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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

Talking to a class about adoption

(6 Posts)
ptangyangkipperbang Mon 26-Sep-11 14:39:15

The family of one of the pupils in my Y1 class is about to adopt a young child. I am going to speak to the mum to see if she wants me to talk about adoption in our PSHE lesson. I thought this might help my pupil if everyone is aware of his growing family and also stop everyone badgering him! Do you think this would help?
Have you any ideas of the best approach? Any books that may help? Any sites you could direct me to?
Thanks very much.

Mumleigh Mon 26-Sep-11 14:51:35

Hello,

I think you need to see what the pupil's parents think first as they should have been given some guidance by their social worker about dealing with schools and about how the child will want to share the news about the new sibling arriving.

It's really nice that you are taking the time to think about this.

As an adoptive mother I would have found this really helpful.

My DS was 4 when my DD arrived aged 10 months and I found that his pre school friends just accepted that it was a new baby and didn't question anything. I imagine that at age 5/6 things are different as the children are a little more aware of whats going on.

Adoption UK will be a good place for advice.

Kewcumber Mon 26-Sep-11 15:04:21

you really really need to talk to the parents about this first.

I am very against the people doing some kind of "show and tell" using DS's adoption. It is a private matter and IMO should be treated the same way as a child joining a family by birth not as anything unusual or special. It is not anyone else's business.

The family may not plan to be open with strangers about one of their childrne being adopted and announcing it to 30 5/6 year olds kinda blows that out of the water.

Also what a 5/6 year old can grasp about the concept of adoption is pretty limited. DS is nearly 6 and he just about understands that he was born fom another womans tummy not mine. I mean really understands not just knows IYSWIM. And he lives with the reality of it 24/7, most 6 years who don't live with it really don't understand and care even less.

As a paretn I would just want a normal announcement that X has a new brother/sister and how lovely for him. Then talk to th eparetns about what script they have discussed with their DS to say to people who are more interested in that.

Most 6 year old don't distinguish between a new born and a 6 months ol and a one year old but if the child is miuch older it may need a different message. If you are keen to help him I would suggest you place your energy in discussing with the parents the most appropriate way to support him going forward (if necessary).

Personally I would be horrified at a public announcement and using my family as an education exercise (I know you don't mean it this way but its the default position of many educators and I have had to explain to them that DS's start in life is not for public consumption unless ^he chooses it to be^)

Maryz Wed 28-Sep-11 11:58:00

I agree with Kewcumber (as usual). Unless you are going to do a piece on "birth" the next time one of your class have a newborn sibling, you might just be opening a can of worms here.

I think your intentions are great - but the trouble is that the children will go home, tell their parents, and the parents will get a skewed idea of what exactly is going on. So you might have to have a parents meeting first, to tell them what you are going to tell the children and....... well it might just get unnecessarily complicated.

Also, do not under any circumstances say anything to anyone until the baby is home and the adoption is complete. Too many things can go wrong. One of dd's classmates told everyone about the little girl they were adopting from Russia (they had met her, they had photographs) and then the law changed, they weren't allowed to travel and they never found out what happened. It was tragic, and made much harder by all the surrounding gossip sad.

gillybean2 Sun 16-Oct-11 14:56:18

Agree with above posters.
As an adoptee it is my choice who I tell or don't tell.
Being adopted is hard enough without everyone whispering about it or saying mean things like 'they're not your real parents' or asking stuff about your real parents.
If you tell the whole class it will be common knowledge for years and this child will always be known as the 'adopted child' rather than as a sibling. and your Y1 child may not want to talk about it at all.

Most of his class will probably have no idea that his younger sibling is adopted and simply accept he has a sibling. Unless you make a big song and dance about it of course...

catsareevil Sun 16-Oct-11 15:15:06

A lot of Y1 won't question how the sibling of a classmate has arrived in the family, in the average playground a lot of parents might not notice much either.

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