It’s the most wonderful time of year – for parents. That’s right, September is when children across the country are swapping boogie boards for backpacks and saying so long to summer. For students, a new school year is exciting, however, for the sake of adoptees it is important that schools learn to speak positively about adoption within the classroom.
It’s important that teachers, administrators and students are receiving proper and accurate information about adoption. Parental involvement can help your child’s teacher and other school faculty learn ways to be adoption friendly.
Be upfront with teachers
Sharing details of your family background that you feel comfortable with, may help highlight unique and blended families in schools. It will also force educators to adjust their curriculum to suit all children, and their individual circumstances. It’s necessary for teachers to develop ways to speak positively about adoption and how to deal with inappropriate comments children may direct towards adoptees. Schools may also learn ways to alter class assignments that adopted children may be sensitive to, such as assignments centered around family, ethnic background, etc.
Empower your child
Ensure that your child goes to school feeling prepared and confident. Remind him or her that adoption is something to be celebrated and that families are built through love, not genetics. Discuss issues that may arise or questions they may receive from peers and appropriate ways to respond.
Talk to other parents
Studies show that 1 in 25 U.S. households have at least one adopted child. The parents of your child’s classmates may be connected to adoption in one way or another, and sometimes have valuable resources or advice to share.
Help educate others
You can help educate the school community, by donating books and stories about adoption to classrooms and libraries. Moreover, providing parents and faculty with handouts such as “Helping Classmates Understand Adoption”.