1. 1887

    I.Z.T. Morris

    In 1887, while Fort Worth was becoming a cattle destination via the Chisholm Trail, a circuit-riding Methodist minister named I.Z.T. Morris was creating Fort Worth as a destination of hope for orphaned children through the Texas Children’s Home and Aid Society.

  2. 1927

    Eda Gladney

    Edna Gladney was named Superintendent of the Texas Children’s Home.

  3. 1936

    There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.

    Edna Gladney

    Edna Gladney’s famous argument on removing the stigma of illegitimacy from birth records before the Legislature. It made Texas the first state in the Southwest to legally remove the stigma of illegitimacy from birth records.

  4. 1941

    Blossoms in the Dust poster

    The movie “Blossoms in the Dust” starring Greer Garson highlighted the accomplishments of Edna Gladney.

  5. 1941

    The Edna Gladney Home

    In honor of her decades of service, the Board of Directors
    renamed the agency The Edna Gladney Home.

  6. 1951

    Edna Gladney successfully argued that adopted children should have the same inheritance rights as biological children.

  7. 1952

    Gladney Family Association logo

    The Houston Auxiliary was the first support group of Gladney volunteers. Today, there are 16 Gladney Family Associations (formerly Auxiliaries) operating around the country.

  8. 1963

    Ruby Lee Piester

    Ruby Lee Piester joined the staff as director of social services in 1960. In 1963 she was named executive director, a position she would hold for more than 20 years. Ruby Lee focused on the well-being of birthmothers and ensuring they received needed counseling.

  9. 1976


    Gladney introduced its 1-800 crisis pregnancy hotline in 1976. It was thought to be the first such hotline in the country. 1-800-GLADNEY (800.452.3639)

  10. 1980

    National Council for Adoption Logo

    Gladney became a charter member of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), which was organized to promote agency adoptions

  11. 1983

    The Texas Legislature enacted its Voluntary Registry Law. The Gladney Center created its own Voluntary Registry at that time, in accordance with Texas law. Gladney also operates a Sibling Registry for adopted persons born to the same birthmother or birth father.

  12. 1991

    Gladney Center for Adoption logo 1991

    The Board officially renamed the agency The Gladney Center.

  13. 1992

    Gladney’s current international adoption program expanded under the leadership of Gladney President, Michael J. McMahon in 1992. Today, Gladney maintains programs in China, Colombia and Taiwan.

  14. 2002

    Gladney Fort Worth campus

    Gladney opens its doors to a new campus at 6300 John Ryan Drive, Fort Worth, TX.

  15. 2007

    Frank Garrott

    During Frank Garrott’s 10 years as President and CEO of Gladney he established innovative and far-reaching outreach efforts, such as the groundbreaking Pathways program as well as the Next Steps initiative that supports birth mothers. In addition, under his leadership Gladney’s mission expanded with the creation of both AdoptED and Gladney University.

    It’s really remarkable that Gladney has celebrated over 130 years of service, and that we’re still continuing to evolve and grow.

    Frank Garrott, Gladney President & CEO
  16. 2013


    AdoptED was born out of a desire to inspire and educate students, teachers and administrators about the impact adoption can have on families, communities, and generations. AdoptED is designed to challenge students to think critically about life choices when experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. AdoptED’s curriculum is interactive, thought provoking, dynamic and filled with opportunities to engage, think, consider and create.

  17. 2017


    Gladney University was founded as a way to implement and engage clients at any and every point of the adoption journey. Realizing we have myriad educational tools to offer, we decided to formalize and invigorate our presentations, resources and events by creating Gladney University. Our mission is to equip clients and professionals with the knowledge they need to help provide positive and healthy outcomes for the children we serve.

  18. 2018

    Mark Melson

    Mark Melson is named President and CEO of Gladney effective January 1, 2018.

    Mark Melson is the right man at the right time for Gladney. Our board has been focusing on all the issues related to future planning and succession. Mark’s role as the Chief Operating Officer for Gladney as well as his work as Vice President for Development proved his solid operational and leadership abilities. We all look forward to Gladney’s next generation of leadership and growth under Mark.

    Christopher Dezzi, Gladney Board Chairman
  19. We are not finished when we have found homes and names for our children. It is our duty to ensure and protect their futures.

    Edna Gladney
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Gladney Center for Adoption | 6300 John Ryan Drive | Fort Worth, TX 76132 | (817) 922-6000