Supporting Parents of Toddlers and Older Children through Options Counseling

Spence-Chapin is well-known as a trusted resource to help new and expectant parents across New York and New Jersey as they consider permanency options for their infants. But Spence-Chapin also has experience and expertise supporting parents of toddlers and older children, regardless of their developmental and medical needs, as they plan secure adoptions.

This past month we had the privilege of supporting an incredible 2.5-year-old boy named David*. David’s biological mother was referred to Spence-Chapin by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).  She had been overwhelmed to meet her son’s needs and was considering adoption for him, as she felt she could not provide him with the life and support he deserved, and wanted him to have a reliable plan for permanency.

 David‘s mother was relieved to learn about Spence-Chapin’s Interim Care Program, which gave her the pause she so desperately needed. Our Interim Care Program offers 24-hour care to infants and toddlers while their biological parent/s work with their Spence-Chapin social worker to consider their options, and when relevant, plan for their child’s adoption. Treating birth parents with dignity and respect, openly discussing all of their options, and empowering them to make decisions they are wholly comfortable with is integral to the work we do.  It is because of this program that women and couples are given the time and space they need to make the best decision for them and for their child.

David was cared for in the home of one of our Interim Providers for 8 weeks while his mother received supportive and unbiased options counseling from her Spence-Chapin social worker.  During that same time, we were able to have David evaluated and learned more about his cognitive and developmental delays. This new information allowed us to enroll him in early intervention services and to connect him with additional resources he needed.  

Understanding more about David’s needs ultimately allowed us to find an incredible permanent family for David when his mother made the decision to move forward with adoption planning. With experience and dedication to support his unique needs, they were the right match for this special little boy – and they were thrilled to welcome him into their lives. David’s adoptive family deeply values the ongoing contact with David’s biological family as they have moved forward in building an open adoption.

There are unique challenges inherent in older child adoption and we want to be there to support children and families every step of the way, so that their transition can be as smooth as possible. Our team provides individualized transition plans to ensure that each child and parent is supported while they deepen their connection with one another, and move toward placement. After placement, we provide birth and adoptive parents with ongoing support, coaching and counseling to help everyone adjust to the change in their family. We will continue to support the adoptive family in obtaining appropriate therapies and resources for David in his new home.

If you have a friend, family member or client in need of options counseling, we can help. Call us 24/7 at 1-800-321-5683 (LOVE), TEXT: 646-306-2586, or EMAIL: [email protected]

*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

David’s interim care family (pictured alongside his family) who ensured David was well-cared for until it was time to go home.

To find out more, or if you have any questions, please contact us at 800-321-5683 (LOVE) or email us at [email protected].