Adoption Services Since 1908

About Spence-Chapin | Spence-Chapin Adoption Services

About Spence-Chapin

SPENCE-CHAPIN IS AN ACCREDITED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION that has been offering quality adoption services for more than 100 years.

Our mission is to provide adoption and adoption-related services of the highest quality. The organization focuses on finding adoptive homes for children who need families; promoting the understanding of adoption through counseling and public education; and improving adoption's image and practice.

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.

Spence-Chapin promotes equal opportunity for all clients by complying with local, state and federal laws and regulations. We do not exclude, deny applicants, or otherwise discriminate on the basis of race, ancestry, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, military service obligation, veteran status or any other basis protected by federal, state or local laws.
Our policies and practices are intended to ensure that all clients are treated equally.

Clara Spence and Dr. and Mrs. Henry Dwight Chapin independently establish nurseries to find permanent homes for orphaned and abandoned children.

The Spence Alumnae Society and The Alice Chapin Adoption Nursery merge. As Spence-Chapin Services, the agency gains a reputation as a leader in providing quality adoption services.

Spence-Chapin begins one of the country’s most respected African-American adoption programs. Throughout the 1950s, eminent women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson and Mrs. Jackie Robinson (above) help promote Spence-Chapin’s outreach to African-American families.

Spence-Chapin establishes Harlem-Dowling, an adoption and child welfare agency delivering services to the Harlem community. Harlem-Dowling became an independent agency in 1980.

Spence-Chapin opens its first international program in South Korea, and subsequently extends its international programs to countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Recognizing that adoptive families, adoptees and birth parents all face unique challenges, the organization started the Modern Family Center to offer post-adoption education, counseling, workshops and support groups.

Spence-Chapin initiates a formal program to place special needs infants and children, working with adoptive families throughout the United States. A Special Adoption Program (ASAP) celebrated its 300th placement in 2007.

The independent Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is established by Spence-Chapin to improve the quality of information about adoption and advance adoption policy and practice.

Spence-Chapin is committed to humanitarian aid in order to improve conditions for children in orphanages. With the launch of the innovative Granny Program in Bulgaria, children in orphanages begin to make developmental strides through individual attention given by trained "grannies" from the community. The program expands to China in 2001 and Moldova in 2005.

Spence-Chapin bids farewell to its home for over 50 years and moves to its current location at 410 East 92nd Street.

Spence-Chapin celebrates its 100th anniversary and the placement of 18,000 children with permanent, loving families.