03/17/2015 10:03 EDT | Updated 03/17/2015 10:59 EDT

Baby Shower Ideas For Parents Who Are Adopting

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Father kissing his adopted toddler son who is African-American at Old Settler's Park in Round Rock, Texas.

Baby showers are one way to welcome a newborn, but when a family is adopting a little (or big) one, it can get tricky to plan a shower that doesn't revolve around bumps and labour.

"Most expectant moms (whether through birth or adoption) want a shower, and those expecting through adoption will often make their desire known to their close family and friends," says Nicole Witt, executive director of The Adoption Consultancy in Florida. "But often those family and friends don't know how to put on a shower with sensitivity to the particular circumstances."

Witt says some adoptive parents may feel like they've been left out of the so-called "typical" process of having a baby. They haven't gone through the experience of giving birth or felt the baby inside them. Parents may also miss out on telling their family and friends they're pregnant in fun or creative ways.

Throwing an adoptive mom or parents a baby shower, however, is a one way to celebrate the new baby, as well as a successful adoption process. While surprise parties can be a great idea for other events, some experts, including adoption/foster care expert Carrie Craft says you should avoid throwing a surprise baby shower for adoptive parents.

"While it seems like a great idea and most of us love surprises in general — this thinking may not carry over to adoption and bringing new children into the family through adoption. Many children and their new families need time to adjust," she writes on Be sure to check in with the new parents before putting together a party.

Witt says planning an adoptive baby shower is about getting parents involved, and figuring out exactly what they want. Check out her 12 tips below on how to plan the perfect shower.

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