick review of the value of holding adoption ceremonies for rainbow families.

Adoption is one of the most fulfilling (and potentially challenging) ways for rainbow couples to become rainbow families. Parenting when something has not gone to plan in a young person’s life is one of the most selfless things we can do, and it is great to see LGBTIQA+ people rising to the challenge.

Adoption ceremonies may not be appropriate in all adoption circumstances. Older children especially may be struggling with the changes in their family circumstances, and celebrating might not be appropriate for them. For some it may be a matter of time; others may never want to celebrate their adoption.

For other children, marking their adoption may be just the right way to make them feel welcomed and valued in their new family. Always consider the needs and circumstances of the child before deciding whether to proceed with an adoption ceremony.

Possibly one of the most oft-quoted truisms about parenting is the old “it takes a village to raise a child”. And if it takes a village, you need your village on the journey with you. I am a firm believer that the strength of a community is built in celebration and tested in tribulation.

An adoption ceremony can be an extravagant affair or a simple celebration. The story of how the child came into the family could be especially moving, or it could be inappropriate to share. You can decide with your celebrant what is appropriate in your circumstances. You can make promises or vows and you can involve guideparents and grandparents.

Or you can just pronounce a simple blessing for the young person’s journey with their new family. However you choose to do it, even if you do it without a celebrant: I encourage you to celebrate the moment. Rainbow families especially have a lot to celebrate when they successfully add to their family.

Published by Trevar Alan Skillicorn-Chilver

Trevar Alan Skillicorn-Chilver is an authorised celebrant, a playwright, a teacher and quite a few other things!

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