Five Reasons to Have Your Custody Day Photographed

There are three main session types I offer for adoptive families. These are first meetings, post-custody family sessions, and, of course, custody day itself. While first meetings and family sessions are by far my most popular sessions, there are plenty of good reasons to have your custody day photographed as well. This is the day where your child will transition from care into their forever family and can be extremely emotional. Let’s look at a few benefits of having the day photographed.

Custody Day is Busy

It’s a busy day, really busy. In the short time custody meetings last, you’ll be welcoming a new member to your family, offering gratitude to the people who have taken care of them so far, learning us much as your can about routines, having a final medical check, signing documents, and somehow trying to give all the attention you can to the littlest member in the room (who is likely quite a busy person, all by themselves!). All of this can be quite chaotic and being able to look back and how it all went is a great way to relive everything that happens.

Busy Custody Day
This is just one of the dozens of games we played in the 15 minutes I spent back at the apartment with this family. So much happens on custody day.

You Will Miss Moments

On top of custody day being really busy, you are there to forge memories and a bond. In the heat of it all, you are going to miss moments. That’s simply how it goes. In between making sure you have everything, preparing yourself and your family for the change in dynamic, considering how to make the smoothest transition for your child, final greetings with the foster family, and jumping into a van to speed off into the sunset, there is a lot to take in. Custody typically takes an hour in total, but comprises of so many things.

Custody Day Siblings
While the adults were discussing the necessary final details, Sam and Jae held hands and led each other around.

Memories Down the Road

Just as custody day is filled with gain and loss, it is also filled with bonds that have formed over time and new ones being forged. For many children, this is the last time they will see their foster family for quite a while. The moments shared between a child and their foster family are equally as important as the ones they will share with their new family. These are also part of who they are and are a powerful reminder that they were loved by everyone they have come in contact with.

Moments with the Foster Mother
Andrew’s foster mother had taught him to point and make funny faces. Just as we were preparing to jump into the van and speed away, Andrew turned and pointed at his foster mother with a giggle. She returned the gesture before tearing up and stepping away.


Unpredictable Beauty

One of the many joys of adopting a child is getting to know their personality. With only a couple of short moments together and a handful of updates from your agency, there’s still plenty to learn about each other come custody day. While you spend your time focused on the interactions and learning about your child, having me there to photograph it will bring back those first memories in years to come.

Custody Day - Enjoying the Ride Home

The First Few Moments at Home

The moment you step into your accommodation will be the first time your family has been in your own private space together. There will be moments of exploration and getting to know each other that only happen once. With all custody sessions, I offer to ride with your family back to the accommodation and spend 15 or 20 minutes documenting your first moments together. Of course, this depends entirely on your comfort level with the situation and you can call it off at any time if emotions are too high.


I hope this blog has given you a small window into what is possible on a custody day. If you would like to discuss your own custody session further, please reach out. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

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