We asked our adoptive families to share their thoughts on adoption and school asking What do you share about adoption with your child's teachers? and What do you wish teachers better understood about adoption?
Here are some of the responses we received:
I meet with teachers at the start of school, talk about tying adoption to the curriculum and offer to do a special presentation to the class.
I ask my son’s teachers to include books on adoption in their classroom libraries.
Has anyone dealt with the “timeline of your life” project where teachers ask for a photo taken on the day a kiddo was born? We haven’t faced this yet, but I worry about it every year.
And here are some suggestions to consider:
Be open with the school and let them know your child is adopted. Alert them that projects like the family tree or timeline of photos may be tricky for your family. Ask them to be flexible with these assignments. You’re likely not the first one to do so.
It’s a great idea for adoptive parents to help provide adoption resources to the school. Recommending or supplying books or even offering to do a presentation to the class are great ways to show your support for the teacher and advocate for adoption and your child.
Adopted people can feel uneasy when adoption is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Your child likely knows his adoption story, knows why Mommy’s skin is white and his skin is brown, knows about his home country, maybe even knows his birth mom and birth siblings. But for his classmates who may be unfamiliar with adoption, these concepts can seem scary or even sad, and will likely provoke a lot of curiosity. The emotions around adoption can be heightened at school and many times children have to manage insensitive comments on their own.
School can be a much more comfortable place, however, when adoption is an open subject. Teachers can show their acceptance for adoption by presenting it as just another way families are formed. Educated approaches to discussing adoption helps ALL children accept differences in families and people.
If you'd like to discuss your family's specific situation with one of our therapists, we would be happy to help. You can request an appointment through our online form or by calling us at 847-733-3225.