Spence-Chapin provides adoptive families with programming for every life stage to help them thrive. From toddler playgroups to identity workshops to mentorship programs, our team of dedicated and caring professionals is there to help guide you and your family and connect you to a supportive community.
We are always adding great new programming for families!
For updates on all of our programming and upcoming events, sign up for our newsletter or visit our events calendar!
Our one-of-a kind program allows adopted middle or high school students to join an inclusive adoption community. Mentors and Mentees meet monthly for fun, social gatherings that allow them to make new friends, build self-confidence, and connect with others who can relate to them. Adopted adults can also serve as a role model to a young person.
Our playgroups are a great opportunity for children to make friends and connect with other adoptees. It’s also a wonderful space for parents to share stories and tips with other parents. Social workers are always on hand to provide parenting tips and helpful resources such as books and articles. Bagels & Blox is our playgroup for children between 0 to 6 years old. Play Café is for children 6 to 8 years old.
Bagels & Blox is a beloved Spence-Chapin community building event that has been around for 7 years, providing a space for young adoptees ages 0-5 years old and their parents to meet with other families, have fun, and make new connections! Kids play under the watchful eyes of our volunteers, who are also adoptees. Our staff are on hand for your parenting/adoption questions, and we provide helpful resources such as books & articles.
Our interactive and creative workshops are crafted by Spence-Chapin’s team of professionals to help parents and children of different ages explore issues around adoption. Lifebook Workshop is for children ages 6 and above. Adoption Identity & Mask-Making is for tweens and teens ages 8 and up.
We offer a variety of groups and programming so you can find the one that is right for you. We hope to see you soon.
For all the exciting special events we offer throughout the year, including our annual Halloween Party, our adult night out Cocktails & Conversations series, and more, visit our events calendar!
Play Café is a one-hour play group for children ages 6-9 years in which a social worker facilitates an adoption-focused activity to explore adoption identity. This program runs in conjunction with Bagels & Blox, allowing the children the opportunity to enjoy a half hour of unstructured play time before and after the official program. Their parents mingle with the Bagels & Blox families, enjoying social time with their adoption community.
Lifebook is open to adoptees 7-10 years old who are joined by their parents/guardians at the Spence-Chapin offices. Kids create their “Lifebook” which tells the story of them! Using art materials, photographs, letters and other memorabilia, kids create a physical book that represents themselves, the important people, places, and things in their life in their own words. With help from parents, kids may include how they joined their family, photos and letters from birth family, things about their birth culture/place, their hobbies, favorite foods, music, activities, just to name a few.
Hosted by Spence-Chapin staff and fellow adoptees, Lifebook is a great event where kids get to meet peers, share their stories and have a fun creative afternoon!
To sign up for our next Lifebook, head to our events calendar!
Junior Mentorship welcomes adoptees ages 10-12 years old to join in monthly events throughout New York City from September to June. This adoptee-led program was created specifically to give our pre-teens a space to make new friends, meet older adoptees and talk about the topics that are important to them. Our mentees have adult adoptee mentors age 21+, who lead the group in conversation, creative activities, games, and team-building events. Designed as a precursor to our Teen Mentoring Programs, Junior Mentorship often gives mentees their first opportunity to have mentors and make friends who share this deep connection of being adopted.
Founded in 2005, the adoptee-led NYC Teen Mentorship Program welcomes adoptees 13-18 years old to join in monthly events throughout New York City from September to June. This program functions as a group mentoring program connecting young adoptees with adult adoptee mentors 21+, creating spaces for fun activities and thoughtful conversations, all while creating new friendships and community. Discussion-based days center around the adoptee experience, identity formation, how to talk about difficult topics and how adoptees navigate new spaces as we get older. Registration is offered to families per semester, or per year.
Teen Voices of Adoption (VOA) is a virtual event held for adoptees ages 13- 17 that meets throughout the year. In this virtual space, adoptees from all around the world are welcome to join in an evening of conversation, while hearing from others who have a deep shared experience. Teen VOA is hosted by Jessica M. Luciere, a Colombian adoptee and Adoptee Advocate; she is the Manager of Community Engagement at Spence-Chapin, overseeing all programs that support adoptees and their families.
Teen Voices of Adoption is a community-based group and does not offer clinical support. If you or your family are in need of additional support please visit Post-Adoption Counseling | Spence-Chapin to see if our counseling services are right for you.
Registration for Teen VOA is free to all adoptees 13-17 years old.
Voices of Adoption (V.O.A), founded in 2019, is an adoptee-led community based space where adoptees 18+ from all over the world meet for an evening of conversation and connection. In the fall of 2022, we are excited to announce the launch of Teen Voices of Adoption, a virtual space for adoptees 13-17 years old. Both Voices of Adoption are free for all participants to join, although registration is required. To learn more, see below!