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Adoption Matters

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


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.

Acknowledgments – Holly Elissa Bruno: Foreword – Robin K. Fox: Introduction – Section One Insights and Strategies for Teaching Children Who Were Adopted – Sharon M. Kolb: Adoption: The Gift of Hope and Opportunity – Andrea Maxworthy O’Brien: "There Are All Kinds of Mamas": Exploring Diverse Families Through Children’s Literature – Sara Michael Luna: "I’m Not Related to Anyone I Know": Adoption, Books, and Belonging – Anne D’Antonio Stinson: "I Think I Blew It": Reconsidering My Stance as a Parent of Children Who Were Adopted in Middle Childhood and Adolescence – Section Two Professional Experiences of Teacher Educators Who Have Adopted Children – Robin K. Fox: "I Have a Ph.D. and This Is Hard for Me!": An Early Childhood Educator and Parent of Children Who Were Adopted Rethinks Her Practice – Elizabeth M. Hughes King: Unpacking Misconceptions Along the Adoption Journey – Troy Moldenhauer: When Four Became More – Tracey G. Scherr: Bridging Three Continents to Build a Family and Enhance a Career – Wade Tillett: Through the Lens: Family Videos, Adoption Stories, and Instrumental Truths – Section Three Personal Experiences Arising From Adoption by Teacher Educators – Johnny Cole: "He Can’t Be Your Dad!": The Intersection of Race, Adoption, and Gay Marriage – Lana Collet-Klingenberg: That Was Fun. Let’s Do It Again!: Adopting Older Children From China Having Already Raised One Family – Brandi S. Niemeier: Renewed Perspectives for Health Promotion Education – Penny Portman: Raising a Global Family and Balancing a Career as a Single Parent – Mary Kilar: And the Greatest of These Is Love – Ozalle Toms: More Than Textbook Knowledge: Truths About Adoption Arising From Life Experience – Robin K. Fox: Conclusion – Contributors.