Gladney Center for Adoption
6300 John Ryan Drive
Fort Worth TX 76132-4122
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Mission Statement For the sake of the children and those who love them, Gladney is dedicated to creating the finest adoption experience possible while forging new paths in serving the mission of adoption, because we believe every child deserves a loving and caring family.
Contact Information
Contact Name Lisa Schuessler
Contact email
Address 6300 John Ryan Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76132 4122
Phone (817) 922-6000
Fax 817-922-5956
County Tarrant County
Alternate Phone 405 848-8435
How to Give
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer
For full information on how to support, volunteer for, or get involved with the Gladney Center for Adoption, visit, or call 817-922-6000 and ask for the Development Office.
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $9,043,528.00
Projected Expenses $9,398,929.46
History and Background
Former Names
Texas Children's Home and Aid Society1887
The Edna Gladney Home1941
Gladney Center for Adoption1991
Year Founded 1887
IRS Ruling Year 2008
State Registration Expiration July 2020
Mission For the sake of the children and those who love them, Gladney is dedicated to creating the finest adoption experience possible while forging new paths in serving the mission of adoption, because we believe every child deserves a loving and caring family.

Gladney’s origins in Fort Worth can be traced to 1887, when it was called the Texas Children’s Home & Aid Society. Our founder, Reverend I.Z.T. Morris, worked to rescue abandoned children in Fort Worth and identified families willing and able to adopt them. Starting in 1927, Edna Gladney served as superintendent of the Texas Children’s Home & Aid Society. The agency was renamed the Edna Gladney Home in her honor upon her retirement in 1960. Several years later, Ruby Lee Piester stepped into Gladney’s leadership role and continued to stamp Gladney’s name and mission into thousands of families across the country.

Gladney adoptive families in Oklahoma City established the Oklahoma Gladney Auxiliary (now called Gladney Family Association) in 1980, establishing Gladney’s presence in the area through community-building, fundraising, and adoption advocacy.
Impact The Gladney Center for Adoption exists to bring life-changing opportunities to every expectant mother making an adoption plan for her baby, every adoptive family, and every child waiting in foster care or in an international orphanage. Adoption is who we are. Every step we take is towards placing children with families where they can thrive. We’ve had the same mission for over 130 years, and it will be the same tomorrow. And we work to let every person—expectant mothers, parents, teachers, medical professionals, social workers, judges, high school students, counselors, and more—know that adoption is always an option.
CEO/Executive Director Statement In 2018, Mark Melson, formerly COO, was appointed as Gladney’s new President and CEO. Mark implemented a 32-month plan, which includes evaluating and developing growth strategies through two new board-led Task Forces, in order to expand Gladney’s national presence. Through the Waiting Child Task Force (adoptions from foster care), Gladney will partner with national organizations and leaders in child advocacy, adoptive family recruitment, and parental readiness programs; and through the Family for Life Task Force (ongoing education and support for adoptive families), Gladney will evolve to meet clients’ ever-changing, long-term needs, especially for families adopting children who have experienced trauma and for birth parents who need ongoing support and connection to community resources.
Board Chair Statement

Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Throughout the United States
Oklahoma - Statewide
Gladney Center for Adoption serves the United States, including Oklahoma, and operates an international adoption program.
Description Many families choose to adopt an infant or toddler in the United States. That’s how Gladney got started in 1887, and our mission to find loving homes for all children continues today. Each adoption, like each family, is unique. Our goal is create bright futures for adoptive families, children and birth parents through adoption. The domestic infant program allows birth parents to find the family they feel is best for the children they are placing for adoption, and changes the lives of everyone involved
Population Served Families Females Infants to Preschool (under age 5)
Description International adoption gives families a unique opportunity to open their homes to a child from China, Taiwan or Colombia. The China Adoption Program, overseen by the China Centre for Children’s Welfare and Adoption in Beijing, focuses on finding families for children with a diagnosed medical need and children who are physically healthy and over the age of 6. Gladney works with two government-licensed child welfare foundations in Taiwan. Gladney's Taiwan program is able to offer adoption opportunities to families desiring to adopt a toddler or school-aged child. Birth parents are typically involved in this adoption matching process. In Colombia, Gladney works closely with the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF). The ICBF, located in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, processes international adoptions and oversees the licensing of private orphanages. Gladney also works with private orphanages (IAPA): Casa de la Madre y El Nino.
Population Served Families International Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description The Gladney Center for Adoption extended its commitment to children and families in 2000 by creating the New Beginnings Program. This program connects families with children in the foster care system that are immediately available for adoption. We believe that all children deserve loving, permanent homes. Gladney assists the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services by recruiting loving adoptive homes for children currently waiting in the Texas state foster care system. Most of these children are over the age of seven and have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Neither Gladney nor the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services charge any fees to adopt a child in the custody of Child Protective Services. The State of Texas also offers ongoing financial assistance for eligible children, including healthcare benefits, a monthly stipend and a college tuition waiver to public universities in Texas.
Population Served Families Infants to Preschool (under age 5) K-12 (5-19 years)
Description AdoptED was born through a collaborative effort of both community leaders and Gladney staff who believe that education is empowerment for students to be able to navigate their futures, goals, and dreams. AdoptED is designed to address the issues of teen pregnancy and school dropout rates, while offering factual information about adoption as one option to an unplanned pregnancy. This ground-breaking program works with educators to provide interactive presentations in the classroom setting. AdoptED gives students parameters for goals setting, decision-making, and healthy life choices. Gladney’s goal is to introduce solutions to the problems that students are facing today and to empower them with factual information that can inspire them to make positive life choices. This innovative curriculum is written for schools and meets the TEKS objectives for a variety of classes ranging from Health, Family Economics, and Child Development, to other Public Service coursework. The AdoptED curriculum includes interactive lessons and hands-on activities that teach students about goal setting, decision-making, the option of adoption, the adoption process, and careers in the adoption field.
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Description The purpose of Gladney University is to equip clients and professionals with the knowledge they need to help provide positive and healthy outcomes for the children we serve. Gladney University provides adoptive parents with education and support before, during and after their adoption. This education and support helps Gladney provide the finest adoption experience possible and it’s part of Gladney’s promise of family for life. Additionally, Gladney University provides medical professionals, counselors, social service advocates and community members with cutting edge continuing education programs by offering relevant and engaging, web-based and in person educational adoption and child welfare resources. Gladney is uniquely positioned to provide outstanding training to parents and professionals because of our 130 year history of serving families and children. Our staff is highly qualified, experienced and compassionate. This combination creates dynamic and very successful training programs.
Population Served Families General/Unspecified
Description Gladney’s mission of Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption is built on a belief that every child deserves a loving and caring family. We truly believe that. Whether a child is a baby or a 17-year-old, every one of them deserves to feel safe, loved, and cared for; just be a kid, and have the opportunity to reach their potential and thrive. Gladney has operated a residential home for expectant mothers for more than 70 years. However, as societal views of unplanned pregnancy have evolved, and services have become readily available for us to support expectant mothers’ needs in their communities, we have seen a steady decline in the need for an adoption-based maternity home. In a proactive effort to evaluate current housing needs that align with our mission, Gladney met with Our Community Our Kids, which holds the contract for finding temporary and/or permanent placement for children entering foster care in North Texas. They identified the greatest need as housing teenage girls who are seeking permanency through adoption. Gladney strongly believes this is a need we can meet. While our residential staff provide care for the girls, our experienced caseworkers will be actively recruiting adoptive families, beginning with a youth’s own extended family and already present influencers when possible. By having the youth in our care, we will know them and have more information about them, which will lead to better outcomes while in the Gladney Home and a better transition to placement within an adoptive family. The girls will be active participants in the process -- we want them to be empowered to use their voices and make choices about what they want and need. Our goal is for the Gladney Home to be their last stop -- when a young lady enters the program, we want her to know we believe in her and will fight for her to have the forever family she deserves.
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Females
Description Because Gladney believes that every child deserves a loving home, Gladney has an adoption program for infants with non-correctable medical and/or congenital conditions. In some circumstances, the expectant mother was already in the process of making an adoption plan. In others, because the infant was born medically fragile, the birth mother decides she is not emotionally or financially capable of taking care of the child. These situations arise on a limited basis, and fees are largely underwritten by Gladney fundraising efforts. Applicant criteria are based on the needs of the child. 
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5)
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mark Melson
Start Date Jan 2018
Experience A graduate of the University of North Texas, Mark Melson joined Gladney as Vice President for Development in 2008 after a career working in fundraising for not-for-profit organizations in North Texas, including the Harris Methodist Health Foundation and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Texas. Melson was appointed President and CEO of the Gladney Center in January of 2018, upon the retirement of former president, Frank Garrot.

“It’s an honor to stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and lead this great organization," Melson says. "After almost 10 years at Gladney I have seen how adoption has touched the lives of thousands of families, and as a Gladney Parent I have personally witnessed the miracle of adoption in my own home. I’m excited about our future and building on Gladney’s great legacy." He also sits on the Board of Children's Home Society of America, an affiliation of agencies that share a common heritage. 
Senior Staff
Heather BeasleyVice President, Human Resources
Heidi CoxGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President
Jaye HelmSenior Vice President, Finance
Jennifer LanterVice President, Communications, Education and Marketing
Lisa SchuesslerVice President, Donor Relations
Gongzhan WuVice President and Executive Director, Asia Programs
Number of Full-time Staff 79
Number of Part-time Staff 18
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 500
Staff Retention Rate 83
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2018
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? Yes
Board Chair
Name Mr. Mark L. McLeland
Company Affiliation Wealth Management
Term Sept 2019 to Aug 2020
Board of Directors
List Current as of Nov 12, 2019
Board of Directors List
Marshall BushVoting
Gregory A. CastaniasVoting
John CovingtonVoting
Alfred C. DezziVoting
Mary Beth DudleyVoting
Kenneth HeitnerAttorneyVoting
Carolyn HoodVoting
Robin KochelVoting
Adrian B. LiddiardVoting
Kathleen M. MarsalVoting
Mark McLelandWealth ManagementVoting
Mark MelsonNonVoting
Roger L. MetzVoting
Tammy MillerCommunity VolunteerVoting
Barbara PenshornCommunity VolunteerVoting
Stephanie PerdueVoting
Stacey ReynoldsCommunity VolunteerVoting
Anne ReysaVoting
Paige McCoy SmithTV & Radio HostVoting
Ashley F. SternVoting
James UngerFinancial AdvisorVoting
Hiry B. WestVoting
Laura WheatAttorneyVoting
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 12
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2019-Aug 31, 2020
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $9,043,528
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $9,398,929
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Revenue$10,808,262$10,185,571$10,934,538
Total Expenses$10,529,279$11,144,398$10,967,894
Revenue Less Expenses$278,983($958,827)($33,356)
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$11,139$8,603$7,356
Unrealized Gain/Loss------
Membership Dues------
Special Events$546,429--$30,716
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$7,846,479$8,162,592$8,009,549
Administration Expense$1,504,108$1,790,628$2,026,353
Fundraising Expense$1,178,692$1,191,178$931,992
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.030.911.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses75%73%73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue46%46%36%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$12,113,546$12,768,003$13,525,205
Current Assets$77,342$73,401$122,413
Long-Term Liabilities$1,275,000$1,590,680$1,700,000
Current Liabilities$1,251,273$1,869,033$1,558,088
Total Net Assets$9,587,273$9,308,290$10,267,117
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.060.040.08
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets11%12%13%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $5,497,559Earned Revenue $5,635,395Earned Revenue $6,131,468
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $2,555,699Contributions $2,564,244Contributions $2,621,961
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndirect Public Support $2,197,436Indirect Public Support $1,977,094Indirect Public Support $2,122,439
Endowment? Yes
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage (if selected) 4 %
Credit Line? Yes
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from the IRS Form 990s.
Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.
The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.
Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.
Address 6300 John Ryan Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76132 4122
Primary Phone 817 922-6000
CEO/Executive Director Mark Melson
Board Chair Mr. Mark L. McLeland
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wealth Management