About The Gladney Center for Adoption


Creating bright futures through adoption

For more than 130 years, Gladney has worked to improve the lives of children, adoptive families and birth parents. As a fully-licensed adoption agency, we help complete adoptions in the United States and internationally. We provide lifelong, personalized service. We believe every child deserves a loving, caring family and we will not rest until all children know the love and stability of a forever home.


adoptions completed
years of adoption service
children placed with adoptive families in 2019
support for pregnant women considering adoption

Our team

Gladney has 100+ team members who are passionate about adoption and are committed to help you throughout your adoption journey.

Pregnant & considering adoption?

Call 1-800-236-7898 Chat Your Needs
Speak with an adoption counselor

Nationwide services

Gladney can provide services to expectant parents and hopeful adoptive parents across the United States. Our headquarters are located in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

Our 130+ year history

Gladney Hisotry

"We are not finished when we have found homes and names for our children. It is our duty to ensure and protect their futures." Edna Gladney

Gladney history & timeline

Why we do what we do

The Gladney staff explains why they are passionate about Gladney and adoption.

Mark Melson

President & Chief Executive Officer

I’ve seen first hand the challenges a child can have without the care and love of a forever family. There are a lot of children who need our help - and we can do more!

Heidi Bruegel Cox

General Counsel & Executive Vice President, JD

Heidi Bruegel Cox is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Gladney Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and has worked as an attorney in the field of adoption for over 25 years. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and serves on the board as secretary for the National Council for Adoption.

Heather Beasley

Vice President, Human Resources, MBA, MSHRM, SHRM-SCP

Heather received her B.B.A. in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University in 2001. In 2009, she received an MBA and Masters of Science in Human Resource Management from the University of Texas Arlington. Heather has been an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) since 2008.

Jennifer Lanter

Vice President, Communications, Communications, Education & Marketing, BA Communications

Jennifer Lanter is the Vice President of Communications for the Gladney Center for Adoption. Jennifer provides a unique and engaging perspective on the subject of adoption and has worked in the adoption field for over 16 years. In addition to her professional experience with adoption, Jennifer and her family adopted a precious little boy 10 years ago.

Lisa Schuessler

Vice President, Donor Relations, Development

Lisa Schuessler joined Gladney in 2008. Throughout her tenure at Gladney she has served in various fundraising capacities and now leads Gladney’s Donor Relations efforts. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis on Advertising from San Diego State University.

Gongzhan Wu

Vice President & Executive Director - Asia, PHM

I joined the Gladney Center for Adoption in 1994. Before Gladney, I was working for ESPN Sports Network as its Director of Mandarin Language Service. I did my undergraduate in the Shanghai International Studies University, formally known as Shanghai Foreign Language Institute before I came to U.S. in 1987. With a Fulbright scholarship, I attended Columbia University and obtained a Master of Philosophy in Political Science in 1989. In the past twenty-three years, I am responsible for Gladney's New York Office and running its Asia adoption programs from New York.

Jaye Helm

Sr. Vice President - Finance, CPA

Jaye joined Gladney in February of 2019, coming to us after a long career as CFO for the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting from Tarleton State University in Stephenville and acquired his Certified Public Accountant license in 2006. Jaye’s passion in finance comes from the desire to ensure sustainability for Gladney, so that the mission of “Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption” can continue into the future. He lives in Fort Worth with his wife Christy, son Max, and daughter Molly.

Nathan Gwilliam

Vice President & Adoption.com Executive Director

In December 2019, Gladney acquired Adoption.com and its assets. Nathan as CEO/Founder of Elevati, the parent company of Adoption.com, was thrilled to remain on staff as the Adoption.com executive director and a Gladney vice president. As a college student, Nathan spent almost two years as a missionary in Brazil. Nathan fell in love with the street children of Brazil and vowed to do something to make a lasting difference in their lives when he returned. So, Nathan created a thesis on how to use the Internet to help children through adoption. That thesis won multiple business plan competitions, and adoption.com was born. As CEO, Nathan grew adoption.com to become the world’s most-used adoption site.

Founding member of:

National Counsil
Children Home

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