Don't ask me for my baby photos...
Updated: Jul 24
Don't ask for my baby photos: Sharing Family History and Stories Lessons. When it comes to talking about adoption stories and our children's family history in school, it's a bit like walking on eggshells. Most don't have happy baby or family pictures and stories to share, and let's face it, the real stories can be a bit too spicy for a classroom setting. So our children are told to “bring in pictures of someone who 'feels' like a relative?" Yeah, right. Why don't we just bring in pictures of random strangers from the street while we're at it.
It's so triggering for our kids. What if their birth dad is in nick for some right dodgy business? Or their birth mum's trapped in a violent relationship, forced into sex work to feed her scumbag partner's habit? Maybe the grandparents turned a blind eye to the abuse and the neglect the bairn faced. Sharing family pictures and stories is just not that simple for some.
Adoption is a complex and sensitive issue. It involves secrecy to keep kids safe, but that secrecy can breed shame and a sense of inadequacy in adopted children. It seeps into every crevice of our kid's souls, screaming, "You aren’t good enough."
And let's not forget about birth parents, who are piled on for losing their kids and stigmatised by society. Silenced and shamed even more. It's time to have some real talk about adoption, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Let's ditch the show-and-tell approach and create a more supportive environment for adopted kids to speak freely about their identity when they are ready and on their terms. They deserve access to robust and specialised support to help them navigate their unique circumstances in education. Only then can we rewrite the adoption narrative and ensure that every child, adopted or not, feels proud of their heritage and their past. Because let's face it, the last thing anyone wants is a class of 30 kids talking about their perfect families while one kid sits there feeling like they don't belong.