The emotions that come with meeting your child for the first time will choke you up for the rest of your life. This feeling is no different for adoptive parents of foster children.

While these parents don’t get to experience the magic of being in the delivery room at birth, they do get to experience their own magical moment: the day they welcome their child into a forever family. And, just like any other child’s birthday, this day is worthy of photos that showcase a new family’s happiness.

“Gotcha day”

“Adoption day” photos (also called “gotcha day” photos – as in: The day I got you) are pictures taken and shared as a celebration of a foster child’s placement within a family. What’s more, these photos are used to challenge the negative stereotypes around foster children who are often depicted as juvenile delinquents who can’t find families.

Challenging stereotypes

Many advocates, like Together We Rise, have set out to challenge these stereotypes and raise awareness of adopting through foster care. Their series of pictures (that can be found here) serve to remind us that all children, regardless of their start to life, are precious and have the potential to add happiness to a family.

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Take a look at these heartwarming “gotcha day” photos that showcase the happiness and excitement of children having finally found their forever families. We don’t see any juvenile delinquents or difficult children here – all we see, is an incredible act of love.

Click through the gallery…