Gladney Center Preps for 130th Anniversary

Helping families doesn’t get old for the Gladney Center for Adoption, even after more than a century.

Gladney will be celebrating its 130th anniversary in January, and this year, holding its 16th annual Rough Golf Tournament at a new venue – Colonial Country Club.

“Colonial has such a storied history, and we are thrilled that Gladney has this unique opportunity,” said Nonya Jordan, Vice-President, Development and Events at Gladney.

The organization has come a long way from its start in 1887. When Gladney first began, it wasn’t called “Gladney” yet, but “Texas Children’s Home and Aid Society.” Circuit-riding Methodist minister I.Z.T. Morris founded the organization to help orphaned children as Fort Worth was the last stop of the orphan train coming from the northeast. A woman named Edna Gladney later joined the board and worked to pass a bill in the Texas legislature to remove the term “illegitimate” from birth records among other accomplishments. Eventually, the organization would take on her name.

Gladney’s legacy has carried on through decades as the agency has expanded to reach not just Fort Worth, but the rest of the globe. Gladney remains based in Fort Worth but also has regional locations around the U.S., including New York, Oklahoma City and Pittsburgh. The agency offers international adoption programs as well.

In addition to providing adoption services, the organization provides medical care, counseling, adoption education and lifelong post-adoption services, as well as optional housing for women looking to place their babies up for adoption. Its New Beginnings adoption program connects families with children from state foster care.

“Gladney provides each client with a unique adoption experience,” said Jennifer Lanter, vice president of communications at Gladney. “We understand that clients come to us with different needs and circumstances, and we meet them where they are emotionally.”

In 130 years, Gladney has connected more than 30,000 children with families and served more than 37,000 birth mothers.

One of those birth mothers is Lacy (last name protected for privacy). Lacy became pregnant at a young age, and when she realized she would be raising her child on her own, she decided to put her baby up for adoption through Gladney. When her baby was born, Gladney was able to connect the child with a new family. To this day, Lacy continues to keep up with her child, and she says she’s “confident” in her decision.

Lanter says that’s the most rewarding part of the job.

“We have the privilege of watching miracles unfold every day,” Lanter said. “It is so humbling to witness a brave young lady place her baby in the arms of his new parents or to witness a sibling group who has been languishing in foster care meet their new family.”