Table of Contents: September 2018


FOCUS ON: Adoption at School

Talking with the School and Teacher

The Great Back-to-School Kit
Raising adoption awareness at school helps create the open, accepting environment that lets our children flourish. Here, AF gives you the specific words to say, books to read, and projects to suggest to your child’s teacher.

What Your Child’s Teacher Needs to Know
By the time your child enters school, you have had enough experiences to know that not everyone understands adoption. And because teachers do not bring formal training in adoption to their classrooms, some will be more sensitive to the topic than others.

“Should We Tell Our Son’s Teacher That He Was Adopted?”
To tell, or not to tell. Parents share how they grappled with both sides of sharing a child’s adoption story at school, and an expert offers her perspective.

A Guide for Teachers: Helping Classmates Understand Adoption
When it comes to adoption, teachers can be part of the solution. The key is to explain it to students in age-appropriate ways.

Preparing Your Child for Questions

Is Your Child Ready for School?
How much should we tell the school about the way our family was formed? Do we need to educate the school community about adoption, and, if so, how? How do we prepare our child for questions and comments about adoption and, if it is part of the equation, about race? Let’s tackle these questions one at a time.

When Classmates Ask
How can you help your child answer adoption questions with confidence—and handle any queries that come your way?

HANDOUT: Helping Classmates Understand Adoption
When other kids in your child’s class learn that he was adopted, they’ll have questions. They’ll want to know what adoption means and how it works. Distribute this handout to other parents at your child’s school to provide them with talking points, or send it home after an adoption presentation.

Making an Adoption Presentation

How I Explained Adoption to the First Grade
Using a favorite doll and simple explanations that children can follow, one mother talks about adoption with her daughter’s curious class.

An Adoption Presentation in Fourth Grade
When my 10-year-old son was deluged with adoption-related questions, we met with his teacher and decided his classmates were ready for some “Adoption 101.”

Adapting Sticky Assignments

A Forest of Family Trees
Family tree assignments can sometimes be difficult for adopted children. But, done right, they can be a great way to instill family pride.

Tackling 6 Tricky Assignments
These are the most common assignments our kids face at school that leave adoption out of the picture. This guide can help you understand the goal of each, and how to modify it.
DOWNLOAD this article as a PDF handout >

Empowering Kids to Handle Sticky Assignments
When adoption comes up in the classroom, you can’t always help your child handle it. Here’s how to set up your child to advocate for herself, in middle school and beyond.

Open Adoption and the Family Tree
When children in open adoptions are assigned the family tree project, they may struggle with whom to include.

Personal Essays

“Life of the Party”

Adoption kismet paired my introverted, 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). | BY BILLY CUCHENS

“From Then to Now”

I don’t think about adoption on a daily basis; I am just a dad, after all. But when I do, it’s these moments that rise to the surface, indicative of so much else along the way. | BY LOUIS DE LAURO


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.

Ask AF

Photo Contests

Enter the 2018 Adoptive Families Cover Photo Contest!

Thank You to This Issue’s Sponsors:

Adoption by Shepherd Care
Adoptions from the Heart
Bethany Christian Services
Children’s Connections Inc.
National Background Check

Ellyn J. Bullock, Solberg & Bullock, LLC
Dr. Jane Aronson
Texas Children’s Hospital