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A Year of

We celebrated the milestones of reintroducing opportunities to be together in person, including adoption orientations and trainings, special events and fundraisers, community outreaches, and our annual Gladney Adoption Day. It was so good to be back together!

We often talk about adoption involving a love without limits on the part of everyone who cares for the child: birth parents, adoptive parents, extended family members, and friends.

In a related way, Gladney’s Family for Life promise to all of our clients means there is no time limit on our support … it is lifelong. Whether an adoptee is 22 or 80, a birth parent is 36 or 70, or an adoptive family welcomed their child into their home last week or a decade ago, they can contact us, and our Post Adoption Services team will provide them with a listening ear, guidance, connection to resources, and logistical help.

In 2021, you provided stability for Gladney and the clients we serve. Thank you! You helped us remain present for them. Now we can evaluate needs, dream for the future, and see where collaboration will take us together. 2022 will mark Gladney’s 135th anniversary and will also include the development of a 10-year strategic plan. We will be honoring the past, embracing the present, and celebrating and preparing for the future. We look forward to sharing more with you!

Below, we invite you to join us in reflecting on the people, services, and impact that defined 2021 for Gladney.
2021 At a Glance
Children's Lives Impacted
Children Placed with Adoptive Families
Adoptive Parents, Birth Parents, and Adult Adoptees Served through Post Adoption Conversations, Guidance, and Resources
Teenagers, Parents, Teachers, Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, and Other Professionals across the U.S. Provided with Adoption Education
We Are Gladney


Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption.


For the sake of the children and those who love them, Gladney is dedicated to creating the finest adoption experience possible.

The Gladney Why

Gladney believes every child deserves a loving and caring family.

The Gladney Team

Service Awards Luncheon

Gladney hosted our annual Service Awards Luncheon in March 2021. Because of the pandemic, only honorees and their guests were able to attend the event to minimize the number of people. As such, the rest of Gladney staff, family members, interns, and volunteers were able to watch through a livestream via YouTube.

5-Year Service Award:

Emily Byford, Caseworker, Domestic Infant

Evangelina Gamez, Receptionist, Administration

Elizabeth Garza, Regional Birth Parent Caseworker, West Texas

Amanda Herron, Lead Options Counselor, Admissions

Yvonne Munoz, Options Counselor, Admissions

Ella Smith, Caseworker, Colombia

Mary Ann Stephens, On-Call Residential Coordinator, Gladney Home

Kerry Tobar, Lead Educator, AdoptED

15-Year Service Award:

Heather Beasley, Vice President, Human Resources

Kristin Porter (Not Pictured), LCSW Supervisor & Home Study Caseworker

Ashley Whiteside, Director, Domestic Adoption

Staff Appreciation Luncheon

Gladney’s Board of Directors hosted our annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon in October 2021. We were excited to welcome the majority of the Board back on campus for their first in-person board meeting in well over a year. We were equally excited to be able to recognize the achievements of our staff, as well as announce our 2021 Employee of the Year and Ruby Lee Piester Award winners. The Ruby Lee Piester Award was created in 2016 to recognize an individual employee who has gone above and beyond in their role and exhibited exceptional customer service to their clients.

Ruby Lee Piester Award Co-Winners:

Susanne Smith, Donor Relations Manager

Ann Spriggs, Case Manager, Gladney Home

Employee of the Year:

Shelly Kalina, Post Adoption Logistical Coordinator

Employee of the Year Runners-Up:

Victoria Azocar, Program Assistant, New Beginnings

Ann Spriggs, Case Manager, Gladney Home

Hear from Our Team

Never Stop Learning


2021 served as another reminder that we can never stop learning new ways to support our clients and each other. Kids are counting on us while they wait in foster care and dream of permanency and a loving and caring family, so our work is never done. I’m proud Gladney is now responsible for the Heart Gallery of North Texas—showing the beautiful faces of deserving children in foster care and advocating to find families for them. I hope that together, we can collectively end the children’s wait.
Tanya Houk
Director, Child Advocacy
One Year’s Work, A Lifelong Impact
You helped us connect more children and families, as well as continue education and advocacy efforts among those closest to our cause. With your help, our mission was carried out across the United States and in other countries where we serve.

We Impacted the lives of 205 children.


Children Adopted through Our Domestic Infant Adoption Program


Children Served Through Our Waiting Child Programs

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adoptive families from the U.S. have not been able to travel to China for placement with their children since March 2020.


expectant mothers inquired about adoption services.


Expectant Mothers Chose to Be Admitted to Gladney’s Adoption Program

  • 27 average age of expectant mother clients
  • 37% of expectant mother clients have other children
Birth Mothers Placed Their Children for Adoption

We provided guidance and resources through 7,238 post adoption connections with 1,070 adoptive parents, 991 birth parents, 390 adult adoptees.

5,000+ teenagers, parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, and other professionals across the U.S. were provided with adoption education through:

130+ volunteers donated 24,000+ hours of service,

including our Transitional Care families, who provided 694 days of care for 23 babies, and our Superkids Program volunteers, who advocated to find adoptive families for waiting children in Taiwan.

Hear from Our Team

Focus on Connecting


In 2021, we focused on connecting with the clients we serve. We're offering a new support group and launching a new mentorship program. For prospective adoptive parents, it is invaluable to walk alongside another family who has been in their shoes through the adoption journey. The peer-to-peer bonds that are being created are so important to Gladney’s Family for Life promise, and I’m proud to see them in action.
Jennifer Hart
Supervisor, Domestic Infant Adoption

Family for Life

Adoption is a lifelong journey. Meet a few people who want to share their personal experiences, hopes for their children, lessons learned along the way, and connections made.

Bright Futures Commencing

Gladney adoptees who graduated in 2021 share what it’s like having adoption as part of their lives. We are cheering them on in their next steps!

Love Without Limits

These stories capture the heart and soul of Gladney and the birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents we serve. Loving without limits: it’s what they do.

Hear from Our Team

Celebrate Growth


We continued to find ways to better serve our clients. In 2021, we were better able to align our staff’s experience and adoption connections with our clients’ needs. We celebrate the continued growth and connection our clients feel.
Bill Porter
Director, Post Adoption Services
Combined Financials


Value of the endowment as of August 31, 2021


Total amount contributed by donors in FY 2021
* Not including special events or Paycheck Protection Program grant


Total # of gifts in FY 2021


Total # of donors in FY 2021



*Including support from Endowment


26% Adoption Programs – $3,469,192
  • 20% Domestic Infant Adoption Program – $2,687,934
  • 4% Adoption from Foster Care Program – $486,811
  • 2% International Adoption Program – $294,447
2% Gladney Home Residential Foster Care Program – $224,340
31% Development Revenue – $4,127,140
  • 24% Donor Contributions – $3,208,027
  • 6% Paycheck Protection Program Grant – $849,300
  • 1% Special Events, net – $69,813
    *not including The 2021 Gladney Cup
38% Investment Income, net – $5,063,820
  • Dividends and Interest – $835,821
  • Realized Gains – $1,533,412
  • Unrealized Gains – $2,757,746
  • (Investment Fees) – (63,159)
3% Website Advertising Revenue – $453,087


49% Adoption Programs – $5,236,397
  • 35% Domestic Infant Adoption Program – $3,730,177
  • 8% Adoption from Foster Care Program – $880,795
  • 6% International Adoption Program – $625,425
17% Communication/Outreach – $1,827,008
14.5% Administration – $1,563,351
7.5% Gladney Home Residential Foster Care Program – $810,423
7% Fundraising – $786,351
5% Post Adoption & Client Services – $557,292






65% Investments – $29,253,105
24% Property & Equipment – $10,475,527
8% Intangible Assets – $3,571,305
1% Beneficial Interest in Trust – $538,114
2% Other – $1,019,640
  • Cash – $655,742
  • Prepaid Expenses – $234,488
  • Accounts Receivable – $129,410


62% Note Payable – $4,321,701
29% Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses –  $2,027,155
6% Deferred Adoption Fee Revenue – $424,345
2% Line of Credit – $100,000
1% Other Liabilities – $43,520



Financial Contributions

Contributions by Program

74% Unrestricted

*Including Paycheck Protection Program grant

15% Education and Outreach
4% Domestic Infant Adoption Program
2% Campus Improvements
1% Adoption from Foster Care Program
1% Gladney Home Residential Foster Care Program
1% International Adoption Program and Humanitarian Aid
1% Post Adoption Services
1% Other
66% Individuals
22% Government
*Including Paycheck Protection Program grant
9% Foundations/Trusts
3% Corporations

Contributions by Constituency

Celebrations & Events
$ 0

net raised through Special Events in Fiscal Year 2021

(not including The Gladney Cup 2021)

In 2021, we were excited to celebrate together and support Gladney’s mission through 4 special events:

Gladney Night at Six Flags in Arlington, Texas

2,350 Guests

The Gladney Cup at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

224 Golfers and 176 Guests 

#TeamGladney Charity Runners at the TCS New York City Marathon in New York, New York

11 Runners and 3 Additional Fundraisers

Virtual Dining and Dancing with Daddy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

18 Dads and 32 Daughters

The 12th Gladney Cup Golf Tournament was held at Oakland Hills Country Club* in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. 224 golfers participated in the tournament, and we had a total of 400 guests at The Champions Reception at the Daxton Hotel. We enjoyed watching a special performance by the Detroit Youth Choir and hearing Tom Izzo, who is the Michigan State Basketball Head Coach and an adoptive father, speak. We are grateful for our loyal supporters, who have formed friendships at The Gladney Cup through the years and who make the event a fun time of reconnection, as well as new participants who learned about Gladney’s mission for the first time. All showing their giving hearts and belief in Gladney, funds raised during the weekend exceeded $740,000 net.

* Due to a recent fire, Oakland Hills Country Club suffered an unimaginable loss. The staff, members, and community of OHCC are in our thoughts and prayers, as they navigate the days to come and create a path forward.

The Gladney Cup 2021 Recap

Gladney Adoption Day 2021

In honor of National Adoption Month, Gladney created courtrooms on our campus for 2 judges, and 45 families celebrated their finalized adoptions. We hosted more than 500 guests on this special day!

Hear from Our Team

Remain Ready


In 2021, we learned to focus on what we could control and remain ready for the moment we could do more. When international borders remained closed, we were able to work with our partners in Taiwan, so we could send care packages and creatively gather information about waiting children who are depending on us to continue adoption advocacy here in the U.S.

Knowing someone cares makes ALL the difference. You, our donors, make the difference of us knowing there is support for Gladney’s mission and for all of us who are involved in the important, daily work of giving a child the essentials of a prepared, stable, and healthy family. For that, I will always be grateful.

Gongzhan Wu
Vice President, Managing Director for Asia

Thank you

Through your giving, you honor Gladney’s past, embrace the present, and celebrate our future! Because of you, we are able to continue our mission of creating bright futures through adoption and to grow in meeting the needs of all of our clients.

Hear from Our Team

Press Forward


Thank you for the stability you helped provide for Gladney over the past year. 2022 will mark our 135th anniversary, and growing another year older is always worthy of great celebration. With age comes wisdom and patience, or so we certainly hope. I like to think our Fort Worth born and raised non-profit has an abundance of wisdom but is still youthful in spirit. We are always learning from our past and pressing forward to meet the current needs of those we serve. You, our treasured supporters, provide the generational wisdom and legacy we need to always remember who we are, along with the courage, teachability, and nimbleness we need to keep evolving. I have never been more proud to be a part of the Gladney Network , and I am grateful to know each of you.
Lisa Schuessler
Vice President, Donor Relations

Gladney Center Board of Directors

Outgoing Members:

Incoming Members:

Gladney Fund Board of Directors

Executive Team

Outgoing Member:

Incoming Member:

Mark Melson, President, Chief Executive Officer
Heidi Bruegel Cox, Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Raymond Best, Senior Vice President, Finance
Heather Beasley, Vice President, Human Resources
Nathan Gwilliam, Vice President; Executive Director,
Jennifer Lanter, Vice President, Communications
Lisa Schuessler, Vice President, Donor Relations
You are Essential to Gladney

This year, we’re moving forward with new determination. We hope you continue to sustain our mission by turning your compassion into action. Below, discover new ways you can support Gladney in 2022:

Become a Gladney Ambassador to advocate for adoption in your community.

Send a note of encouragement to Gladney caseworkers, couples in the midst of the adoption process, or girls in foster care in the Gladney Home.

Give to the programs that inspire you.

Encourage your friends and family to give; purchase items needed by girls in foster care in the Gladney Home and by expectant mothers.

Lessons Learned and New Implementations:

Within 24 hours of Texas’ governor’s order to stay at home, Gladney was able to ensure that 95% of our employees who could work remotely were set up to do so in their homes. Microsoft Teams (which Gladney had had in place for over a year, though not used consistently) and other platforms, such as Zoom, quickly became commonplace and allowed us to maintain connection with our staff and teams somewhat seamlessly during the stay-at-home order. Gladney has had a business continuity plan on the shelf for some time, but this was the first real test of how it worked in practice.

What we have learned is that a need exists for a few of our operational systems to move toward a web-based platform to allow for seamless, remote continuity, should we have the need in the future. We minimized the number of staff on campus during this time to those who were truly essential for their departments and Gladney to continue to operate. This consisted of Gladney Home staff, maintenance, reception, and a few individuals in Development and Accounting. We were able to track hours and pay employees seamlessly, as well as utilize Teams/Zoom to continue the recruitment processes and training for clients, staff, and interns. However, there are still some questions on how to best onboard both staff and interns in a remote environment, and we will continue to look at processes around that.

Pretty quickly, we understood that communication was going to be critical during this time of uncertainty and developed a schedule to check-in with staff every few weeks as a large group to provide updates. These efforts have continued during this time, which has helped us all stay on track with goals, maintained connections, and provided an open forum for questions and concerns. Supervisors have continued regular check-ins with their teams and individual staff members to address any issues or concerns that may arise.

Gladney began a slow reopen in June 2020 with several protocols in place to minimize risk of working on-site. As COVID-19 numbers began to rise in Texas, we chose to re-close the campus and only allow staff to operate there on an as needed basis. Staff and scheduled visitors on campus have followed very specific protocols to ensure safety and mitigation of spread, should a staff member test positive for COVID-19. We implemented a virtual school environment at the beginning of the school year in 2020, in order to allow Gladney staff to bring their children with them on campus to have their virtual schooling done onsite. A large event space on campus was reconfigured to allow for social distancing, and a teacher was onsite to help children log into their classroom video calls, as well as assist with lessons. The teacher also conducted P.E. activities and science/art projects with the kids.

Overall, I think we are pleased with how we have operated during the pandemic, given the relatively short period of time we had to ensure business continued. Our IT team will be developing a strategy, including a timeline and cost analysis, for equipping the majority of Gladney with laptops to allow for even easier remote work, should the need arise again.

Pre-adoption trainings for families adopting children internationally and from state foster care and orientations for families adopting infants domestically transitioned to a virtual environment and have proven effective, though not ideal. Our Gladney University ongoing educational sessions moved to an all web-based training format, and we have seen an increase in the number of participants. Unfortunately, our AdoptED program had to stop temporarily when schools closed their buildings. However, through a new digital platform put in place, we have since been able to launch a Virtual Classroom for teachers and students to access the AdoptED lessons in a self-paced format.


Gladney Adoption Day

The Gladney Home

Aliya’s Story

A Caseworker's Perspective

Pregnancy & Adoption during COVID-19