Gladney Center for Adoption Branding Campaign
Gladney Center for Adoption is a domestic and international adoption agency that has been in operation for over 125 years. This Fort Worth-based non-profit has placed over 30,000 children for adoption and assisted over 37,000 birth mothers during that time. It has been dedicated to not only placing children in loving homes, but also to easing the burdens of young mothers who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy. Gladney came to Switch desiring a total overhaul of the materials that they use to reach out to potential Gladney mothers, girls who are primarily still in high school, and so our challenge became to design something that met them not only with empathy but also with hope. Through a comprehensive branding exercise, printed packet, a video, and a new website, Switch crafted a new Gladney voice that exuded both sensitivity and strength for these young women during a trying period in their lives.
In the instance of Gladney, our focus had to be on three different groups of people; first, the birth mothers. These are young women in emotional turmoil who need encouragement and hope. Second, the adoptive parents. Most often, these are couples who have struggled with infertility for a long time. Finally, the adopted children themselves. The motives and actions of both other parties (the birth mothers and the adoptive parents) are fundamentally driven by love and tenderness for this young child. In this way, our work had to not only communicate a human-centered message of hope and reassurance but also clearly convey what services were available to potential birth mothers to connect them with adoptive parents.
Our design process began with a thorough research phase. After Switch met with the client to solidify the mission and goals of the organization, we interviewed a series of past birth mothers. The interviews focused on the emotions and questions that the mothers encountered in the first few days after learning that they were pregnant. Through this process we were able to hone in on what the outreach materials we were creating needed to focus on. The deliverables we landed on were an in-depth informational packet, an animated video, and a new website. Over the course of the next few months we worked with copywriter Lisa Castello to write the material that would fill out both the info packet as well as the website. When completed, the info packet had three major components; the main book, which outlined the adoption process as well as Gladney’s role. The packet also included a Decision Journal, which was created to help facilitate a potential birth mother’s journey and give or space to process her options. Finally, the packet included a few past testimonials. The video was created as primarily a web outreach tool, with a goal of quickly connecting with unexpectedly pregnant young women and assuring them that they are not alone in their experience. The website served as the connecting point between the packet and the video, as the majority of the young women who would receive a packet or watch the video would then proceed to the website for more information. The website also includes a thorough database of potential adoptive parents that can be explored by the potential birth mothers. The feedback we have received since launching the new materials in late spring has been phenomenal, with Gladney reporting an over 50% increase in calls from potential birth mothers who have received the packets. Our client’s favorite stories are about the young women who tear up when they receive the packet and ask if it’s really something they can keep.