From the Archives: Happy Adoption Day

From the Archives has a new curator. We’re so excited to have PIO! Songs Editor Val Smalkin sharing her favorite songs from CMN’s rich archives. Her second pick is this lovely, heartfelt ode to that wonderful day in a family’s history, Adoption Day. It’s by John McCutcheon.


I met an old friend who had two adopted children and she said, “We sing your songs at lots of family events, but our biggest family event is Adoption Day. You need to write a song about that!” So I did. I don’t recall exactly where I was when I wrote this song (it was nearly 25 years ago!), but I know that the key to writing it was realizing that my mother, before she became a mother, was a social worker who specialized in adoption. Nearly all of my cousins on my mother’s side of the family are adopted, thanks to her. This song means I get to meet so many families that I would never have otherwise met…and it brings them so much joy. I mostly sing it in response to requests I get at concerts. And those are pretty frequently, actually.

For the lead sheet, click here: Happy Adoption Day


  1. As a foster care nurse, I would love to give a copy of this song to all my blessed babies, toddlers, children and teens who finally get a permanent family and home.

  2. Such a wonderful song that I didn’t even know existed. Thank you Johh for writing it, thank you Val for highlighting it, thank you Alina for making it all happen!

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