On November 1, Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children marks National Adoption Awareness Month with community-wide offerings that celebrate the diverse stories of the adoption constellation and seek to counter misconceptions that continue to permeate mainstream notions around adoption in the United States.
While more than 100,000 children are adopted in the US each year, adoption continues to be widely misunderstood. In the United States today, 56% of American adults report that they are not familiar with adoption, and yet 40% of Americans know someone who is connected to adoption. Persistent misconceptions around adoption can perpetuate negative stereotypes and leave those connected to adoption feeling isolated and misunderstood. National Adoption Awareness Month provides critical space for dismantling myths around adoption and elevating the varied and unique stories and experiences of those connected to adoption, and that make up the diverse adoption constellation.
Spence-Chapin will contribute to the spread of adoption awareness throughout the month of November through an in-person event and multi-platform digital campaign. The event, Stories of Adoption, a panel discussion taking place on Wednesday, November 16, at 6PM at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn, NYC, will unite adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents around their stories of adoption. Attendees will have the chance to ask panelists questions and share their own experiences. The conversation will be moderated by Monica Baker, Director of Domestic Adoption Programs at Spence-Chapin, and is free and open to the public—those connected to adoption, and those who are interested in learning more about adoption or in hearing stories of the unique lived experiences of others. The event also welcomes professionals in the field of health care and social work who want to learn more about adoption and related services to best serve their patients and clients.
“This event is meant to celebrate, reflect, and honor the unique and important experiences that make up the adoption constellation and to increase awareness around the diversity that exists in the adoption community. We encourage attendees to be active participants in this immersive and meaningful event,” said Linda Alexandre, Spence-Chapin Chief Program Officer.
In addition to the community event, Spence-Chapin will launch a special digital series, Stories of the Constellation, on social media and through its podcast, Adoption Talk by Spence-Chapin, which will feature interviews with exceptional members of the adoption community who take a deep dive into their diverse narratives with listeners. Topics for this series include Search and Reunion of Birth Families, Kinship Adoption, Sibling Stories, and Adoptee Voices.
To learn more about Spence-Chapin’s community programming for National Adoption Awareness Month, visit www.spence-chapin.org/naam/.
 Adoption by the Numbers, National Council for Adoption.