It is past time to give adopted adults access to their original birth certificates, and the Gladney Center for Adoption is working to make that happen. As with everything else, adoption is ever evolving. Even with this evolution, everything surrounding the adoption is intended to protect everyone involved, including the best interests of the child as well as the rights and needs of the birth parents. When the child grows up and wants to search for his or her birth parents, we must continue to be respectful of the birth parents, allowing them to have some control over having their story exposed. In the new age of technology and genetic testing, limiting access to birth records does not protect birth mothers. Giving easy access to birth certificates will not only allow adopted adults to search out and possibly connect with their birth parents, it will give birth parents the opportunity to choose their next steps in a world where privacy is not guaranteed.
Lex is an adorable 4 year old girl! She laughs when she is amused. Her file was originally completed in the fall of 2017.
Knox turned 3 years old in April and boy is he a cutie! We don’t have photos that can be shared publicly, but we have several, and a couple videos, that can be shared with families interested in reviewing his profile. His caregivers describe Knox as sweet and gentle.
COVID has taken on a completely different meaning. After 51 days in quarantine, I have learned to put my purpose over panic. The first few weeks in quarantine were pure chaos; swarming with uncertainty. Despite hearsay of what the future holds, I know one thing must continue – my role as a working mother. Being home made my role no different than any other day. Sure, there was a change by working remote and being with my children 24-hours, but with a routine, everything and everyone fell in place.
Kristen turned 8 years old earlier this month! She seems to have such a fun, spunky personality from looking at the photos included in her profile – check out the one below! There is a whole series of her dressed up with different hats and she’s doing a unique, fun pose for each photo. We can’t share the photos publicly, but be sure to inquire if you’d like to review Kristen’s profile, or join our private Taiwan advocacy Facebook group!
This past week my daughter was playing in the backyard when she suddenly ran inside yelling “Daddy, there’s things flying everywhere in the air!” When he went to look, he found a giant swarm of bees and quickly ushered her and our Golden Retriever inside. After a little investigation, we found there was a large beehive in our neighbor’s tree. For all the obvious reasons I was worried for our safety—we’re not sure if our girls are allergic to bees yet—but I was also disappointed. Like many homes with small children, things can get loud, chaotic, and overwhelming. Our backyard has become a sanctuary while we’ve been sheltering in place and now this bee Armageddon was taking that away.
The first weekend in May is a special time for Gladney and Gladney Families because it is the annual retreat for the Gladney Family Association (GFA) leaders. Gladney adoptive parents and adult adoptees come from all over the United States to connect, learn, and discuss how to better fulfill Gladney’s Family for Life promise in their home communities, in addition to building lifelong friendships. This year, like so many other things in our lives, we took the GFA Leadership Equipping Retreat to a virtual model. On Saturday, May 2nd, Gladney Ambassadors gathered around their computers for a full day of education and collaboration. Their passion for and commitment to advocacy mean the future for Gladney Families looks bright.
Today, the expectant mothers we serve have more complex needs than the clients we served 10 years ago, and we have adjusted our services to meet them where they are.
Expectant mothers experiencing unplanned pregnancies and mothers with young children who contact us considering making an adoption plan are sometimes coming from a challenging, vulnerable place. While some expectant mothers have a strong support system and access to resources, others may be in an abusive relationship, unemployed, experiencing homelessness, or have mental health or substance abuse treatment needs. The women Gladney serves range from teenagers to women in their forties, with an average age of 26, and 49% of the women already have other children. More than 70% of the women are from Texas, and the remainder of the women are from other states across the U.S., including 15 states outside Texas in 2019 alone.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Wendy Stanley and Mary Chapman who are part of the Gladney International Adoption team about some frequently asked questions that Gladney receives on a daily basis.
Watch the video below and if you have questions that we didn't cover, please comment below and we'll respond.