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?

Explaining Adoption to Classmates and Teachers

Because we fostered to adopt, my children’s school and teachers have been involved thru the entire process. They have been some of the strongest supporters in our endeavor to finalize the adoption. One of the teachers even called during the summer break to see how the process went.

We felt it was best to keep very open lines of communications with our kids’ teachers, and they felt comfortable calling us whenever they felt the need to ensure that our children were being supported by all the people in their lives.
—E. Csokmay

There was never any question in our minds about sharing the fact that our children were adopted with their schools, teachers, or classmates. Because of our openness, we also learned that our children’s pre-school teacher was adopted, as well as another little boy in my daughter’s class.

Our schools have been open and wonderful, as have the children in their classes. I say go for it. It’s simply a part of our lives!
—Bonni Barocas

I have nine biological children and have adopted six more through foster care. To several of my biological kids’ classrooms, I gave classroom presentations about foster care before adopting.

After adopting two of my children (at the ages of six and eight), I decided it was time to write my own presentation on adoption for the classroom. I used some of the ideas from AF! It helped me to address racial and adoption issues (questions about birth families, racial comments, etc.) that were coming up in school in a fun and non-threatening way. I also put together a packet and presentation that is given to teachers and faculty addressing adoption.
—Debbie Kartchner

My husband and I have five children, and all came into our family in different ways. When we decided to adopt, after the first three graduated from college, it never entered our minds that we wouldn’t share with our daughters the way they came into our family.

At school, my daughters have always shared that they grew in my heart but were born in China. We have celebrated Chinese New Year with my seven-year-old daughter’s class at school. She was very excited to share native dress and traditions with her friends. We have discussed myths about fortune cookies, and taught the other kids to eat with chopsticks.

We even celebrate “Gotcha Day” at school with our daughter’s teachers and friends. Being open is the best for us and helps to explain to our daughters why we don’t have photos of them when they were first born to share with the class, and any other issues that arise.
—Bobbee Miller


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