community events

Spence-Chapin’s Adoptive Family Playgroups

By Christine Tangel, LCSW

By Christine Tangel, LCSW

I often hear the question from parents, when wonderings come up about something in their family, “Is this related to adoption or not?” And the answer, most of the time, is “yes” and “no”.

And here is how I set the stage for why Bagels & Blox belongs in your family’s monthly routine. Or more generally, why joining, embracing, an adoption community is essential to the well-being of your family.

Needing community is a universal truth in parenting. All of the “whys”, “what is that abouts” and “that happened to us toos” need the ears of those who are living that same experience. For your children, they need this community because it is playful and fun and reflects to them how their family shares things in common with other families in the group. Your child’s sense of identity is reinforced in a community instead of trying to comprehend it on their own or just with their family.

Once a month, on a Sunday morning at Spence-Chapin my colleagues and I roll out the play mats, set up the toys, lay out the breakfast spread (of bagels and lox of course!) and prepare to welcome a community of young families. Some of these families are familiar faces - who we look forward to seeing every time and others are coming for the first time or “trying on” this particular group.

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Bagels & Blox is joyful and silly and friendly. It is a place where toddlers are forming early friendships and parents can catch up with each other.

It is a casual atmosphere. Our playgroup allows space to connect with other families or build blocks with your child but also has professionals there for questions or to get tips, if needed. We have adoption related resources-articles, books and children’s books are out on display and available to look through or take home.

It is flexible. All families’ schedules are busy. Our playgroups allow families to choose how many you come to. We have some members who will be with us every month, we have others who come every few months. In either case, our commitment is that you feel welcomed and at home when you come.

It is belonging. All people, big and little, have a desire to belong and to feel accepted into a group. Finding a place where you and your child can feel connected to others who share the experience of adoption helps to build on the foundation of feeling understood and accepted. If from a young age, they are a part of a community that shares adoption, it helps them understand that part of their identity too.

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Bagels & Blox is open to all families with adopted children between 0 and 6 years old. Admission is free. To learn more about an upcoming playgroup or family-friendly events, please visit our website at www.spence-chapin.org/community.

Domestic Adoption Home Studies at Spence-Chapin

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Spence-Chapin supports adoptive parents pursuing a domestic independent or attorney adoption. We offer Home Study, pre-adoption training, consultations, and more. We provide adoptive families with expertise, professionalism, and the support of an entire adoption team. With over 100 years of experience in adoption, we know how to support adoptive families, birth families, and adoptees! If requested, Spence-Chapin can provide recommendations for reputable adoption attorneys in the NYC area. Overall, Spence-Chapin recommends working with an experienced adoption attorney, preferably a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

Home Study Services

A home study is a document required for all adoptive parents and is the first step to any adoption process. Spence-Chapin has provided home studies for thousands of families adopting domestically. We have the expertise to work with you and your adoption attorney or out-of-state agency. Families can begin the home study process while they are identifying their agency or attorney. If you’re ready to get started on the adoption process, please visit our website to download our free home study application.

Pre-Adoption Support

Throughout the adoption process, Spence-Chapin social workers and staff are available for support and information. Families can schedule one-on-one meetings to talk about their questions or concerns, such as how to manage the wait to be matched with a child, how to speak with a birth parent once connected, what to do if spouses aren’t on the same page about the adoption, navigating open adoption, and much more!

Post-Adopt Support

Regardless of how you choose to build your family, our ongoing family support is available! We offer robust post-adoption support through consultations, counseling, parent coaching, and events for parents and kids. Our post-adoption services are available to all families after your child joins your family! We offer a monthly playgroup for adoptive families with kids 0-5, an annual Halloween party, Global Family Day Picnic in Central Park, and ongoing workshops for kids and parents. We invite you to join us for these community events!

Get started with a domestic adoption today by starting the home study process! Visit our website to learn more about Spence-Chapin’s home study services or contact us at (212) 400-8150 or info@spence-chapin.org.