Adoption Foster Care Baby Registry

by Julie Siewert September 24, 2020

Adoption Foster Care Baby Registry

What does an adoptive or foster parent need before their baby or child arrives? Along with all the great surprises that a new child brings, what items they will need will vary based on SO MANY factors! Their age, gender, race, history, medical needs and location may all be unknown before the last minute.

Many adoptive or foster parents don’t need to follow a “traditional” baby registry checklist due to so many unknowns about the child they’ll be bringing into their family, but there are many reasons to make a baby registry just the same.


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Why make a baby registry for adoption or foster care?

Some people are planners. Especially while waiting for a placement, planning for your new child can even be therapeutic!

Creating a baby registry or wishlist can be fun, like window shopping. Or you can use it as a way to organize your thoughts, wishes and research on the products you will want to use. Even if you don’t make your registry or wishlist public, it can still be beneficial to you.

But do consider making your registry public. Friends, family and coworkers may want to buy gifts for you to celebrate your new family addition and may not know what to buy. Giving them some guidance can make this time a little less uncomfortable for them (and save you answering at least ONE question).

Some adoptive parents have a baby shower either before or after a child is placed with them (a “sip and see” is a newer shower trend where a gathering is held after baby is born/placed). But even without a shower, many friends will want to give gifts during this wonderful life event!


Photo of stack of wrapped gifts with text "What to Register for: Adoption Registry what you want and don't want to add to your registry"

Where should I build an adoption baby registry?

There are SO MANY choices for baby registries! Gone are the days when we had to register in-person at a local baby store, now many baby registries are online and universal (meaning you can register for gifts from anywhere).

Related post: Comparing Baby Registries to help you decide where to register

Some baby registries even cater specifically to adoptive and foster parents by not requiring “due dates” or allowing “adoption fund” as a gift option. Amazon, Babylist, Blueprint, and Target Registry all have options that are Adoption friendly.


What do you want on your adoption or foster care registry?

You can go online and search “baby registry” and find a million different checklists of what you will want to add to your traditional baby registry.

Related article: Everything You Need for your Baby Registry

With adoption and foster care, you may not want to register for things you don’t know you’ll need. For example, you may not want to order newborn baby socks if your “baby” turns out to be 6 months old. Sticking to the basics and filling in the gaps after you know more about your child may be the best way to go about shopping for your newest addition.


  • Gender neutral décor for the nursery 
  • A video baby monitor



  • A Convertible Car Seat; choose one that adjusts to use for as long as possible


  • Baby carrier; you’ll want a good baby carrier for both hands free time and for bonding with your child. Many baby carriers can be used well into the toddler years. The Ergo 360 fits babies 12-45lbs.


  • A glider/rocking chair for the nursery


  • Diapers; all babies need them. Consider registering for a Sampler Package that includes diapers in each size so you are ready for anything (or any size baby)
Caregiver's Choice Diaper Sampler Package: Diaper Sample Packs in each size


  • Baby wipes


  • Baby books; we all know reading to babies is good for their development. Consider adding some kid-friendly adoption books to your library


What don’t you want on your adoption baby registry?

  • Clothes

Generally speaking, since there are many unknowns with adoption and foster care, registering for clothing is really a guess. And you might end up wrong; wrong size, wrong gender, wrong season…

If you really want to register for clothing, look for adjustable clothing like these classic pieces from BeyaMade. They are adjustable to fit from baby to toddler.


Two photos side by side, photo 1: baby sitting up wearing romper. Photo 2: toddler in a woman's arms wearing same romper


  • Bottles

While you will very likely need bottles, your baby may show preference to one bottle brand prior to placement in your home. In that case, you’ll probably want to use what you know works.


  • Gender specific (well, anything)

Thankfully there are many great choices in gender neutral colors and patterns for your nursery/bedroom, clothing, baby gear and toys. You may not be very happy to register for a pink frilly car seat to be placed with a bouncing baby boy!


With so many surprises and unknowns in the adoption and foster care process, having the basics you’ll need to welcome a new child into your home can be comforting. Planning and dreaming in advance of your placement can be fun and useful.

Enjoy this special time of planning and preparing!

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