Choosing adoption, whether it is to bring a child into your home or to give up a child so they may have a better life, can be a difficult decision. But, the adoption advocates at Act of Life are there to help educate potential adoptive families and women with unplanned pregnancies and assist them in making tough choices that will affect the future.
“We advocate adoption on behalf of the unborn child that is danger of being aborted and the children who are in foster care who are waiting to be adopted,” said Act of Life president, Yvonne Fotheringham. “We also go to pregnancy centers and educate the counselors about how to present adoption to young women who have unplanned pregnancies and are not able to parent the child.”
Fotheringham first became involved with the organization when she moved to America from Scotland in the early 2000s.
“I became very aware of the abortion issue when I moved to Texas,” she said. “I just felt that the Lord was really bringing it to my attention. I felt a burden for the unborn and the women who were choosing abortion.”
So, she sought out training to become a post-abortion counselor and began counseling young women.
“After several years, I felt like the Lord was saying, other side of this is adoption,” she said. “I went into adoption training at Act of Life and they asked me if I would be a volunteer for the organization.”
Fotheringham split her time volunteering at Act of Life and at the pregnancy center in Katy. With all of her experience and training, Act of Life asked if she would come onto the board. Today, she is the Chairman of the Board and the president of the ministry.
But even though Fotheringham has a lot of know-how, she knows who is really in charge of Act of Life.
“We are a Christ-centered organization. Jesus is the head of this ministry,” she said. “Our counseling is all Biblically-based. “
The organization offers post-abortion counseling, post-adoption classes for families and a support group for birth grandmothers of children who have been given up for adoption.
Fotheringham said the organization is committed to educating families and young people about adoption.
“It was found that 75 percent of Christian couples have considered adoption, but only five percent have actually moved forward and adopted,” she said. “A big reason was fear of the unknown and fear of the process.”
Act of Life educates couples about the process of adoption and the options that are available for international and domestic adoption.
“We help them to be informed so they can make an informed decision. If they decide, yes, they do want to adopt a child, then they can move forward toward and adoption agency knowing what they’re getting into and what to look for in an agency.”
Fotheringham said although the adoption process is daunting at times, it can be a beautiful reminder of how our Heavenly Father has adopted us into his family.
“We as Christians are adopted into the family of God. We become his family when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior,” she said. “Physical adoption is an earthly example of that spiritual adoption and that unconditional love that God has for us as his adopted children.”