Pact Camp

Webinar: What Adopted Preschoolers & School-Age Kids Need From Adults Who Love Them

Start time/date: June  2, 2021 11:00 AM
End time/date: June  2, 2021 12:30 PM
Place: Webinar
Call-In Instructions Will Be Emailed After Registration

What Adopted Preschoolers & School-Age Kids

Need From Adults Who Love Them


Preschoolers are very concrete thinkers. They are just beginning to learn about things like “same and different” and are beginning to apply their new ideas and understandings to everything, including friends and family. For this age group, the idea of “difference” doesn’t bring with it the uncomfortable feelings that it can evoke in parents. When a child learns that another child was adopted, they usually process it as just another piece of information. When they notice racial features and differences, they are simply categorizing as they are learning to do with shapes and colors. Parents and adults have a wonderful opportunity to introduce preschoolers to the full range of family structures and racial/ethnic diversity in a fun and constructive way. Being careful to use respectful adoption, race and identity language can set the stage for these kids to view their own identity - or their classmate’s – in a positive way.


Children at this age see themselves in terms of what they can do, and begin to compare themselves to their peers. They do not like to be different, unless that difference is along the lines of “I can read better than anyone in my class” or “I can run faster than most of my friends.”  At this age, teasing among peers often becomes a factor. Having differences in family structure and/or racial identification pointed out can make elementary school kids very uncomfortable. Even when it is clear that their teacher is being supportive in talking about adoption, race or family structure, they may not want to participate. School assignments that set children up as different from the other children in their class may provoke emotional conflicts. Children at this age use their developing conceptual skills to figure out how and why adoption happened to them. Around ages six or seven, they may become absorbed in the struggle to understand, and might appear unfocused or distracted at school. If they are struggling with painful feelings of loss or rejection, they may act those feelings out in their behaviors. Often by the age of nine or ten, they have come to terms with their new, and own understanding of what it means to be adopted. This workshop is suitable for adoptive parents, birth parents, their allies and professionals.


Participants will be able to

  • anticipate developmental milestones and how they are impacted by childrens experience of adoption.
  • understand typical responses to adoption and other identity factors in preschoolers and young school age children
  • create realistic expectations and timelines for how to initiate and support children’s healthy journey of adoption.
  • identify at least five practical strategies they can employ to promote and solidify connection and understanding for adopted toddlers and young school age children.
  • learn how to respond to children’s questions and needs.

Instructor/Panel:Beth Hall

Experience: Beth Hall is an adoption educator who, co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters, racism is alive, and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties.

Pricing Description:

$36 per person non-member

Special price Pact members receive 25% discount.

Please choose carefully when registering for Pact events. Pact is not in a position to refund workshop or event registration fees.