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and life along the winding road

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Gladney Center for Adoption

Masonic Widows and Orphans Home
 I have volunteered for over a decade at a local crisis pregnancy center and for our monthly training session we toured The Gladney Center for Adoption. The interesting history of the Center is shown at the Visitor's Center along with artifacts that once belonged to Edna Gladney and clothes from the children who once lived at The Texas Children's Home which later became the Edna Gladney Home.

Long gone are the days when children were put on orphan trains in New York and traveled west where they stopped at various towns and were put on a platform for people to adopt them. This is where the phrase "put up for adoption" comes from. Fort Worth was the end of the line for these children and in the early 1900s a Methodist minister took in the children and found homes for them.

Edna Gladney was the superintendent of the Texas Children's Home for over 30 years and worked tirelessly for reform. As a result of her efforts, the word illegitimate is no longer written on birth certificates of children born to unwed mothers.

In 1941 Greer Garson portrayed Edna Gladney in Blossoms in the Dust. Edna Gladney assisted in placing over 10,000 children for adoption during her career.  


Woolysheep said...

Thanks for that. I often wondered who Edna Gladney was.

Jan Morrison said...

This is so interesting. We had a sort of opposite thing here in Nova Scotia. A woman and her husband (though she was the evil brains behind the operation) opened a home in Chester, NS - called the Ideal Maternity Home. They got up to all sorts of nefarious things in order to feather their nests, including let undesirable babies die and selling off 'orphans' that weren't. There was a book and a movie made about it, called 'Butterbox Babies' as that is where they put the tiny dead babies. Good grief. Glad there is a balance in the world.
How's your pup?

Maria Zannini said...

I've always been fascinated with Edna Gladney. A remarkable woman. And so are you. :) Thank you for volunteering.

Karen C said...

Informative, interesting, and lovely - thank you.

ShantyGirl said...

Ann I had no idea the history behind the center. What an amazing woman. I also had no idea about Children being put up on a block to be adopted how horrifying that must have been, not always getting good parents. Thanks so much for sharing this and her being the one to take illegitimate off of the certificates, all very interesting things. I really respect what this woman did in her lifetime!

Joanne said...

very interesting post and neat pics. Glad you got to tour and then share with us.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

What an interesting post. We had a place like this where I grew up, but during the last 8 years it closed its doors.

Shelley said...

Wow. Terry, from Rags Against the Machine, sent me here because I'm currently writing about the Owatonna State School in Minnesota. I just learned in December, age 54, that my Dad was adopted in 1920. He's been dead for over 20 years; I don't think he knew. I'm originally from Oklahoma, but now live near Newcastle-upon-Tyne and frugality is my favourite hobby! I'm going to enjoy checking out all your blogs!