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Gotcha Day (sometimes called Gotchya Day, Adoption Day, Family Day, Adoption Anniversary Day) is a day celebrated by American families of adopted children to recognize the day they received the child.  - See September 15 at bottom of page
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The Gotcha Day is the day
that the child was placed into the family's home for adoption, in other words, the day the family Gotcha.[2] It is the most celebrated of adoption related events.[3] In her book, The Joy of Family Rituals, Barbara Bizou wrote, Gotcha Day "is designed to show your adopted child how much you wanted him and that every year you continue to cherish him."
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Rituals:
In the book, Primary Care Pediatrics, the authors point out that the celebration of the birth of a child is practiced in many cultures, but that as a general rule, nobody from the adoptive family was present for the child's birth. Depending on the circumstances, the exact birth date may even be unknown. The book advises doctors to suggest "an additional to the traditional birthday celebration, that is, the 'gotcha day.' ... the provider who encourages the adoptive family to commemorate the anniversary of their child's homecoming supports them in their celebration of family, strengths, and bonds."[5] The "'Gotcha Day' is distinguished from the day of birth, perhaps marking the rupture of the child's biological family and her social rebirth into an adopted family."[4]

While many families treat Gotcha Day's in a manner similar to a child's birthday, some treat it with extra care. Families will often exchange gifts, do special activities, and go out to dinner.[6] One tradition entails the family standing in a circle passing a candle and sharing how having the adopted child in their family is important to them. Bizou states that the parents should "Talk about what it felt like to hold him, what you did first when you got home, how strange and wonderful it was to have this new life in the house. This story is part of a family legend."[4] Children's Home Society and Family Services recommends that families "develop a family ritual to celebrate the unique way [the] family came together."[7] Ni Hao, a quarterly magazine for families with children adopted from China, asks families to submit their Gotcha Day stories after the child's first Gotcha Day.[8] Some families use the "Gotcha Day" celebration as a means to educate teachers and friends about adoption, in so doing it 'normalizes adoption, creating a social reality in which adoptive families can be seen as a normal kind of family.' [4]
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Criticism:
While the term "Gotcha Day" has become the most common term used to describe the date the child is brought into a new family, some people (including adoptive families) criticize the use. Novelist and adoptive mother, Karen Moline wrote, "I find the use of "gotcha" to describe the act of adoption both astonishing and offensive. Aside from being parent-centered ("C'mere, little orphan, I gotcha now!") it smacks of acquiring a possession, not welcoming a new person into your life.'[9]
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Other Uses:
Families who adopt animals, particularly dogs, will often refer to the day they adopted their pet as the animal's "gotcha day."

September 15
In 2005, the Chicago Spectrum Press declared September 15 as International Gotcha Day. The day is intended to be a single date wherein adoptive families celebrate the arrival of their children together.[
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References:
"International "Gotcha Day" Declared Families Grown by International Adoption are Given Day to Celebrate"
Intercountry Adoption from China
"Gotcha Day: Marking a child's entry into a community of loved ones"
Primary Care Pediatrics
"Share Your Story: Gotcha Day Celebrations"
"Celebrate adoption by sharing your story"
"CHSFS China Program Celebrates 1000th Child"
"Get Rid of 'Gotcha Day'"

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Resources:  This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article gotchaday / and other related pages. Top photo homestead stock.
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