National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month (NAM), a time to teach others about the adoption journey and celebrate adoption! This year, as part of National Adoption Month, Spence-Chapin is commemorating the 25th Anniversary of our Special Needs Adoption Program, which has placed more than 500 children with special needs in loving adoptive families. 

ASAP 25year logo finalThis program is fully funded through the compassion and generosity of our supporters, allowing Spence-Chapin to offer comprehensive support and services at no cost to the birth and adoptive families.  Spence-Chapin is able to find incredible families for every child that comes through our Special Needs Adoption Program, no matter how challenging their needs may be.  Since the program began in 1995, every placement has been permanent, with a 0% disruption rate.  This program has been recognized by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute with an Angel in Adoption Award, and we are excited to bring you stories of some of the remarkable children and families in this program throughout the month.  

Spence-Chapin will also be sharing stories, information, testimonials, pictures, and videos from families that adopted through our International and Domestic adoption programs. You will hear from all members of the adoption constellation and Spence-Chapin staff. We hope to inspire those touched by adoption and educate those not familiar with the adoption process.  Now more than ever,  the need for family is so important, having a permanent, loving home is so necessary, and staying connected is essential. We encourage you to share these stories from the Spence-Chapin community during the month of November and throughout the year and stay connected to us on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

November calendar

Our Favorite Adoption Blog Posts


Spence-Chapin staff members say those of us with personal connections to adoption can be powerful voices in promoting adoption, breaking down myths, and bringing attention to the children here and around the world waiting for permanent families. Here are Spence-Chapin’s ideas for how to celebrate National Adoption Month!

The Virtual Orange Couch: Adoptions in the Time of COVID-19

In our Manhattan office, there is a very well-known orange coach. For families that have adopted through Spence-Chapin, this piece of furniture holds an incredible amount of sentimental value. 

Interim Care During COVID-19

Spence-Chapin’s Interim Care Program provides a unique and important service to birth parents, offering them time and space to work with one of our social workers on a plan for the future while knowing their baby is being cared for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in the home of one of our trained volunteer families.


Similar to Spence-Chapin’s Domestic Infant Adoption Program, the matching process in our Domestic Special Needs Program is driven by birth family whenever possible.

Then and Now

These are photos collected from families we have had the honor to work with throughout the years.


Martha Ulman granddaughter of the late Clara Spence is interviewed by Antoinette Cockerham, Spence-Chapin’s COO.

The Spence-Chapin Granny Program pairs local volunteers with children living in orphanages to provide them with one-on-one consistent attention and care, helping them form healthy attachments and hit developmental milestones. In 2012, the program began in South Africa, and currently pairs 54 trained Grannies with 108 children. In 2019, Spence-Chapin launched Project Play to further assists the children of South Africa. This initiative builds playgrounds at orphanages and ensures that every child has a gift and celebration for their birthday and holidays. 

Mentors in Spence-Chapin’s Adoption Mentorship Program talk about the benefits of the program.

Listen to Scott share his story about seeking support when making a plan for their third child.

A Spence-Chapin short film, as premiered at the 2018 Gala honoring Toni Cockerham.

Home Study Discount

We are offering $200 off home studies for applications received between October 1st and November 30th. 


Spence-Chapin’s roots can be traced to the early 1900s and the pioneering work of Clara Spence, and Dr. and Mrs. Henry Chapin, who independently established nurseries out of concern for homeless infants abandoned in hospitals and shelters. The Spence and Chapin nurseries each broke new ground in developing social work techniques for adoption and, after the merger, continued to pioneer in the adoption field.

Today, Spence-Chapin is proud of our role as a prominent voice and leading advocate for adoption, and of our commitment to the well being of all members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptive parents, and their children. 


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