Lighthouse Thoughts

Adoption and the Classroom

For adoptive families, back to school may present more than the typical challenges. The subject of family trees, baby pictures, timelines, and autobiography’s can be tricky for adopted children. Parents may have to decide who to share adoption information with, and how much information to share. Every child’s situation is different, but the most important consideration may be: “How can my child benefit from my sharing this information?” Being proactive will help get the school year started off in the right direction. Helpful hints for back to school include:

*Schedule a conference with your child’s teacher before or shortly after school starts.
*Only disclose necessary information about your child’s past. Unless it is pertinent to trauma triggers or behavior, the general mantra should be less is more.
*Your child’s teacher probably won’t have a working understanding of the potential impact of adoption.
*Provide an “adoption and educators” guide that addresses positive adoption language, tough assignments, etc. before there is a problem.
*Keep an open dialogue with your child’s teacher.
*Volunteer to help on an adoption related project.

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