Gayle Swift

Co-Founder of GIFT Family Services, LLC
President, Coaching Pathways
Adoption Coach

Gayle is a certified coach, Adoptee Rights activist, and an award-winning author.


Gayle Swift has been a coach for fifteen years and an adoptive parent for over thirty years and a foster parent. A parent of two children adopted domestically as infants, Gayle has a special passion for working with adoptive families. She enjoys coaching families who have experienced challenges with their children

Gayle knows first-hand that family life includes some bumps, twists, turns, and the occasional pothole–some of them wide and deep! She believes addressing conflict can bring families closer as they work towards solutions together. Adoption has brought incredible joy to Gayle and has proven to be the hardest job she has ever loved and would never quit. Working with other adopted/foster families brings purpose and deep personal satisfaction to Gayle.

Gayle works with motivated clients to clarify their vision for their families and to articulate the deeply held values that define them. Coaching works as a stepping stone to bring the family dream into reality. She operates with an inquisitive, neutral, yet rigorous style. Families will examine how they are being effective, capitalize on their strengths, and identify where their learning opportunities lie. She believes it is important for families to be educated on the special issues that impact adopted families because greater understanding brings increased effectiveness.

Gayle uses her love of writing to serve her goal of supporting adoptees and their families. she co-wrote ABC, Adoption and Me with her daughter, Casey. It has garnered many awards including being named a Favorite Read of 2013 by Adoptive Families. They recently released a revised and re-illustrated version which has been named a Finalist in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA).

Gayle and Casey also co-authored "WE're Adopted, So What?" a book aimed at middle scghool-age adoptees. It also was a finalist in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA).  She has also contributed to the anthology It’s Not about You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, Search and Open Adoption.

Gayle co-authored Reimagining Adoption: What Adoptees Really Seek from Families and Faith with GIFT coach Sally Ankerfelt. It was published in 2019 and won a Gold Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association.

Gayle has personal experience with reunion in adoption as both of her children reconnected with their birth mothers in adulthood. She understands the complexity, benefits, and challenges as well as the joys and disappointments that can occur and is convinced that the benefit far outweighs the effort!

Gayle writes most of the “Growing Intentional Families Together” blogs for GIFT Family Services. She and GIFT coach Sally Ankerfelt are currently working on a book about the relationship between faith, adoption, and the quest for belonging. 

In her blog, “Writing to Connect,” Gayle reviews children’s books through an adoption-attuned lens. She identifies talking points that can be used to open adoption-related discussions between child and parent. Using general interest books to open such sensitive and vital subjects helps the conversations flow more naturally.

Professional Development and Education

Presenter, NACAC annual conference, 2017

Presenter, Adoption Summit Experience 2015

Certified Performance Coach, Resource Realizations, 2003

Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Resource Realizations

Certified Prepare/Enrich Marital and Pre-marital Inventory Administrator and Counselor

Completed the following ALP trainings:

  • Discipline and the Adopted Child, Ain’t Misbehavin’
  • Adoption and Classroom Success: Beyond the Basics
  • Finding the Missing Pieces: Helping Adopted Children Cope with Grief and Loss<
  • Is It an Adoption Thing?
  • The Journey of Attachment
  • Tough Starts: Brain Development Matters
  • We’re Home! Now what? For Parents of Newly Adopted Toddlers/Preschoolers
  • Building Bonds of Attachment: Practical, Expert Advice

B.S. Education, Boston University; Former Editor of FACT Matters, an adoption newsletter; Community and PTA volunteer; Board Member-Hibiscus Children’s Shelter; Former foster parent, Small business owner


Testimonials About Gayle

"Gayle provided us with numerous tools and exercises to work on our family issues ... She proved to be extremely insightful in analyzing information ... regarding issues, successes, and breakdowns in communication with our family ... Gayle always provided us with a calm and patient anchor, especially during times when there were serious issues or breakdowns ... She is a fantastic coach." M.P., D.P., and A.P.

"A family coach is your guardian angel ..." --K.F.

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GIFT, Growing Intentional Families Together, adoption