Ukrainian and all adopted children can face some truly awkward
and uncomfortable feelings with homework and classroom projects
that teachers don't think twice about.
As an adopted parent, it is best to be prepared for these
assignments and have some ideas for ways to work with the teacher
and your adopted child so that they feel included and accepted.
I believe extremely strongly that every adopted child should know
that they are adopted. It is nothing to be ashamed or
uncomfortable, and speaking about it more rather than less I
believe is for the best. However, I feel that genetic charting of
"family" traits is extremely hard for adopted children. This is
especially so in international and/or closed adoptions when not
much is known about the birth family. Yes, let's do an activity
in front of all their peers and point out graphically that
physically your adopted child may have nothing in common with
you, his or her adoptive parents. Does anyone see this as
obtrusive, isolating and non-inclusive other than me? Now, we all
know that the nature nurture argument is far from settled, but no
matter if your adopted child shares your accent, love of spicy
food and laughs just like you; it will do nothing for the color
of their eyes or skin. I agree with the advice from Adoptive
Families - school projects focusing on genetics should work with
plants. Or at a bare minimum, give the children a choice. That is
what I want my adoptive son to have, a choice as to when, how and
to whom he shares his personal story with. Depending on the
child's personality, this assignment could be a big deal, or
nothing to bat an eye at.
The following is adapted from
Charting Genetic TraitsAssignment:Diagram or write about the
presence of a particular trait in the child's family, such as eye
or hair color.
Grade level:Junior high through high school; occasionally late
Learning goal:To help children understand how genetic traits are
passed along through generations.
Why it's challenging:Charting traits in an adoptive family may
raise unwanted questions, and a child may not have much
information about birth relatives.
Alternatives for teachers:Study genetics in insects or plants.
Use historical examples, such as the prevalence of inherited
diseases in the royal families of Europe.
Approaches for parents:Help your child identify friends or a
biologically related family group, such as grandparents or
cousins, on which to base a genetic chart.
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Ukrainian Adoption 101:
Conversation On International Adoption: Opportunity, Process,
Concerns and Questions
Monday, November 12, 2012 6:00-7:00PM
Location: Califon Book Store: 72 Main Street, Califon, New Jersey
Ukrainian Adoption Information Meeting
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00-8:00PM
Location: Wellness Rocks: 133 Rupell Road, Clinton, New Jersey