Perhaps her greatest contribution to child welfare occurred when she lobbied the Texas legislature to have the word "illegitimate" kept off birth certificates of adopted and abandoned children. She succeeded in 1936, making Texas the first state in the southwest to legally remove the stigma of illegitimacy. This single act would forever improve the life of orphans and gave a sense of vindication to her own birth since she too was born out of wedlock.
During the debate at the Texas legislature, Mrs. Gladney passionately argued her case and won the argument when she famously said, “There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.”
Take Away: There are no illegitimate children.