Meet the Mentors!

Our Modern Family Center mentors - trained volunteers - are adoptees who are passionate supporting young adoptees.

In Remembrance of Flicka Van Praagh

In Remembrance of Flicka Van Praagh

Spence-Chapin offers its heartfelt remembrance of the life and spirit of Flicka Van Praagh.

Adopting International Special-Needs Children

Traditional adoptions from foreign countries, including China, can take many years, but the wait time for a referral through this program is dependent on a families openness and the current children waiting. It is expected that wait for a referral is significantly less than the current wait for referral in the traditional China adoption program. There are thousands of children with special needs waiting for a family to love them. The China Waiting program has both boys and girls looking for forever families. Many of the children available through this program have minor or correctable issues such as cleft palate or vision issues while others’ needs are more complicated.


Learn more by visiting our China Waiting page.




Since 1992, Spence-Chapin has found loving adoptive families for over 600 children from China.

This milestone is remarkable given the changing landscape of adoption over the recent 4-5 years. In 2011, the number of foreign children adopted by Americans fell by 15%, reaching the lowest level since 1994. Our CHINA20 fundraising event celebrated Spence-Chapin’s milestone of 20 years of adoption in China, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to fund our programs and services in China, like our outstanding Granny program.

Our CHINA20 event began at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), a wonderful space located in the heart of Chinatown. Families took the time to explore exhibits and enjoy activities like calligraphy and face painting. Everyone was excited to meet and greet with our honorees Flicka Van Praagh, Xiao Hua, and Xiong Yan. Walking around the MOCA, you could hear so many of our parents fondly reminiscing about their adoption process, travel experiences, and how much their families have grown.

As the day lingered on, we moved the celebration from the MOCA to the Golden Unicorn. But on our way there, we hunted down the hidden treasures of Chinatown on a scavenger hunt. Do you have photos of your Chinatown discoveries? Post them to our Flickr and share the memories!

Once we settled in to the Golden Unicorn, we enjoyed some delicious food and incredible entertainment. The Chinatown Community Young Lions put on a spectacular show with their crowd-pleasing Lion Dance, and our young dancers from the New York Chinese Cultural Center enchanted everyone with their traditional Chinese Ribbon dance, which they performed for their teacher and our honoree, Bei Bei Gu.

At dinner, we awarded our Honorees and reflected on all the amazing work they did on behalf of Spence-Chapin and our wonderful families. Flicka Van Praagh, our former Director of International Programs who spearheaded our China program in 1992, moved us all as she encouraged everyone to continue working to find homes for children who need them.

The night ended, and families said heartfelt goodbyes to our honorees. But, the connections made and stories shared were truly inspiring, and we are so glad to have brought our families together for an excellent event like CHINA20.

The proceeds from CHINA20 will sponsor more grannies for our Granny Programs in China, and give our robust China program a chance to thrive in new and exciting ways, like expanding our school-aged and special needs adoption programs in China. For more information on our programs in China, visit our website.

Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy - Adoption Documentary

On Tuesday, August 31, POV premiered on national PBS Stephanie Wang-Breal’s documentary Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy. It is the story of Fang Sui Yong, an 8-year-old orphan, and the Long Island Jewish family who travels to China to adopt her. Through her eyes, we witness Fang Sui Yong struggle during her first year and a half in the United States with a new identity and a new family.