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July 2019   |   Archive   |   National Adoption Month   

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What Educators Should Know About Adoption

For children who were adopted and their parents, school can be a uniquely challenging experience. Since teachers, counselors, school personnel, and peers play a key role in shaping a child's educational and emotional development, their awareness of adoption-related issues is essential to ensuring a better understanding of the specific attitudes and behaviors often exhibited by this population of children and youth and helping create a positive school experience.

Children adopted from foster care often share a common history of multiple losses and placement instability. In particular, placement instability may disrupt student learning and is often associated with low levels of academic proficiency. A child may have difficulty learning at the same rate as children in his or her class and, as a result, have low self-esteem, choose inappropriate ways to seek a teacher's attention, or lack the proper social skills to make friends.

Parents may want to share relevant information about their child's background, which could be helpful in addressing specific behavior concerns and planning useful intervention with the adoptive family. Awareness of the issues children may have confronted in their past can guide educators in the development of individualized lesson plans and school assignments and toward the use of positive adoption language.

The following resources highlight specific themes and ideas to better support adopted children in school settings:


3 Resources to help build the capacity of foster/adoptive parents

What Teachers Should Know About Adoption


By the National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and
Guardianship Support
and Preservation


Supporting Adopted Children with Special Needs in the School Setting

By the Center for Adoption Support and Education 

School Issues for
Adopted Children


By Creating A Family 



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