Adoption Talk by Spence-Chapin
By Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children
Adoption Talk by Spence-ChapinAug 23, 2023
Search and Reunion with 'Who Am I Really?' Host, Damon Davis
On today's episode, Spence-Chapin Senior Manager of Client Services, Joseph Hall, who works in post-adoption records and resources, is joined by Damon Davis, the host of the Who Am I Really? podcast, where adopted people share their stories of adoption and their attempt to find their birth families. On this special episode, Damon and Joseph both discuss personal stories, as well as some of the challenges adopted people face in their search and reunion journeys, and why sharing these experiences can be so important.
Episode 26: Stories of Adoption: Young Adults and Friends, Kate & E, Discuss Transracial Adoptee Experiences
Spence-Chapin intern Kate Lodge and long-time friend, E, both adopted from China into transracial families, discuss memories of their first years of life in China and their experiences with 23&me, microagressions, meeting other adoptees, and reconnecting with their heritage.
Melissa's Adoptee Perspective - Stories of the Constellation
Welcome to our final installment of our special series for National Adoption Awareness Month. While the month of November is coming to a close, there are so many more voices connected to adoption that we want to share, so look for more Stories of the Constellation episodes in the coming months! This week we feature a story from a late-discovery adoptee, which means that the adoptee learned that they were adopted later in their life. Melissa Guida-Richards, an author, transracial adoptee, and advocate, shares her experience and her motivation for writing her latest book, What White Parents Should Know about Transracial Adoption, and its forthcoming workbook component. Listen as she shares her journey with Spence-Chapin Community Programming Manager, Jessica Luciere.
Danielle and Madison's Sibling Perspectives: Stories of the Constellation
Welcome to another episode in our very special National Adoption Awareness Month series, Stories of the Constellation. While traditionally we may think about the adoption community as all being members of the so-called "triad," the truth is that there are many individuals who are touched by adoption beyond the birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. These may be partners of adoptees, biological siblings of adoptees, extended family members, and many more. This week we focus on the relationship between Danielle, an adoptee, and her biological half-sister, Madison, who was raised by the birth parent Danielle had been searching for. Together, the sisters discuss the moment they learned they had a sister and how their relationship has evolved since.
If you or someone you know is searching for biological relatives or navigating a new relationship after a search and reunion, our team of adoption-competent therapists are here to help you navigate any challenges or concerns you may have. To learn more, contact us at info www.spence-chapin.org/therapy or call 646-539-2167. We're here for you.
Blondene's Kinship Adoption Journey - Stories of the Constellation
Welcome to another episode in our very special National Adoption Awareness Month series, Stories of the Constellation. This week we feature a story about kinship adoption, which refers to a formal legal adoption process of a child by their relative or kin, such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle. What many may not know about kinship adoption is that the process is the same as a non-kin adoption, which can come as a surprise and a challenge for many families, especially in cases where the adoption is international and is prompted by the death of a child's main caregiver, creating real urgency in moving the adoption along. This was the case for Blondene, who shares her story on today's episode.
If you or someone you know needs support in a kinship adoption, our team of adoption experts is here to support you. We can provide guidance and resources to get you started, conduct your home study, and provide counseling and other support to ensure a smooth transition for your family. To learn more, contact us at info at www.spence-chapin.org or call 212-369-0300.
Filmmaker and Adoptee Rebecca Autumn Samson on Reckoning with the Primal Wound
On today's episode, we hear from filmmaker and adoptee, Rebecca Autumn Samson, who, along with her biological mother, Jill Hawkins, have released a feature-length documentary called Reckoning with the Primal Wound, which explores the 1993 book by Nancy Verrier, The Primal Wound, which has sparked discussion and interest in the adoption community for almost two decades. Rebecca shares with us her personal and professional journey in making the film, and the reactions from viewers she has received along the way. Let's get started!
Paulette's Search and Reunion Journey - Stories of the Constellation
Welcome to the first episode of a very special National Adoption Awareness month series, Stories of the Constellation, where each week we will be highlighting the diverse and unique stories of individuals and families connected to adoption. This is the first of a four-part series discussing Search and Reunion, Kinship Adoption, Sibling Perspectives, and Adoptee Voices.
We'll first be speaking with Paulette, a Spence-Chapin adoptee who learned she was adopted as an adult and spent decades searching for her birth family. Originally interviewed for a blog series on our website, Rocky Road to Reunion, Paulette's journey had her crossing the country, utilizing DNA testing, and fighting legal barriers. We are pleased to share the conversation between Spence-Chapin's Alexandra Poirier and Paulette, where she shares her remarkable story.
Adoption in the US Today, The Child Welfare System, and What Research Tells Us with Ryan Hanlon, Naomi Riley, and Kate Trambitskaya
Prompted by new research published by the National Council for Adoption, today's episode brings together its President and CEO, Ryan Hanlon, with author, columnist and Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Naomi Riley, to discuss with Spence-Chapin CEO Kate Trambitskaya, the state of adoption today, the child welfare system, and issues facing the adoption community. Let's get started.
Semi-Open Adoption, Therapy, and Tween Parenting with Erika and Efrain
On today's episode, we hear from Erika and Efrain, parents of a twelve-year-old tween, about their experience navigating a semi-open adoption with their daughter's birth family, and their process in seeking out adoption-competent therapy to work through some of life's challenges. Host Linda Alexandre, Spence-Chapin's Chief Program Officer of Domestic Adoption Programs, leads this helpful discussion about managing a child's and family's expectations when a birth parent is non-responsive, how to seek out the right kind of support when issues arise, and the ways we can be purposeful to build and create the community we need.
Normalizing Transracial LGBTQ Adoption with Actor Raymond J. Lee and Life-Coach Robbi Kearns
On today's episode, Broadway, TV, and film actor, Raymond J. Lee, and husband, Robbie Kearns, life-coach and founder of Guidance from Gratitude, discuss how they've used television and print ad opportunities to help normalize transracial LGBTQ families, advocating for their family at school and in their community, and so much more. Don't miss this great episode hosted by Spence-Chapin Director of Domestic Adoption Programs, Monica Baker, that provides tips and guidance for families, just in time for Back to School! To check out the family's advocacy work through advertising, visit Raymond Lee's IG account @raymondjlee.
Back to School: Adoption-Specific Tips and Advice from Spence-Chapin Counselors
On today's special episode we discuss Back to School with Spence-Chapin therapists, Christine Tangel and Amy Silverman. Together, they tackle topics like preparing your child and family for conversations that may come up around adoption, how to speak to teachers and school staff about your family, seeking out a community of support, and so much more. For families of children just starting school, to those with older children, this episode is packed with tips and advice that you won't want to miss! For more information about the W.I.S.E. Up! Adoption Curriculum referenced in this episode, please visit The Center for Adoption Support and Education's website at www.adoptionsupport.org/w-s-e-giving-adopted-kids-simple-tools-answer-tough-questions/.
Episode 16: Sarah Saffian on being a Memoirist, Psychotherapist and Adoptee
On today's episode, Director of Pre- and Post- Adoption Services and therapist at Spence-Chapin, Christine Tangel, speaks with Sarah Saffian, fellow therapist and also memoirist and adoptee, about her memoir, Ithaka, her therapeutic writing workshops for members of the adoption constellation, and the role that personal disclosure and adoption-competent therapy has meant in her personal life and in her practice. Let's get started.
Episode 15: LGBTQ+ Family Formation Options & Adoption Pathways with Brian Rosenberg of Gays with Kids and Lauren Jiang and Sophia Gardner of Spence-Chapin
On today's episode, Adoption Talk delves into the topic of LGBTQ+ family formation pathways, speaking with Brian Rosenberg, co-founder of Gays with Kids, about his family's journey, the reason Gays with Kids was created, and some of the exciting tools they are adding to support families. We also hear from Sophia Gardner and Lauren Jiang of Spence-Chapin about adoption pathways for LGBTQ+ singles and couples and the importance of post-adoption support for all families. Let's get started.
Episode 14: Ethics in International Adoption
On today's episode, we discuss the very important issue of ethics in international, or intercountry, adoption, beginning with the very basic question: Why does intercountry adoption exist at all? This thoughtful conversation with Spence-Chapin Senior Director of International Adoption & Humanitarian Aid, Lauren Jiang, and Senior Director of Legal & Compliance, Chelsea Guffy, explores the subsidiarity principle, Hague-Accreditation, the importance of family preparation and training, and so much more. Resources provided in the episode include: adoption.state.gov; the book The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Karyn Purvis, et al; Creating a Family at www.creatingafamily.org; The National Council for Adoption at www.adoptioncouncil.org; The Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity at www.iaame.net; and www.spence-chapin.org.
Episode 13: Birth Fathers & Open Adoption
On today's episode, we hear from birth father David and adoptive mom Sarah about their experiences in an open adoption, and from Spence-Chapin Director of Domestic Adoptions, Monica Baker, and Associate Director of Birth Parent Services, Mary McCabe, about the importance of open adoption and the role that birth fathers can play in the adoption planning process. Let's get started.
Episode 12: Mixed Roots Foundation and the Foster Care Challenge
On today's episode, Holly Choon Hyang Bachman, founder of Mixed Roots Foundation and The Foster Care Challenge speaks with Spence-Chapin Director of Marketing and Development, Christine Pohl, about National Foster Care Month and new initiatives to support adoptees and foster care youth.
Episode 11: The Granny Program: Spence-Chapin CEO & Team Reflect on Trip to South Africa
On today's episode, we look back to a trip to South Africa in 2019 that launched the Granny Program expansion. CEO Kate Trambitskaya, CPO Linda Alexandre, and Senior Director of Legal & Compliance, Chelsea Guffy, traveled to meet with our partners at four orphanages in Johannesburg. They chronicled the challenges that the children were facing, which they observed first-hand, and the benefits they knew the Granny Program expansion would bring to them. Back in 2019, 30 children were being served by the Granny Program. Today, more than 160 children are served every day. As the Spence-Chapin team once again prepares to travel to South Africa to expand the program once again, we bring you this great discussion on the impact of the Granny Program in the lives of children. Let's get started!
Episode 10: Opening Up About Open Adoption
On today's episode, we hear from birth mother Sarah, adoptive mom Laurie, and adoptee Ela, who have been in an open adoption since Ela's birth. Together, they talk with Spence-Chapin Director of Domestic Adoption Programs and Outreach, Monica Baker, about their experiences with open adoption and what it has meant in each of their lives. Let's get started.
Episode 9: #BlackandAdopted: A Conversation with Black to the Beginning
On today's episode, Adoption Talk welcomes friends Dr. Samantha Coleman and Sandria Washington, who both discovered as adults that they were adopted and quickly learned that Black Adoption is common, but rarely spoken about in private or publicly. In an effort to bring conversations around Black Adoption to the forefront, Dr. Sam and Sandria created Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast which places the stories of Black and Adopted adults and The Black Family at the center. Hear their conversation led by Melissa Minnich, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications at Spence-Chapin and fellow adoptee, as they discuss their personal stories, the history of Black Adoption, generational healing, and the critical importance of open conversations around adoption. Let's get started.
Episode 8: The Spence-Chapin Mentorship Program's International Impact
In today's episode, Spence-Chapin Community Programming Manager, transracial adoptee, and adoptee advocate, Jessica Luciere, speaks with Florencia Lalor. Flor is a psychologist, adoptee, and founder of La Voz del Hijo, an online space created for adoptees from her country of Argentina, but which has brought together adoptees from around the world. Flor was also one of the first mentors in the Spence-Chapin Mentorship Program when it began in 2005. Join Jessica and Flor as they discuss their adoption stories, reunion with birth families, and the impact that the Mentorship Program has had on their lives and work.
Episode 7: Why Mentorship is Important for Adoptees with Mentor Andrew
On today’s episode, Spence-Chapin veteran and licensed clinical social worker, Toni Cockerham, is joined by Andrew, a transracial adoptee and long-time mentor in the Spence-Chapin Mentorship Program. Andrew discusses his adoption journey, experience working with adopted teens as a Mentor, and why mentorship is so important for young and older adoptees.
Episode 6: The Unfiltered Truth from Birth Parents (Part 2)
Today’s episode is a continuation of the conversation with birth parents Linda and Jack, moderated by Spence-Chapin Director of Domestic Adoption Programs & Outreach, Monica Baker. In this episode, we are also joined by Annie, a birth mother who placed her child for adoption a little over a decade ago. We pick up the conversation with Monica asking Annie what she wants people to know about open adoption. Let’s get started.
Episode 5: Our Adoption Journey: A Conversation with Dads Kevin and Chris
On today's episode - which was recorded in June during Pride Month - Spence-Chapin veteran Toni Cockerham speaks with Spence-Chapin Board Member Kevin Nelson and his husband, Chris Adams, who have been married for 34 years and adopted their two children through Spence-Chapin more than 25 years ago. Toni, Kevin, and Chris met back in the early 90s when Toni was leading Spence-Chapin's effort to recruit and support black adoptive parents. They have been friends ever since. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss their experiences as gay black dads, the role that community has played in their lives, and advice for families embarking on their adoption journey.
Episode 4: Navigating the Holidays for Adoptive Families
On today's episode, we hear a timely and important conversation on how to navigate some of the challenges that may arise for adoptees and adoptive families around the holidays, led by Director of Pre and Post Adoption Services at Spence-Chapin and therapist, Christine Tangel, and Manager of Community Programming and transracial adoptee, Jessica Luciere. Let's get started.
Episode 3: The Unfiltered Truth from Birth Parents (Part 1)
Today’s episode is the first of two parts. This episode begins the conversation with birth parents Linda and Jack as they speak with Spence-Chapin Director of Domestic Adoption Programs and Outreach, Monica Baker, about their decisions to make an adoption plan, their experience with open adoption, and how they have been working through the challenges and emotions they’ve faced along the way.
Episode 2: A Conversation with Sue Wendelgass of Planned Parenthood
On today’s episode, Spence-Chapin veteran and licensed clinical social worker, Toni Cockerham, speaks with Sue Wendelgass, Director of Specialty Training and Programs at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, who, for the last decade, has been counseling pregnant women on their options and referring those considering adoption to Spence-Chapin. Sue and Toni discuss myths around adoption, what open adoption means for birthparents, and what is involved in a birthparent-led adoption planning process.
Episode 1: Talking about Race: The Parenting Across Race Series
On today's episode, Spence-Chapin Director of Pre- and Post-Adoption Services, Christine Tangel, speaks with Raven Bowie, an LMSW who works with adoptive families at Spence-Chapin, and Jessica Luciere, a transracial adoptee and Manager of Community Programming at Spence-Chapin, about the new "Parenting Across Race" series and the importance of providing adoptive parents with the tools to be able to talk about race and racism with their children and families.
This is a podcast about all things adoption brought to you by Spence-Chapin, an adoption services and support nonprofit organization based in New York City with over a century of experience. There are many voices that make up the adoption constellation. This podcast aims to hear from all of them because each voice brings an important perspective and story about adoption. Twice a month, this podcast brings you conversations with adoptees, birth parents, adoptive families, adoption professionals and health and social service experts as they share their experiences and discuss all things adoption. Let’s get started!