Adoption and School [web resource] [downloadable]

Starting school may be difficult for an adopted person. Questions from peers or teachers may be uncomfortable for children, and some classroom assignments may be challenging. For example, a child who joined the family when he or she was older may not have baby pictures, and the common family tree assignment may be difficult for an adopted person.

The following resources from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is intended to help adoptive families and teachers better understand school-related adoption issues.

Resources for Parents

Adoption at School (PDF – 777 KB)
Schoettle & Singer (2016)

Center for Adoption Support and Education
Addresses the role that teachers play in helping children process adoption and ways in which parents can promote the need for open, informative communication about adoption in schools by talking to teachers and providing them with information about resources for learning more about adoption on their own.

Adoption in School: How to Prepare for Success
The Cradle (2019)
Provides tips to support parents as their adoptive children transition into new school environments.

Factsheets for Families
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF – 444KB)
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Offers information to help adoptive parents understand and respond to their adopted school-age child’s developmental needs. It provides simple, practical strategies to foster healthy development, including approaches for building attachment, talking honestly about adoption, acknowledging the child’s adoptive history, using appropriate discipline, and enhancing the school experience. Because some adoptive families need extra help addressing their children’s mental health needs, the factsheet also discusses when and how to seek help.

School Issues for Adopted Children
Creating a Family

Assists parents in creating a supportive school environment for their adopted child, including tips for communicating with teachers and navigating the school system.

Supporting Adopted Children With Special Needs in the School Setting
Riley & Singer (2018)
Center for Adoption Support and Education

Guides parents in understanding how adoption affects children in school settings and methods for partnering with schools to support their children.

Resource for Teachers

Adoption Basics for Educators: How Adoption Impacts Children and How Educators Can Help  (PDF – 236 KB)
Cywnar (2015)
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association

Provides educators with basic information about adoption and suggestions on how educators can assist students who are adopted.

Including Adoption in Everyday Teaching
Billadeau (2014)

Compiles age-specific suggestions for educators seeking to make their classrooms more inclusive of adopted children.

What Teachers Should Know About Adoption (PDF – 219 KB)
Quality Improvement Center for Adoption & Guardianship Support and Preservation (2017)

Describes emotional and behavioral issues common in adoptive children in order to support teachers in creating an adoption-sensitive classroom.

Source: Children’s Bureau | Adoption and  School, | public domain

Do you need someone to talk to? CHC can help. We invite you to call or email our Care Coordinators at 650.688.3625 or to set up a free 30-minute consultation.

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