Couples and families who want to extend the loving home that they have often consider the blessing of adoption. To be able to take in a child and give them a place to belong is a gift both to the child and to the family-at-large.
But how does homeschooling affect the adoption process? And how does adopting affect homeschooling?
If you already have children and are considering adoption, something to think through is the fact that social workers will be involved in your adoption (whether public or private) and will comb through every aspect of your home and family life as part of your application process. And of course they should. A child up for adoption needs to be given the security of a safe, appropriate, and loving home. Criminal checks, medical checks, and reference letters are only a part of what is included in the home study that will be done to ensure that your home is a good fit for a child waiting to be adopted. As reasonable, and as expected, as this is, it also opens up your family to scrutiny over how you educate and how you discipline your biological children. Do you use spanking as a means of discipline? Have you chosen not to immunize your children? Do you require your older children to attend religious services with you? All of these personal decisions that you’ve made for your family will be under examination. And you cannot be certain that the social worker in your case will necessarily agree with your decisions. In Ontario, for example, the social welfare agencies are set against allowing adoption in families that use corporal discipline. Even if you state that you are willing to not use corporal discipline on the adopted child, you will still be carefully examined (as will be your children) and that could begin a series of undesirable meetings and conversations.
If you weigh the potential consequences of pursuing adoption and decide to proceed, you should rest assured that homeschooling, in and of itself, should not be a barrier to being approved for adoption. In fact, some agencies would say that homeschooling is one of the best things that can happen to an adopted child. That child needs to be welcomed and included into the family, and homeschooling fosters that kind of parent-child-sibling attachment. Additionally, if you are considering international adoption, homeschooling is a wonderful way of allowing gradual progress through a new language and a new culture at the child’s pace, with lots of one-on-one teaching time – something a busy classroom is not equipped to provide.
If you are successful in welcoming a child into your family, do know that your next year of homeschooling will look very different from any previous year. You should give yourself (and your children) the flexibility to have a more laid back academic year as you all adjust to the new reality of a new family member. In the case of an international adoption, you may want to consider many of your school subjects in the context of the country and culture of the child you’ve adopted. You may want to switch to curriculum that is more student-directed and independently learned so that you are less in demand as teacher while you adjust to the new addition. Whatever you choose for your educational resources for the next school year, do give yourself the freedom to know that school at home will not be business as usual. A new baby is always a major change to routine. An adopted child certainly should be expected to bring even more change to routine. Give yourself, and your children, time to adjust to the wonderful new reality, with full confidence that much important learning is occurring as you open your hearts and home to a new person (and maybe a new culture).
HSLDA has the experience and expertise you need in navigating both the domestic and international adoption processes. Contact our office for more information.
For general information on adoption in Canada:
For information on private, Christian adoption agencies: