Practical Guidance Goes A Long Way

Do you freeze every time your son asks about his birth mother?  Are you having trouble explaining your decision to make an adoption plan to your family?  Is getting your seven-year-old to go to bed an epic battle every night? Are you wondering how to respond to a birth relative who found you through DNA testing?  These are some of the issues that we tackle in short-term coaching. 

Coaching vs Counseling

Our clients often wonder what coaching is. Coaching is short-term, solution-focused support that concentrates on a specific issue. This is not therapy, and it is not insurance reimbursable. Spence-Chapin coaching is there for you when you are seeking education, information, and a place to gather your thoughts and develop an action plan.

Types of coaching


Are you thinking about starting a search? Have you been contacted by a relative? Are you in reunion and feeling overwhelmed and don’t know what the next step could be? Our experienced coaches provide support and guidance as you process the different emotions that come with a search and being in reunion.

For Adoptees
  • Explore needs and experiences outside of other’s expectations
  • Navigate relationships and contact
  • Learn to set and manage expectations
For Birth Families
  • Review placement
  • Consider how search will impact other family members
  • Explore/expand identity as a birth parent
For Adoptive Parents
  • Review adoption information/story to uncover feelings
  • Identify your own issues and how that impacts the child’s search experience
  • Provide guidance and practical steps for reconnection


Our coaches support parents as they problem solve to find solutions for some of the challenges bubbling up in their families. Any parent who has ever wondered how to share their family’s adoption story with their child, how to talk about identity, race or how to talk about any of the the difficult aspects of adoption can benefit from a coaching session. As children grow up, they naturally begin thinking about who they are and their adoption story, which leads to asking questions. Our coaching sessions can reduce your anxieties about your child’s adoption story and help you organically integrate discussion about adoption into your family life.

  • Get tips for school issues/play dates
  • Anticipate issues related to race if you’re a transracial family
  • Get support to share more difficult information
  • Is it adoption or teenager issues?
Talking About Adoption At Different Ages

Listen to this podcast of Mark Lacava, LCSW-R, Executive Vice President of Spence-Chapin’s Pre & Post Adoption Services Department discuss common questions children ask at different developmental stages and how to answer them.


Communication is an integral part of navigating openness in relationships between birth parents, adoptive parents and children. Do you need support managing the openness as your child asks more questions about their adoption? Do you need ideas to increase communication or set boundaries? Our experienced coaches can help you best navigate the openness in all the relationships throughout your family’s different development stages.

  • Manage loss and separation issues at different stages after placement
  • Understand how to talk about placement with family, friends and strangers
  • Navigate relationships with birth family, adoptive parents and child at different ages
  • Get support for birthland trips / international search


Preparing to travel? We’re here for you. A birthland trip is a trip made to an adoptee’s country of birth and can be made at any time in an adoptee’s life. These trips serve to connect an adoptee to his/her birth culture, and in so doing, engage more deeply with a part of his/her identity and past. Spence-Chapin will help you and your family prepare for a birthland trip.

Birthland Trip Resources 

View our list of birthland tours offered by other agencies and organizations.

Please note: Spence-Chapin does not endorse or recommend any birthland tours not affiliated with Spence-Chapin. For more information about the birthland tours listed, please contact that agency or organization.

Your Coach will offer practical tips and resources so you can make immediate changes. Each coach brings decades of experience working with adoptive families and helping kids & their parents succeed.

Coaching is offered to clients living in all 50 states 

Coaching sessions can take place by phone, video or in person.

Coaching is not considered a therapeutic service and therefore is not insurance reimbursable. Together we’ll create an individualized plan to help you and your family.

One 60-minute phone session: $100

We offer sessions via video conference and via phone.

Call Us Or Email Us Today To Learn How We Can Help You!


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