Thursday, May 15, 2008


Denny Glad was one of the adoption movers and shakers in Tennessee. She help shape the law in Tennessee. She got the records opened up for adoptees out there. She has also helped in many searches and reunions along her road. She leaves behind two sons.

I did not know this woman but I am grateful for her strength and courage through the years. I hope to continue to carry the torch in order to light the way for adoptees and their families. She helped many an adoptee who were adopted out of Georgia Tann's Children's Home Society. Barbara Bisantz Raymond wrote about her in her book, The Baby Thief. I want her sons to have this forever memorialized on my blog so that they can refer to it. May she always guide us in the adoptee rights movement. My prayers are with her family at this time.

Here is the story in the Commercial Appeal:

Mrs. Glad reunited adoptees, families

By Shirley Downing

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In the 1940s, Marianne "Denny" Glad wondered what became of three young cousins who were placed for adoption.

Years later, the oldest cousin found his way back to biological relatives in Mississippi.

He'd grown up in Oregon. A brother died in Vietnam. The sister's whereabouts were unknown.

But Mrs. Glad was hooked. She would turn her passion for history and research into helping reunite families separated by adoption and time.

In the process, Mrs. Glad helped reshape Tennessee's adoption laws and became an expert on the Tennessee Children's Home Society, a Memphis adoption agency that closed in scandal in 1950.

Mrs. Glad died at her Raleigh home Monday after a long illness. She was 70.

"She was an angel," said Nashville adoption lawyer Robert Tuke, who worked with Mrs. Glad a decade ago on adoption law reform.

In more than two decades, Mrs. Glad and her colleagues with Tennessee The Right to Know helped hundreds of adoptees and birth families find each other by using legally accessible records, charging only for expenses.

Many of those adult adoptees had been placed by Georgia Tann through the old TCHS on Poplar, scandalized for selling babies. Facts blended with fiction, and Mrs. Glad always tried to separate the two.

"She would never bow to some of the outlandish myths there were about TCHS and she absolutely insisted on documenting all the facts as she well as she could," said colleague Debbie Norton.

"It lent to her credibility. I think everybody who came out of that home owes her a debt of gratitude."

A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in history, she married Gerald Glad in 1963. The family lived in California until they moved here when Glad took a job as a civilian financial planner for the Navy. He died in 1988.

"She was a fascinating woman, the most well-read and educated person who had a sense of right and wrong," said son Keith Glad of Nashville.

He said his mother felt adoptees had a right to know "who they are" and the circumstances of their birth.

"She would do anything in the world for you," said son Tony Glad of Boston.

"Now, she was strongly opinionated but she was not flashy and did not want to make a big public scene, but she definitely had a sense of right and wrong.''

Mrs. Glad, a homemaker who worked for a time in the office at Craigmont High School, became involved in adoption searches in the early 1980s, along with neighbor Nancy Kvapil and later Norton and Jalena Bowling.

Mrs. Glad "loved the historical aspect" of the adoption searches, Bowling said.

Mrs. Glad, Bowling and Norton were honored in 2001 with the Women of Achievement award for determination.

Caprice East of Nashville, who worked with Mrs. Glad in the adoption reform effort in the mid- to late 1990s, said Mrs. Glad "was so well-versed on everything. She never missed a detail. She was precise ...

"I've never seen anybody that so many people revered and that nobody vilified. She was just absolutely incredible."

Mrs. Glad also leaves a sister, Nellie Ruth Griffis of Memphis, and a brother, Bob Denman of Texas.

Services will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Memorial Park Funeral Home with burial in the cemetery. Memorial Park Funeral Home has charge.

No comments: