Dear Gladney Family,
For 132 years, Gladney’s mission has been Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption. During the last few decades, we have seen many changes in the adoption world: international adoption reaching a peak of placements into the U.S. in 2004 and then on a steady decline to this day; domestic infant adoption continuing to be the backbone of our organization, but every day providing new challenges as to how we introduce the option of adoption to an expectant mother; and the need for raising awareness for placing children from foster care continues to grow at a rapid rate. At the core, our mission has remained the same and is reflected in every aspect of our organization, from programming to our wonderful campus; a setting that has provided memories of comfort and joy to so many of our families and children over the years and will continue to do so for generations to come.
However, as our world evolves, we must evolve, too! A few weeks ago, we hosted the Gladney Center board on campus. We concluded our Monday meeting with a deep discussion on the use of our residential home. Over the last decade, the need for the residential home for expectant mothers has declined, and we have been able to serve these clients in their home communities in an equally effective way. Over the past 6 months, we have been evaluating different opportunities for the home and ultimately determined the greatest need in our community is housing for teen and pre-teen girls who are currently living in foster care. Beginning in April, we will open our doors to meet this need in conjunction with Our Community Our Kids (OCOK), the foster placement contract holder in this region of Texas. During this year-long pilot project, we will house up to 15 female youth who are currently in foster care, available for adoption, basic to moderate level of care, and actively seeking adoption. Our success will be measured in many ways, but a primary one will be adoptive placement for the youth. Following the first year, we will evaluate the potential to grow the program to 30 youth (the max capacity of the home). Let me stress that adoption is the ultimate goal, but in the event we can’t find a forever family for each youth, providing teenage normalcy, preparation for life after foster care, and support for healing from their past trauma will be key areas of focus. As more details are finalized, we will share them, but for now, please know a tremendous amount of work has gone into making this decision. I’m confident we will be successful in year one and for many years to come.
This move does not diminish our focus on domestic infant or international adoptions; however, this is a big step for Gladney and a departure from our recent history. For the past 70+ years, we have operated a maternity home on our campus – this is the end of an era. It’s also a return to our roots. We began our story 132 years ago by bringing vulnerable, neglected, and abandoned youth into our home. This step will widen the impact Gladney will have on children and families across Texas and beyond because every child deserves a loving and caring family, and every means every.
Gladney Dad, President, & CEO
Gladney Center for Adoption