Supporting an Expectant Mother Through the Adoption Process
An unplanned pregnancy can be one of the most difficult experiences in a woman’s life. It usually isn’t what she wanted, and now she has to figure out how to move forward. Not only will her body change, her social standing be potentially impacted and her finances pressured — there is also the baby to consider. All of this is made exponentially more difficult if there is a lack of support.
So, you’re asking, “My girlfriend is pregnant and doesn’t want it. What do I do?”
The first thing: Give as much unconditional support as possible. Whether it is your spouse, girlfriend or even a casual partner, an unplanned pregnancy isn’t something anyone should have to go through alone. It takes two to end up in this situation, and an unexpected pregnancy is best navigated with the support of a partner.
Neither of you were planning on dealing with something like this, but now you both have the opportunity to make the best of it. When you are the father of the baby, there are many important things you can do to support the expectant mother in your life.
Learning About Your Unplanned Pregnancy Options
You and your partner have options for how to handle an unplanned pregnancy. One helpful thing you can do when your partner or girlfriend is pregnant and doesn’t want it is to know what these options are. Put in the time to research your choices and help your partner make the best decision for her life. When doing this, remember to stay open and keep it in perspective. While you are the father of the baby, remember that it is the expectant mother’s body in question here. What she wants is very important; she will be the one carrying the pregnancy to term and going through the childbirth process.
When you’re asking, “My girlfriend is pregnant and doesn’t want it. What do I do?” there are, generally speaking, three choices:
- Parenting: While raising the baby might seem impossible, you both may still consider this option. There are more than two million unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. each year, and the majority of these pregnancies end in parenting. There may be public resources you can access to make parenting less of a burden. However, it is understandable if you and your partner know that parenting is impossible right now and thus decide on another unplanned pregnancy option.
- Abortion: A woman’s ability to access a safe and legal abortion can vary. Some states are more restrictive than others in their abortion laws, so you will need to check on your state’s law to see if abortion is a possibility in your situation. Consider the pros and cons of abortion carefully, as it can be right for some but may not be the best option for everyone.
- Adoption: It’s likely not something you’ve considered before, but you can choose adoption as a way to handle an unplanned pregnancy. There are many benefits to adoption for both birth parents and the baby. It allows you and your partner to move forward with life while also giving the child an opportunity to be loved by a family. You may also be eligible for adoption financial assistance during the process, which comes as a great relief to most prospective birth parents. Professional services, like counseling and medical treatment, are free to prospective birth mothers during an adoption process. And thanks to the increasing prominence of open adoption, you will even have the ability to maintain a connection with your baby after the adoption process ends.
Regardless of which option is best for your partner, the role of the father is to be an encouraging, supportive presence during this difficult time. Never pressure your partner into one particular choice, as this is her body and her right to choose what’s best. She may look to you for guidance and support, which is where you can step in and provide the help she may need.
Supporting an Expectant Mother through the Adoption Process
Any prospective birth father has the opportunity to be an important part of the adoption process. Adoption can still be difficult, even when you know it’s the best thing to do. There will be professional support at every step from the adoption specialists you and your partner work with, but nothing can replace personal encouragement and relationship. Simply being there can make all the difference. As the expectant mother creates her adoption plan, chooses and gets to know the adoptive family and gives birth at the hospital, you can support her.
The unfortunate truth is that many prospective birth mothers go through adoption without a supportive birth father. You can break that trend and be there for the mother of the baby. Unwavering support is always the best option when you’re asking, “My girlfriend is pregnant and doesn’t want it. What do I do?”
Supporting the Birth Mother after Placing a Child for Adoption
If you and your partner do choose adoption for the baby, your supporting role doesn’t end at birth. Pregnancy leaves a lasting impact, both physically and emotionally. In addition to typical effects of pregnancy on a woman, your girlfriend, wife or partner could also deal with unique feelings of loss associated with adoption. Even if adoption was the best choice for their pregnancies, many women naturally feel an unsettling disconnection from their baby after placement.
You can help her through this time with practical things, like cooking, cleaning and financially supporting your partner, if possible. The time and space to recover, both physically and emotionally, is vital after birth. Along with these things, make sure to listen carefully to her needs. During this time, she knows what she needs better than anyone.
You can also looking into professional support after placing a child for adoption. Choose an adoption agency that provides 24/7 counseling both during and after adoption, and lean on them as much as you need. The emotions of childbirth and adoption are not something you and your partner have to go through alone, and many people need professional help during this time.
If you’re already in the place where adoption help is needed, or if you simply have more questions about the best way you can support the mother of the baby during her pregnancy, you can contact an adoption professional at any time for free information. An adoption specialist will be happy to reach out to you and your partner to speak with you about your unplanned pregnancy options, choosing adoption and finding help. You will never be pressured into choosing adoption and won’t be expected to move forward unless both you and the expectant mother are ready.