125 Years - Defining Moments

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Gladney Center for Adoption Marks 125th Anniversary

-National Council for Adoption to induct Gladney Center into Hall of Fame at anniversary gala this week-


FORT WORTH, Texas – April 24, 2012 – Today, the Gladney Center for Adoption announced its 125thanniversary of bringing families together.  As one of the nation’s largest agencies providing both domestic and international adoption services, the Gladney Center for Adoption has placed almost 30,000 children with forever families, and has acted as a pioneer and leading advocate for adopted children, adoptive families and birth parents.

“At Gladney, we build families,” said Frank Garrott, president and CEO, Gladney Center for Adoption. “In 125 years, Gladney’s mission has never wavered. We are committed to improving the lives of children, families and birth parents, making Gladney a place where hope is born.”

“We will always be grateful to Gladney for our wonderful daughter Victoria.  There is no way words can describe the joy she has been and Gladney made it all possible,” said John Sharp, chancellor, Texas A&M System.

The Gladney Center for Adoption stands apart from others in the field for its comprehensive and unique approach: its leading domestic, international, foster care, and special needs adoption programs. In addition, Gladney is known for state-of-the-art maternity services included live at home or live at Gladney’s dorm options, medical care, educational and career development programs for birth mothers, and humanitarian aid offered to orphans around the world. Most importantly, Gladney provides lifelong educational and counseling programs and services for its adoptive children, adoptive parents and birth parents.

In honor of Gladney’s outstanding service to the adoption community, the National Council for Adoption will induct Gladney into their Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 28 at Gladney’s 125th anniversary gala. Previous adoption Hall of Fame inductees include President Gerald Ford, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Senator Mary Landrieu, Ruby Lee Piester and The Gannett Company.


Gladney Center of Adoption History

The Gladney Center for Adoption originated in 1887, when a circuit-riding Methodist minister named I.Z.T. Morris helped rescue and find caring families for children who arrived in Fort Worth on the orphan trains from the northeast. Morris and his wife founded The Texas Children’s Home and Aid Society, later renamed The Edna Gladney Home and still later, the Gladney Center for Adoption. In its long and distinguished history, the Gladney Center has touched the lives of people spanning from Hollywood to the White House. Here are just a few highlights from Gladney’s remarkable tenure:

·         1936 – Edna Gladney, superintendent of the Texas Children’s Homes, successfully lobbies the Texas legislature to remove the word “illegitimate” from birth records. Her famous argument on this issue before the Legislature: “There are no illegitimate children; only illegitimate parents.”

·         1941 – The movie “Blossoms in the Dust”, highlighting the work of Edna Gladney, is released, starring Greer Garson as Gladney.

·         1951 – Gladney takes on the Texas legislature again, successfully arguing that adoptive children should have the same inheritance rights as biological children.

·         1976 – The Gladney Center for Adoption introduces its 1-800 crisis pregnancy hotline. It is believed to be the first such hotline in the United States.

·         1980 – Gladney is a charter member of the National Council for Adoption, organized to promote agency adoptions.

·         1992 – Gladney commences its international adoption program; Gladney currently maintains programs in Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Russia, Rwanda and Taiwan. In the same year, Gladney opens an adoption museum, believed to the be the only one of its kind.

·         1996 – Gladney commences humanitarian aid efforts to support international orphanages.

·         2002 – Gladney opens its new headquarter campus in Fort Worth, including a state-of-the-art maternity dorm for birth mothers.

·         2008 – Gladney receives Hague Accreditation by the Council on Accreditation. The Hague Convention is a set of internationally approved standards for countries involved in intercountry adoptions.

For more Gladney history, please see Gladney’s 125 Fun Facts or timeline.



125th Anniversary Events

To commemorate their 125th anniversary, Gladney is hosting several celebratory activities this week.  Gladney will host its 30th annual Gladney Skittle, a family event held at Six Flags over Texas, from 5-10 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. This event is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased online at www.gladneycommunity.com/skittle. Call 972-498-8831 for more information and/or to order tickets by phone.

                On Saturday, April 28, Gladney will host a private carnival for Gladney adoptive families and friends. Later that evening, Gladney will host its 125th anniversary gala, including cocktails, dinner and dancing. The gala will be held from 6-11 p.m. at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth. This event also is open to the public. Tickets are $150.00 per seat and can be purchased on Gladney’s website or by calling Gladney at 817-922-5968.

                At the gala, Gladney will induct Michael McMahon and Howard and Joan Katz into the Gladney Center for Adoption’s Hall of Fame, and will honor Dr. Karyn Purvis and Pat and Kori Green as Friends of Adoption. 


About Gladney Center for Adoption

Once a local adoption agency, the Gladney Center now serves families around the country and children around the world.  Gladney is a recognized leader in domestic and international adoption, maternity services, family support services and humanitarian aid projects around the world.  For more information about Gladney, please log onto www.gladney.org.  The heart and soul of our mission is “Where Hope is Born”.


Related Links

·                     Like Gladney Center on Facebook

·                     Follow Gladney Center on Twitter

·                     Watch Gladney Center adoption stories on YouTube


Gladney Center for Adoption
6300 John Ryan Drive | Fort Worth, Texas 76132-4122

Headquarters: 817-922-6000   Pregnant?: 1-800-GLADNEY
International Adoptions: 1-800-INT-ADOP
Domestic Adoptions: 1-800-687-3097
Click here for more locations and contact info.