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Question
Posted by: LISCA | 2011-09-03

RE post 924, adoption q

Yes, we can phone the principal, exct, BUT the catch of the situation is: If our kids were not adopted we would have answered no...if we enquire regarding the questions, obviously they will know that they''ve been adopted...Maybe we can write that this is personal and not to be discussed with any one without parents knowledge? Or just fill in N/A?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I agree with Maria, the school asking this is profoundly peculiar and intrusive, and something THEY need to defend, rather than you having to explain your discomfort. I would certainly contact the local Education Dept to draw their attention to this bizarre issue, as it may indeed be considered to breach the human rights and right to privacy of yourselves and your children ( as well as of many other children whose parents didn't notice how odd this is, or didn;'t dare to query it.
As Obvious says, I would get good legal advice, as a lawyer can also use the right terms to warn the school of its risky position, and make it clear that any prejudice against yourselves or the kids on the basis of this, would be actionable. Its not a question of you having to take the child out of the school - if they even suggested that, they would be in deep legal peril. A lawyer could help usefully to remind the principal that he is acting wrongly and it is him who needs to explain and defend himself, not you,

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2011-09-05

:-) Let us know what happens with the school. There is an Adoption talk forum on here as well, it''s not very active but I monitor it so we can chat there if you would like.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: LISCA | 2011-09-05

Thanx Maria, I take this message with lots of love! I actually agree with you! We won''t even start with grandparents and their unthinking, hurtfull remarkds! I agree, if it was my biological kids, OMW! Say no more!!! x

Reply to LISCA
Posted by: Maria | 2011-09-04

Lisca I''m so sorry to hear about your son''s diagnosis. Autism is complex, and no two kids are alike. But at least there is constant research which adds to the knowledge you need to help him grow up into a self sufficient, happy adult.

The problem with never telling anybody that your kids are adopted is that they might end up seeing this as something to be ashamed of. Perfect, biological families with a mom, dad and two happy kids are becoming less and less common. Blended families, step-children, half-siblings, convoluted relationships are what make up many families these days. So although you may feel " different" , there is really no fixed view of " normal"  any more.

My daughter''s story is long and convoluted, and I won''t bore you with it. Suffice to say that we have a lot of contact with biological family whom she adores and we can''t stand, and that the fact that she is adopted has always been out in the open. We couldn''t have hidden it even if we wanted to, because of the circumstances. She is smart, and funny. She is also stubborn, and can already at the age of 9 use her intelligence to find ways of pushing buttons that has me tearing my hair out sometimes. We all struggle with the realities of our extended families. My mom, who loves her dearly, has recently implied that perhaps it would have been easier on me to raise a child biologically my own and that my daughter''s strong and sometimes difficult to handle personality is the result of her biological heritage. I experience this comment as betrayal. It is also false - chances are that I would have had a child with the same or other issues, all kids have issues, and you cannot predict what you will get. I have become, without really intending to, an advocate for adoption. Although ours wasn''t text book I think it is a great and precious gift for a birth mom to give to a couple, and it is up to all of us who share in that gift to break down the undeserved stigma against adopted children. It''s easy for us, who have adopted children who look like us, to pretend that they''re not adopted. But they are and it does not make them less ours in any way, it''s just a different chapter in their and our lives to what some other families have.

I''m sorry, I didn''t mean to lecture you and I hope you experience my message in the spirit in which it is intended. All the best with your son, and your decisions. Perhaps this school thing is an opportunity to change some people''s minds and hearts and make things easier for other adoptive or blended families.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: LISCA | 2011-09-04

Maria...this is actually something I''m asking myself-|-well....why does this bother me so much? I think the reason being is the timing. My oldest son has been diagnosed 1 week ago with high functioning autism so there is already a ''label'' around his neck....we will be in and out working with the school in helping him cope optimal in the environment...I know he comes from a good well educated family, but I also know that the moment they are going to hear that he has been adopted, the assuptions is going to fly!

Reply to LISCA
Posted by: Maria | 2011-09-04

Lisca unfortunately I can''t see how you are going to resolve this situation, being honest, without the principal at least suspecting that your boys are adopted. You could say that there are adopted children in your extended family and you find the questions irrelevant and offensive. That would not be an outright lie. While I absolutely agree with you that the question should not be asked and that you have the right to keep this information private, may I ask why you feel so strongly that the school shouldn''t know?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Obvious | 2011-09-04

A lawyer can phone the head and state he is representing a new applicant to the school without mentioning names and inforn the head the question is unconstitutional - illegal - discriminatory.
He can inform the school that if he is made aware this question is followed up in an interview it will be reported the the Education Dept.
I think you will find this section will be ignored going forward.

If you put not applicable on the form this could be taken many ways
ie he is not adopted - it is not relevant - it is unconstitutional - it is discriminatory. A discussion with a lawyer does not mean you have to take any action you are uncomfortable with , but legal knowledge always gives options

Wishing you well

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: LISCA | 2011-09-04

Obvious....I respect your point of view...but I can''t see how legal advice is going to help us....this is a social issue. You must keep in mind that my oldest son has been in this very good school for 3 yr already and needs to still carry on next year exct. This is just such a difficult situation and we''re VERY upset that they have put us in this situation! Even if legal advice say, it''s private...then what? We can''t just take our son out of school, what about his friends, what reason do we give him, we moved and bought a house 4 km from this school.....
We can leave it open, not answering the Q, but the form is going to be discussed with the principal during our interview...AGAIN, it''s very easy to put 2 and 2 together if some one leaves a Q blank...I do agree, that we will NOT write anything on paper,who knows who has access to that info! OMW!

Reply to LISCA
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-09-04

I agree with Maria, the school asking this is profoundly peculiar and intrusive, and something THEY need to defend, rather than you having to explain your discomfort. I would certainly contact the local Education Dept to draw their attention to this bizarre issue, as it may indeed be considered to breach the human rights and right to privacy of yourselves and your children ( as well as of many other children whose parents didn't notice how odd this is, or didn;'t dare to query it.
As Obvious says, I would get good legal advice, as a lawyer can also use the right terms to warn the school of its risky position, and make it clear that any prejudice against yourselves or the kids on the basis of this, would be actionable. Its not a question of you having to take the child out of the school - if they even suggested that, they would be in deep legal peril. A lawyer could help usefully to remind the principal that he is acting wrongly and it is him who needs to explain and defend himself, not you,

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Obvious | 2011-09-03

Get legal advice before pursuing

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: Maria | 2011-09-03

As a parent of an adopted child myself I''m very puzzled by this. We''ve enrolled our daughter in three different schools and never once did a form ask if she was adopted. In fact just about the only time when you HAVE to tell someone is when the question of inherited medical issues arises, and that has got nothing to do with school.

Maybe contact the Education Department?

I would just not answer the question, leave it blank. If they then come to you for an answer you can ask them why it''s important.

Reply to Maria

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