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Adoption Matters

Teacher Educators Share Their Stories and Strategies for Adoption-Inclusive Curriculum and Pedagogy

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Edited By Robin K. Fox

Adoption Matters: Teacher Educators Share Their Stories and Strategies for Adoption-Inclusive Curriculum and Pedagogy explores the experiences of educators inside and outside of the classroom with students who are adopted. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 1.5 million children in the United States who have been adopted. Adoption is not a new way to form a family, but there have been shifts in adoption practices. Two of those shifts have been the increase in open adoptions and an increased understanding of how international adoption can influence children. Since the 1970s, the work of the Adoptees’ Liberty Movement Association and other organizations working on behalf of adoptees has raised public awareness about adoption and spread adoption stories. In the United States, adoption is rarely a secret any more, and many children who are adopted are aware of it. This means that professionals working with children who were adopted need to be prepared to understand the lived experiences of these children and their families. The stories in Adoption Matters describe the experiences of teacher educators and illuminate how adoption continues to shape their professional practice. Educators’ narratives reveal the intricate processes they have encountered in building their own families through adoption, as well as their struggles and triumphs with individual schools and school systems. Adoption Matters hopes to disrupt the notion that adoption and adoption-related issues should be secret, taboo, or dismissed.

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1. Adoption: The Gift of Hope and Opportunity (Sharon M. Kolb)

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1. Adoption: The Gift of Hope and Opportunity

SHARON M. KOLB

In my early 20s, I searched and found my birth mother and had the opportunity to see what my life may have been. Because adoption was a positive experience for me, our first choice to build our family was through adoption. My partner and I adopted two daughters from Russia. Same-sex couples are also more likely to pursue adoption compared to different-sex couples (Goldberg, Gartrell & Gates, 2014). Ultimately, we were able to see the opportunities being adopted created for me and we wanted to provide a similar opportunity for another child who needed a family.

The Perfect Plan

Once we decided we were ready to begin the adventure of adoption, I do as I normally do and researched as much as I could about the topic. There were numerous adoption agencies and we did not know anyone that was adopting or working with an agency at the time, so I began a search of checking into reviews of current adoption agencies, their policies, procedures, and framework. Some agencies quickly rose to the top of the list based on their reviews, reputation, practices, and philosophy. Britta and I discussed what we were looking for in an agency and the winnowing of agencies was narrowed down to 10 agencies that seemed to be a good fit.

We did have one major stipulation. The...

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