February 7, 2013
Last Living Founder of America's Largest Adoption Agency Dies
Marguerite Bonnema helped build Bethany Christian Services into 'one of the nation’s premier family preservation agencies.'
“While I am saddened by Marguerite’s passing, I rejoice that she is with the Lord,” Bill Blacquiere, BCS's president and CEO, told LifeNews.com. “As a result of her vision and courage, Bethany has touched the lives of many thousands of children and families since its founding.”
Bonnema co-founded BCS with her friend Mary VandenBosch in the 1940s as part of their dream to "[establish] a residence for homeless children." Today, BCS provides family preservation, counseling, and adoption services in more than 30 states across America.
The attitude toward adoption when BCS formed 70 year ago was quite different from its current popularity; adoption has surged in evangelical circles as of late. According to recent data from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), financial support for both adoption and orphan care has seen double-digit percentage growth over the last several years. In 2010, CT reported a 26 percent increase in all adoption placements through BCS.