Philanthropy Friday: National Adoption Center

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week: The National Adoption Center, a nonprofit that champions LGBT adoptive parents, and seeks to find homes for “children who are languishing in foster care.”

Who are you? Ken Mullner, executive director of the National Adoption Center, and an adoptive dad.

Tell us about the National Adoption Center: The Center engages in a comprehensive range of innovative yet proven strategies designed to recruit adoptive families for children who are languishing in foster care. In the past four decades, the Adoption Center has created families through its well-known public awareness work (like Wednesday’s Child on NBC10 and KYW Radio, Monday’s Child in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Tuesday’s Child in the Philadelphia Tribune); intensive case management for some of the hardest-to-place children; online advocacy and education resources; information and referrals; and LGBT and other adoption events that match youth with prospective adopters. We believe all prospective foster and adoptive parents should be given fair and equal consideration to provide foster care and to adopt a child who needs a permanent loving home. The National Adoption Center opposes any federal or state legislation as well as foster care and adoption agency policies that restrict or dismiss the consideration of current or prospective foster and adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. These strategies have positioned the Center as a leader in the field of adoption and have helped to create families for more than 23,000 children across the nation and here in the Delaware Valley.

When was your National Adoption Center founded? In Philadelphia in 1972 by Carolyn Johnson, an adoptive mother who saw firsthand the impact that a stable family can have on the well-being of a child. She began with a simple recipe box of cards at her kitchen table through which she would “match” children with families. The Center has grown tremendously from its grassroots beginning to become a leading local and national resource for children living in foster care, and for prospective adoptive families.

Tell me about a shining moment … We were thrilled and proud to be named 2011 Nonprofit Organization of the Year by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. That same year we were recognized as a HERO by the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund for our work in the LGBT community. We are also accredited by the Human Rights Campaign with their All Children-All Families seal of approval.

If a check for $1 million found its way to your doorstep … We would use it to continue to expand our hugely successful Wednesday’s Child program throughout the country. The program’s television appearances and other media features have increased the number of children and youth who have found permanent, loving homes here in Philadelphia. (It has a 60-percent success rate locally.) We’re confident it would have the same kind of success elsewhere, and we’ve already begun outreach with the debut of Wednesday’s Child USA.

Have any special events coming up? Our annual fundraising gala, Celebration of Family, will take place April 23th at the Ballroom at the Ben. This year’s unique theme will feature a performance by Broadway stars Ron Sharpe, Natalie Toro and Barbara Russell, and honor the work of Allan Frank, past Board president and principal & co-founder of The Hackett Group. Allan’s vision was the genesis for what today is the national electronic photo listing of children who wait to be adopted. Our annual Golf Tournament is September 28th at Green Valley Country Club.

Are there ways I can contribute without giving money? People interested in supporting our work can volunteer at fundraising events, contribute items and experiences for our gala auction, share your adoption story on our website, follow us on social media and share with your friends, host a café in your workplace. Most important: Consider becoming an adoptive parent!

How can I donate money? Donations are graciously accepted here or by sending a check to: National Adoption Center, 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 701, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Are you a local, LGBT-serving nonprofit that would like to be featured in an upcoming Philanthropy Friday post? Email details to Samantha Giusti at