Adoption Symbols

The Dragonfly Adoption Symbol

Theeradech Sanin

Asia, China, Vietnam, Japan, and US Native Americans.  The dragonfly symbolizes good luck, harmony, peace, prosperity, purity, and strength.

The real beauty of the dragonfly is in its life cycle.  The dragonfly lives a short life span which only encompasses a couple of months.  During that time, it must live a full life that includes finding a mate and reproducing.  The eye of the dragonfly is all encircling and can see 360 degrees. Its iridescence is much like that of the adopted child who must find themselves without the hereditary road-map as leader, but as self-directed and bold with hopefully some informed choices and direction from their adoptive parents.  Of all the adoption symbols, the dragonfly is nothing less than magnificent.

FYI:  Washington has chosen the Green Darner Dragonfly as its state insect.


The Ladybug Adoption Symbolism


Europe, Sweden, France, and China. The symbol has come to mean good luck, protection, and love.  In Sweden, a young woman will marry soon after a ladybug lands on her hand, and the number of black spots represent the number of months before she will find him.  Plus, the Swiss tell their children a ladybug brings children instead of the stork.  In France, a ladybug lands on you and your illness will fly away.

In Europe, by some, the ladybug represents devotion.  During the Middle Ages, it is said that insects were destroying the crops of farmers, so Catholics got together and prayed that the insects be stopped.  Shortly afterwards, a reddish beetle was sent to destroy the insects.  The beetle was called “beetle of our lady.”  Even today, the beautiful beetle is the only beetle to be liked by most humans.  The beetle in many ways is like the butterfly and the dragonfly, with an even shorter life cycle.  It lives approximately 4 weeks.  During that time, it is born, reproduces, destroys pesky insects, gives birth, and dies.  Imagine all those accomplishments in such a short period of time.  It is no wonder that the adoption community has chosen the Ladybug to represent it.  The Ladybug is exquisite, strong, and determined.


The Pink, White, & Yellow Ribbon Adoption Symbol or the Red Awareness Ribbon

digitalart 1

United States.  The awareness ribbon is much like the symbol representing active military personnel or cancer.  The difference is in the colors.  The ribbon is supposed to represent the birth mother, baby, and adoptive parents.  It’s the cycle of adoption.  The birth mother becomes pregnant, has a baby, and the baby is given to the adoptive parents.  The birth mother is represented by pink, the infant by white, and the adoptive parents are represented by yellow.

The red awareness ribbon that states: Adoption: the loving option.  These symbols are often magnetized and placed on the backs of automobiles.  The red awareness ribbon also often represents AIDS.


The Green Awareness Ribbon Adoption Symbol

United States.  The green awareness ribbon stands for opening sealed adoption records.  This is about giving adoptees dignity and respect.


The Red Thread Adoption Symbolism

Chinese.  The invisible red thread is believed to join souls of adults to a child available for adoption in China.  The red thread represents such a strong hold on the adult that they basically lose all interest in life and its pleasures until they can figure out why there is a void.  The couple will search far and wide to try and figure out what is missing in their life.  They will: travel, read, write, entertain, and everything else they can think of to make the void disappear.  Until the couple get to the other end of the red thread and find the child – there will be no happiness.  Only once they find their child, through adoption, will they will find real happiness.


The Adoption Triad Symbol

Adoption Triad Symbol.

Adoption Triad Symbol.

International.  This symbol is a triangle intertwined with a heart.

The triangle represents the triad: the birth mother, the child, and the adoptive parents.  They are all connected by the heart which represents love.





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Dragonfly picture – Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin /

Ladybug picture – Image courtesy of Dan /

Red awareness ribbon picture – Image courtesy of Digitalart /