I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, growing a family through adoption takes a very private decision, public. I rarely hear people ask my friends, “what was your labor like” while they wait in line, but I have had more people than I can count ask me in the last 18 months, “wasn’t it expensive to adopt”, or “where did she come from,” or “does she know her real mom?” I know most of these questions are mere curiosity and I try to answer with grace, but sometimes I just want to buy milk.
Recently, I was at a day care function with Clara and was asked a similar question by a teacher. I tried to respond appropriately, but I really wanted to say, “Can we talk about this another time, I want to watch Clara color her pumpkin.”
- Most centers include admission paperwork. I encourage teachers to review that information before asking the parents. In our case, we wrote out exactly what the teachers need to know, but teachers still ask us for this information.
- Ask what you need to know to help the child achieve their fullest potential, not what you want to know. If you have personal questions about adoption, you may say, “I have some questions about adoption and was wondering if I could ask you sometime.”
- Assume the birth story is full of joy, but also assume privacy for the family.
- If you have questions try to ask with as much discretion as possible. Other teachers, parents, and children are curious and will listen to the answer, which may make the parents uncomfortable.
Links to additional resources…
Adoption is a wonderful and exciting time for families; an experience most would like share with those important in their life, and the lives of their child. As an early childhood teacher, you serve a very meaningful role in the life of children and their parents. I encourage you to discuss adoption with families enthusiastically and compassionately.
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