Adoption at School: Questions from Peers, the Family Tree, and More


Expert advice and personal stories about adoption at school—from talking with the teacher about adoption to preparing your child to answer questions from classmates to adapting the family tree and other sticky assignments.

three friends sitting on grass, talking about adoption

Parents Share: What My Child’s Friends Want to Know About Adoption

Parents Share: What My Child’s Friends Want to Know About Adoption

Parents share the questions their children have been asked by friends and classmates over the years, from being in an orphanage to whether they know their "real" parents.

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an adoptive father looks back on his socialy awkward school days, in contrast to his sociable, outgoing son (as his school mascot)

“Life of the Party”

Adoption kismet paired my moody, socially awkward self with an upbeat, sociable son who volunteers to wear his school mascot costume, runs for student council, and is unfazed by the thought of speaking in front of his whole school. Every day I am awed (and exhausted).

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A heart on graph paper

“Overcoming All Odds”

Although we knew our South American-born son would face challenges growing up in a predominantly white middle class suburb, we were totally unprepared for what was to come.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Encouraging a Cohesive Racial and Cultural Identity

“We have always tried to make sure our internationally adopted son feels proud of his heritage. This year, when the class was writing about Thanksgiving, he asked if he could skip the assignment because people from his birth country do not celebrate Thanksgiving. I know I need to talk to him, but I’m not sure where to start.”

Explaining Adoption to Classmates and Teachers

Share Your Story: Adoption & School

We asked our readers: How did you decide whether to introduce the topic of adoption at your child's school? What actions did you take, if any, to start explaining adoption to classmates or teachers? What advice do you have for other parents about how to best interact with your child's teachers?

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diverse adopted children raising their hands in a classroom, feeling safe at school

Promoting Adoption Awareness at School

As parents, how can you help make sure that your child and all the students at her school feel included and supported? Educate teachers about the five As!

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An adoptive mother talks with her child's teacher at school about adoption

Parent-to-Parent: “Do You Talk with the Teacher About Adoption?”

Do you tell the teacher that your child was adopted at the start of a new school year? See parents' answers.

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My son's interpretation of the family tree project for kids

“How We Created My Son’s Unique Family Tree”

The family tree project can be a particularly tricky one for kids who are adopted. Here's how one family tackled the assignment.

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a girl who is being bullied at school

“My Child is Being Teased at School”

Sometimes school brings tough situations, like teasing, tricky assignments, and nosy questions. When should kids handle things on their own, and when should a parent step in?

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School Projects: Empowering Adoptees to Self Advocate

Stepping Back at School

As your child progresses through elementary school, she should take more responsibility for handling tricky assignments. Here's how to hand off the reins.

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A picky eater shares her school lunch with a friend

Packing a School Lunch Your Picky Eater Will Devour

Picky eating is common in children—and as a parent, it’s probably driving you crazy. Here, simple strategies (like using a cookie cutter!) help make sure your child gets enough to eat.

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