New Year, New Task Force, Same Mission

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 1/13/19 11:32 AM
This is a very exciting time for the Gladney Center for Adoption. We are embarking on a long-term plan to address why children continue to wait in foster care after they are legally available for adoption. Gladney has always believed every child deserves a loving and caring family, and in many ways, Gladney is returning to its roots. We began when our founder Reverend I.Z.T. Morris took on the responsibility of finding loving families for children from the orphan trains who arrived in Texas after they hadn’t found homes along the way. Although children no longer take long journeys across the country on orphan trains, the children waiting in foster care have often survived a much longer, more treacherous journey. Most children living in foster care are there because they experienced abuse, neglect, or other trauma. In addition, they have experienced the loss of a family due to removal from their homes and separation from their biological families. Once in foster care, most of these children will experience multiple placements, moving from one foster family to the next or to group homes. We know children thrive in families, and children who have experienced trauma can only find safety, security, and nurturing in a loving and caring, forever family.

Gladney has been placing children from foster care for many years. In October 2018, the Gladney Center Board of Directors voted to further advance Gladney’s focus and mission by creating a task force to grow and improve adoptions from foster care. The purpose of the task force is “to create a sustainable and replicable model that places every adoptable child waiting in Texas foster care.” The members of the task force include Gladney board members, Gladney parents who adopted children from foster care, and Gladney staff, with input from outside experts in relevant fields. Gladney board member Roger Metz serves as the chair of the task force. This group begins its exciting and strategic work this month.

In preparation for the creation of the task force and its work, Gladney staff spent the summer and fall researching questions and issues affecting foster care and pulling data, information, and anecdotal evidence regarding children in foster care who are waiting for adoption. Gladney staff will continue to work closely with Our Community Our Kids in Fort Worth, in order to identify children who need adoptive homes much earlier in their legal process than in the past. Our staff are also communicating with Child Protective Services and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers from around the state who are advocating for children throughout the legal process. In addition, Gladney has begun to open lines of communication with agencies across the United States who are screening, educating, training, and offering supportive services to prospective families who want to adopt children from foster care.

The task force will begin to assess what would be the highest and best use of Gladney’s strengths and what Gladney’s primary role should be in meeting the needs of these waiting children. They will approach the issues from three directions: impacting external systems to serve children and families; constructing the best internal systems to create scalability; and ensuring long-term sustainability. Once the initial work is started, the task force will work to create strategies for success, set objectives with clear measurable goals, and provide input and evaluate Gladney’s progress against the strategies’ short, intermediate, and long-term goals and desired outcomes.

Gladney’s mission is Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption. With the work of Gladney’s board, committed staff, engaged volunteers, and collaborative partners, we hope to impact the futures of thousands of children who are waiting in foster care for a forever family, because every one of these children deserves a loving and caring family.
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Topics: Insider, Advocacy, Legislative, Foster Adoption

Take Action: Every Voice Counts in Child Advocacy

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 7/20/18 9:33 AM

Every child deserves a loving, caring family, including children in other countries who have been orphaned. The adoption community-waiting families, adoptive families, adopted adults, licensed agencies, faith communities, child advocates, and support organizations-believes that connecting children with families provides the best opportunity for many of these children to live healthy, cared-for, productive lives. There are millions of children waiting, many dying, and most aging out of orphanages, with little hope for the future. And there are many thousands of families in the U.S. waiting to offer themselves to a child needing a family.

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

80% Decline in International Adoptions to the U.S.

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 3/27/18 1:26 PM

According to the latest report published by the U.S. Department of State, International Adoptions continue to decline to the U.S., with another drop reported for 2017.  Since the peak in 2004, we have seen an 80% decline in international adoptions to the U.S.  

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative, Intercountry Adoption

What We're Reading: State Department Chokes International Adoption

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 3/20/18 1:14 PM

Yesterday, The Federalist published an article regarding the State Department making international adoption rarer and more expensive than ever to consolidate government control over private agencies. Please read "Bucking Trump Deregulation Agenda, State Department Chokes International Adoption"

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative, Suggested Reading

Equal Protection for Adopted Adults

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 3/14/18 3:45 PM

Positive news for internationally adopted adults who fall into loophole, but we still need your help!

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

Advocating for Children

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 2/11/18 12:06 PM

Nothing is more important than our children, and no role is more significant than advocating for children, especially the most vulnerable children who have suffered abuse or neglect or who have been removed from their biological families. 

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

Call To Action: Internationally Adopted Persons Who Fell Into Loophole

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 2/9/18 8:37 AM

As Congress works to resolve the important issues around DACA, please do not forget another group of foreign-born children who were brought into United States legally, and adopted by U.S citizens, yet do not have U.S. citizenship.   There are the internationally adopted persons who fell into a loophole that was created when Congress passed the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.  (Read Adopted Persons Deserve Equal Protection.)

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative, Intercountry Adoption

Adopted Persons Deserve Equal Protection

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 2/6/18 7:02 AM

ALL ADOPTED PERSONS DESERVE EQUAL PROTECTION
UNDER U.S. LAW

"100 years ago, children who were adopted were not automatically able to inherit from their adoptive parents in the same way biological children were. Today, we cannot imagine how adopted children could have fewer rights than other children born into a family. Unfortunately, another significant discrepancy continues to exist for certain internationally adopted persons:  A child who was adopted in complete compliance with U.S. law and the laws of the birth country may not be a U.S. citizen, even though the person’s sibling, who was born in the same foreign country to the U.S. parents, would be a full U.S. citizen.  Now as adults, one sibling has all the rights of U.S. citizenship, while the adopted sibling may not have automatic rights of citizenship, and is vulnerable to deportation."

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative, Intercountry Adoption

Advocacy for the Adoption Tax Credit Worked

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 12/15/17 7:23 PM

I wanted to share that the action you took to save the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) paid off! 

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

What We're Reading: Adoption Tax Credit Saves Money

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 12/7/17 2:39 PM

As Gladney continues to be an advocate for the Adoption Tax Credit, I believe others will benefit from reading Jedd Medefind's "The Adoption Tax Credit Saves Money" opinion published in the December 7, 2017, print edition of the Wall Street Journal.

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative, Suggested Reading

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