Considering Adoption?

Adoption is a choice that can provide a loving and permanent home for your child. 

When planning an adoption, you are in the driver’s seat. You can choose your child’s adoptive family. You can meet them. You can ask questions and decide whether or not you would like to have ongoing contact with them and your child as he or she grows. Spence-Chapin will ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way, and that you feel emotionally supported and empowered.

What is Adoption?

Adoption is a loving, bittersweet, and thoughtful plan where a birth parent selects an adoptive family to raise their baby when they are unable to do so. The adoption process allows you to carefully consider the right adoptive family who can fulfill your hopes and dreams for your baby. 

Adoption differs greatly from foster care in two main areas:

  1. Adoption is forever, while foster care is temporary
  2. In adoption, you are making a knowledgeable and conscious choice to place your child with a family and are in control of the process. With foster care, a child welfare agency obtains temporary custody of your child and places the child with a foster family or in a group home of its choosing. There is then a process to retrieve custody of the child, should you choose to do that, that depends on your financial or housing situation as well as other factors.

What is an Open Adoption?

You can decide on the type of ongoing relationship you want to have with your child and/or their adoptive family. In an open adoption, you can remain a caring presence in your baby’s life and are able to see them grow and develop through pictures, videos, letters, and visits. Adoption can be a caring, stable, and permanent option for your baby.

You can choose the level of openness that is best for you. Should you choose an open adoption, you can decide if you would like that agreement to be legally enforceable or not. At Spence-Chapin, our free counselors and attorneys will help you through each option and step.

What are Your Rights?

You have rights when you choose adoption for your child. Spence-Chapin will ensure that you know those rights and help you to understand them.

As a birth parent, you have the right to:

  • Free 24/7 care for your newborn in the home of a Spence-Chapin volunteer family through our Interim Care Program while you are working with a counselor to make an adoption plan
  • Choice of the adoptive family for your child
  • Access to an independent attorney at no charge
  • Assistance with pregnancy-related expenses
  • Choice of level of openness within your adoption plan
  • Court enforceable Post-Adoption Contract Agreement (PACA) where rights are protected
  • Access to life-long post-adoption support through counseling and other services

Why Choose

Spence-Chapin is a non-profit organization that has been helping birth parents consider their options for over a century. We can offer help in ways that may not be available through a private attorney or another agency:

  • Our services are at no cost to you 
  • We offer counseling in multiple languages
  • We provide adoption social workers who only work with birth parents so there is no conflict
  • We listen, we understand, and we do not judge
  • We provide free legal counsel independent of Spence-Chapin to discuss your rights 
  • Through our Interim Care Program, we provide safe and loving temporary care for your baby to give you the space to think and plan


Birth parents who work with us feel heard, supported, and are confident with their choices.

The Spence-Chapin Way is to provide guidance and support to children, women, and families throughout their lifetime. 

We can help for you to lead the process and provide free counseling and support before, during, and after placement

At Spence-Chapin, you and your rights are respected every step of the way. The Spence-Chapin commitment to you is life-long.

What if My Child Has Special Needs?

An unexpected diagnosis of a special medical or developmental need can be incredibly challenging. It may also be too much for you or your family to manage. Spence-Chapin has helped find loving and capable, permanent adoptive families for children with special needs for over 25 years. 

Our counselors can help you think through all of your options, including adoption. We are able to meet you at the hospital, at your home, or in one of our offices. Our services are free and confidential.

Do you need more time to decide?

If you need more time to make a final decision about your adoption or parenting plan, Spence-Chapin offers a free interim care program for your baby.  

If you choose to utilize this program, your baby can receive loving care in a nurturing home environment from one of our trained and experienced volunteer caregivers while you consider what is best for you and your baby. The option of interim care allows you to retain your legal rights to your baby and gives you the time and space you need to carefully think through your options and plan.

Our volunteer caregivers are carefully screened and trained in infant CPR and first aid, car seat safety, baby care, and universal health precautions. You can utilize Spence-Chapin’s Interim Care Program for your baby without committing to an adoption plan. You can decide to bring your baby home at any time. While your baby is in interim care, you will receive regular updates from Spence-Chapin staff on how your baby is doing, and you can visit with your baby at the Spence-Chapin office.

While in Spence-Chapin’s care, babies are seen by Dr. Greg Yapalater, a pediatric doctor affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital. Dr. Yapalater has been providing medical care for infants in Spence-Chapin’s Interim Care program for over 19 years!

“I am proud to be associated with Spence-Chapin, for the wonderful work that they do. As an interim care provider, I am thrilled when the phone rings and a baby will be coming to me. What an honor it is to get to know and care for these little one. They seem to capture my heart the moment they arrive. Each baby is so precious and my time with them is a treasured gift. All they ask for is love and they give so much in return.”

–Interim Care Provider

Hear from a Birth Mother

How We can Help

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