2022 National Womens History Month

March is Women’s History Month. This month honors and celebrates the contributions of women throughout American history. 

Spence-Chapin is proud to highlight the stories of the many women that have shaped and created the Spence-Chapin family—from our founders, to our international partners, to the many incredible women connected through adoption.

Women have paved the way for modern adoption and Spence-Chapin is indebted to these women. In honor of Women’s History Month, we are sharing our historic timeline of the inspiring women of Spence-Chapin. These women have succeeded in creating thousands of families over the last century.

THE WOMEN OF SPENCE-CHAPIN THROUGHOUT THE AGES

Alice Chapin
1911

Alice Chapin

Alice Chapin established the Alice Chapin nursery in 1911 after one year of looking after undernourished and neglected children in their home. Mrs. Chapin was president of the nursery for 20 years. 

The following year the nursery joined with the Spence Alumni Society to form the Spence‐Chapin Adoption Service. Its first home being at 304 East 33d Street.

1911
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1946

Gladys Randolph

Former Director of Social Work at Harlem Hospital

Gladys Randolph brought the issue of abandoned babies at Harlem hospital to the attention of Spence-Chapin. There were 18 babies who were about to reach their second birthdays in the hospital.

Gladys challenged the then-popular notion that African-American families were not interested in adoption. As a result, Spence-Chapin started a program in 1946 to respond to the crisis.

1946
Rachel Robinson
1953

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson, wife of famous baseball player Jackie Robinson, joined the Spence-Chapin Board of Directors in 1953.

She was an advocate in connecting children with African American adoptive families.  

1953
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1954

Eleanor Roosevelt

Former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt was the featured speaker at a Spence-Chapin conference in 1954, saying, “No matter what the color of their skin, all our children must be looked at as the future rich heritage of the country.” 

1954
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1960

Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson was a famous American contralto singer. She performed a wide range of music, from opera to spirituals. She was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. 

Marian helped Spence-Chapin recruit African-American adoptive families. 

1960
Martha Ulman Photo
1990

Martha Ulman

Martha Ulman, grandchild of Spence-Chapin Co-Founder, Clara Spence, serves as an Honorary Director to our Board of Directors. Mrs. Ulman is a respected educator and prolific historian who has written extensively on the influence that Clara Spence had in child welfare reform and adoption. She has long been a partner to Spence-Chapin, and we are delighted to have her join our elite group of emeritus directors. 
 
1990
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1992

Linda Alexandre

Linda Alexandre serves as the Chief Program Officer at Spence-Chapin. Linda oversees day to day operations and manages senior program staff for Spence-Chapin’s Domestic, International, and Special Needs Adoption Programs. In her over twenty-year career at Spence-Chapin, Linda’s leadership skills and management style have consistently strengthened Spence-Chapin’s programs and ensured that they meet the needs of the multitude of people we serve, including birth parents, adoptive parents, volunteers, and domestic and international partners.

Linda received a bachelor’s degree from Lehman College, and a master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University.

1992
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2012

Kate Trambitskaya

As Spence-Chapin’s current Chief Executive Officer, Kate Trambitskaya oversees the administration, programs, and strategic plan of Spence-Chapin. Kate began working at Spence-Chapin in 2012, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, General Counsel for the organization. Before coming to Spence-Chapin, Kate was a Senior Team Leader/Attorney for the Family Court Legal Services, Administration for Children’s Services in Brooklyn for six years, representing the Commissioner of Social Services in court and various judicial proceedings. Kate is a Posse Foundation alumna, a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a member of New York Attorneys for Adoption & Family Formation (NYAAFF), and board member of the National Council For Adoption (NCFA).

Kate received a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a JD from St. John’s University School of Law.

2012
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2021

The Women of Spence-Chapin

At Spence-Chapin, we value and elevate the contributions that women make to the world each and every day. From the Grannies who are making a difference in children’s lives in South Africa and Colombia, to the birth mothers, adoptive moms and adoptees we support and empower, to the many women staff and leadership at Spence-Chapin who make our work possible, we are continually inspired and motivated by amazing women. We are excited to celebrate women this March and continue to support women every day.  
2021

FEATURED BLOG POSTS

WE CELEBRATE CLARA SPENCE

“Throughout our Nation’s history, American women have led movements for social and economic justice, made groundbreaking scientific discoveries, enriched our culture with stunning works of art and literature, and charted bold directions in our foreign policy.”

JOURNEY OF STRENGTH AND HOPE: A BIRTH AND ADOPTIVE MOM’S STORY

Jacqui adopted a beautiful baby girl named Carina through Spence-Chapin in August 2018. When I asked Jacqui why she chose to work with Spence-Chapin, she said that she was first introduced to Spence-Chapin as a birth parent seeking counseling and support many years ago.

5 INSPIRING QUOTES TO COMMEMORATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

In honor of International Women’s Day, the Spence-Chapin team has been meditating over the powerful words of remarkable women who have offered wisdom and motivation through their voices and personal life stories. 

SUPPORT FOR OUR COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19: BIRTH FAMILIES

Spence-Chapin social workers stay in contact with many of our Birth Parents even after they have placed their child for adoption or decided to parent. 

MARTHA ULMAN INTERVIEW

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

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