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Written by Family Connections
on August 07, 2023


As children are headed back to school over the next month there are things to consider if you have an adopted child. With such a small portion of children being adopted, schools are not always prepared to support the needs of adopted children in their classrooms.


So how do can one become prepared to help their adopted children through the school system?




Adopted children are often educated about traditional family structures, or required to complete a family tree project, or asked to bring in their baby picture as part of autobiography, etc.  There is not a lot of information surrounding adoption taught in schools. Teachers need to be sensitive to the subject of adoption as adopted children can come to a family through domestic infant adoption, international adoption or the public foster care system.

Teachers often say that they want to be adoption-friendly but are unsure of how to approach adoption in their classroom.


So how can we help schools become "adoption-friendly" for our kids?


For schools to understand and appropriately respond, it is important that they understand factors that impact our children's social/emotional development in relation to adoption.  Including, 

  • Complexity of family structure - adoptive family, birth family, foster family, orphanage family
  • Adoption losses - birth family, foster family, orphanage family, native country/culture
  • Family differences - non-traditional structure (adoptive family, single parent, same sex couples)
  • Ethnic/cultural differences and trans-racial families
  • Age at time of adoption 
  • Special needs, if any
  • History of children prior to adoption (e.g. abuse/neglect, foster family, orphanage)


To help teachers positively incorporate adoption in their classroom, here are some successful school strategies that support our children's social/emotional well-being:

  • Using adoption-friendly language (check out this blog on positive adoptive language)
  • Encourage student discovery regarding adoption (don't be afraid to ask questions)
  • Be respectful if the child does not want to discuss their adoption
  • Educate students regarding adoption and family composition
  • Support understanding, acceptance, and empathy in students
  • Modify family-related projects (e.g. family tree) to be respectful of each individual adopted child
  • Maintain zero tolerance for prejudice, teasing, and labeling
  • Respect each child's unique adoption story
  • Take the adopted child's lead and be respectful if the child does not want to discuss their adoption
  • Reach out to the family and the child as a resource.


Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York adoption agency that has achieved Hague Accreditation.  The Agency has been supporting adoptees and adoptive families for since 1994.  The Agency is able to help parents and teachers embrace adoption within the school.  The Agency provides home study services and post-adoption support and supervision for families adopting domestically and internationally.  The Agency also has a domestic infant placement adoption program.  Family Connections is approved as a primary provider to help families adopt from Belize, Bulgaria, Hungary, Honduras, Jamaica and Pakistan.  The Agency provides services throughout New York State and the New York City area.  To learn more about Family Connections' services please contact our agency at 607-756-6574 or info@adoptfamilyconnections.org.  We look forward to supporting your adoption needs. If you would like to learn more adopt adoption click on the link below.


Consultation With An Adoption Professional



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