Recently I was speaking on a panel to adoptive parents and one of them asked me what practical steps they could take to help their adopted children adjust in their new lives. I said one area I would like to see change is the vernacular in which teachers discuss adoption in their classrooms.
In my opinion, a child has as much choice in being adopted, as they do in choosing their gender and their race. This is to say, I think adoption should be talked about and discussed in the larger language framework of “diversity.”
This mother is well aware of the insensitive comments that teachers and students make when they have an internationally or domestically adopted child in their classrooms. She puts the responsibility on the parent to educate the teacher, not the other way around. I like that she believes in taking a proactive approach. I would think it would really advance the conversation that the teacher could eventually have with their students about their classmate who is adopted.
I really like the point she made that face-to-face contact is critical for the parents and the child. I’m unsure if my parents sat down specifically with my teachers on an individual basis, but I think it’s a great idea.
What do you all think about this? Is adoption something that should be talked about using the language of diversity? Anything you would add to the conversation?