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WWYD? DD's school friends have somehow found out that she is adopted

(17 Posts)
OlennasWimple Tue 28-Mar-17 02:31:03

We have always told DD's teachers at the first suitable opportunity that she is adopted - usually the first parent / teacher conference, or other face to face meeting. We say that she knows that she is adopted, and also knows that it is her private information to share if she wants to. So far DD has chosen not to tell her friends - she did tell some friends at her pre-school, and really regretted it. She is older (7!) and wiser now (often well beyond her years!).

About a week ago she was in a terrible mood - everything was wrong, we were awful... The usual stuff when she is going through something difficult. Tonight she snuggled up with me and told me that some of her friends at school know she is adopted. She is adamant that she hasn't told any of them; none of them know her old friends; so the only way that they could have found out is if either her teacher or one of the school admin staff let it slip.

What do we do?

DD doesn't want us to make a fuss. She says that the others weren't teasing her or anything, it was jsut that it is private information and she was caught out by them knowing.

I am livid and want to go in all guns blazing to see the teacher. DH is probably right, and thinks we should respect DD's wishes, especially as a big part of the issue is the invasion of her privacy. DH also thinks that her teacher wouldn't have said anything - but I can't see realistically who else it could have been.

Poor DD. sad

flapjackfairy Tue 28-Mar-17 09:47:35

I cant believe teacher wouldve said it tbh . Privacy taken v seriously these days. Though not impossible obviously.
Could it be that a child or parent from other school could know someone at this one and it has got out that way?
I would mention to school to keep an eye on the situation but dont really see what you can do now the genie is out of the bottle as it were.
Hope your daughter is ok with it all x

UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 28-Mar-17 10:29:42

I kind of can't see the point of complaining, given that it could have been one of a number of people, and you don't know the source. However mentioning to the school might help them remind all staff to be more careful what they say about such things in future.

Instead, I would perhaps now work on letting your DD 'own' the fact she is adopted. To my mind it is not something that needs to be kept secret/private. Families are made in lots of different ways, and being adopted is one of them. The reasons for being adopted are private, but being able to be matter of fact about being adopted may help her in the long run?

It is really good the friends weren't teasing her or anything. Make sure she does have an answer to 'why were you adopted?' even if it 'that's private'. Neither of my DDs has ever had any negative comments from others knowing they are adopted, a few questions at times, but other children just aren't that interested in my experience.

OlennasWimple Tue 28-Mar-17 13:34:41

Thanks, both.

Definitely not someone from the other school. But I don't know how I could have the conversation with her teacher without - at least implicitly - accusing him. If it was him, it seems like a gross breach of confidentiality.

Under - I think you're right. It's unfortunate that this has come at a time when DD is going through a phase of "I wish I had been in your tummy like DS", so the work we were doing with her about "owning" being adopted is useful but a bit more pressing than we thought! I'd always looked at the information as like a medical history: nothing to be embarrassed about, not her fault, but something that she is entitled to keep private if she prefers.

DorcasthePuffin Tue 28-Mar-17 20:44:52

I wouldn't rule out that your dd told someone. I think it is very hard for children this age to keep this kind of information to themselves. My dd is the same age, and told lots of people that she is adopted, and now regrets that but can't take the information back. Is it possible your dd did the same, and now regrets it and so is pretending it wasn't her that said it?

It's really hard for our kids to navigate what to tell who and when, and the difference between secret and private. And if they do tell just one other child, it will go round and then all the other kids not unnaturally want to ask questions, and it snowballs.

Judbarian Tue 28-Mar-17 23:19:52

Teachers may talk to other staff, family members, friends... Most people of all professions are gossips in my experience and unless you know someone very well and know what they're like you shouldn't trust them with any information you don't want passed on. I really don't see how being adopted is relevant to what happens in the classroom. You were the one who overshared in the first place.

OlennasWimple Tue 28-Mar-17 23:37:42

Dorcas - that is a possibility, I agree.

Judbarian - may I ask, are you an adoptive parent?

PoppyStellar Tue 28-Mar-17 23:44:54

judbarian I am assuming you are not an adoptive parent as your comment comes across as offensive and ignorant. These days most, if not all, children who are adopted have experienced neglect or abuse prior to coming into the care system, and all previously looked after children have experienced loss which has a significant impact on their ability to form secure attachments. Being adopted is hugely relevant to what happens in the classroom - even the government recognises this as evidenced by the provision of pupil premium funding for looked after and previously looked after children.

The OP has not, as you so charmingly put it 'over shared'. They have shared, in confidence, relevant information with the school so that the school is best placed to support their child to achieve their potential.

OP I don't have any useful suggestions or advice other than what other posters have suggested but flowers for you

PoppyStellar Tue 28-Mar-17 23:52:50

judbarian if you are interested to know why adoption is an issue worth mentioning to a child's school this www.adoptionuk.org/sites/default/files/documents/LetsLearnTogetherNIMarch2013.pdf might help

Judbarian Wed 29-Mar-17 00:31:28

I was adopted. I suppose back then everyone was adopted as babies, I assumed, most probably wrongly, that the op adopted their daughter as a baby. I didn't intend to cause offence. I'm sorry if I did.

PoppyStellar Wed 29-Mar-17 00:52:05

judbarian think perhaps I need to apologise too! I was in a grumpy mood when I first posted and should have worded my post more politely.

OlennasWimple Wed 29-Mar-17 01:40:53

Apology accepted, Jud

GrimbleGrumble Wed 29-Mar-17 19:21:41

Do any other parents know? A mum I barely know asked me recently about the adoption process as she knew my dc is adopted. No idea how she knows as hardly any parents know and none that she is close to as far as I know. I don't think it came via dc. Made me wonder if adults are sharing this amongst themselves their children might also overhear and then mention it to my dc. I was so surprised I didn't actually ask her how she knew! Made me realise I need to talk to DC again about handling questions. I don't think mentioning it to the teacher that you're wondering how children found out would seem like you're accusing him and might help him keep an eye on what's being said by the kids. Hope your DD is ok, it's hard knowing they've got this to deal with.

Bingybongboo Wed 29-Mar-17 19:56:42

Working in a school I would say sadly information/conversations are often overheard with other pupils around. For example if your dd is receiving pupil premium this information will be shared across the school. I work for an external agency who works in a school. Those pupils who have been in care/care leavers are highlighted as they are at higher risk of offending/disengagement etc.

Sorry not very helpful but on the positive your DD confided in you, which is great. Sadly I guess it's part of the journey for some adopted children, i guess its where they start to build resilience. Playground stuff and hormones are difficult at the best of times. I'm a few years away from dealing with it thankfully!

OlennasWimple Wed 29-Mar-17 20:38:10

Thanks Grimble and Bingy. We haven't told any other parents, and we're not in the UK at the moment, so no Pupil Premium data to blame either.

Good point about her confiding in me - it's useful to be reminded of the positives in tricky situations smile

sunlitmeadow Thu 30-Mar-17 21:13:09

My position is more nuanced than Juds but yes, things do get passed around very easily in schools, I'm afraid. I would always be cautious with what I shared with teachers because you cannot know it will stay with them.

Kewcumber Fri 31-Mar-17 22:42:32

In my experience its paretns who pass the information around freely not staff.

If I'm honest (and I have dealt with) would ask her friends parents outright where they heard from.

And yes you're always hijacked by this kind of thing when you're nt expecting it! You're never well prepared enough!

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