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What is Better: Adoption or Abortion? [Pros and Cons]

An unplanned pregnancy can happen at the wrong time in your life, leaving you unprepared for parenting. Despite the idea that many people believe, you don’t have to be a parent if you’re not ready. That may leave you wondering about adoption vs. abortion.

Adoption can be a selfless act of unconditional love for your baby. Through adoption, you are choosing to give the priceless gift of a child to a hopeful family who is dreaming of loving a child and receiving a child’s love in return.

An abortion can be a brave decision.  When you choose to terminate your pregnancy, you can have control over your body and the freedom to choose your future.

No one can tell you if adoption or abortion is better.

This is a choice you must make for yourself and for your baby. The information provided below is a collection of facts and frequently asked questions about adoption and abortion. If you are considering adoption, you can get free information by clicking here to contact an adoption professional online at any time.

First, let’s take a look at the facts and statistics surrounding adoption and abortion.

Adoption Facts and Statistics

It may help you in your decision of adoption vs. abortion to know some of the facts behind adoptions in the United States.

  • Today, 95% of adoptions are open or semi-open adoptions. This means you can get to know the prospective adoptive parents during the adoption process and see your child thriving as they grow up because of your decision.
  • 100% of birth mothers have the right to choose the hopeful parents. This means that you can decide who your baby’s parents could be. Whatever type of life you’re envisioning for your baby, you get to pick the perfect family who will make those dreams come true.
  • Adoption is always free for prospective birth parents in the United States — you never have to pay adoption agencies or hopeful parents when you choose to place your baby for adoption, and you can even get help with your pregnancy-related expenses during the process. (Abortion, on the other hand, can cost several hundred dollars.) This is important to know because the cost of abortion vs. adoption is a factor in many women’s decisions.

When Can I Choose Adoption?

When deciding on adoption or abortion, timing is an important factor to consider. Adoption is an option for you at any time and at any stage of your pregnancy.

  • If you have recently found out about your unplanned pregnancy, and you know you want to choose adoption, you can contact an adoption agency at any time to learn your next steps.
  • You can choose adoption in the hospital while you’re in labor.
  • Even if you have been caring for your baby at home for weeks or months and you realize that parenting is not for you, you can contact an adoption agency to place your child with a waiting family.

It’s never too early or too late to choose adoption.

What is the Adoption Process?

When you choose to place your baby for adoption, there are five main steps in the adoption process. This quick guide can be your checklist for your adoption journey.

Step 1: Know that adoption is right for you and your baby.

Step 2: Contact an adoption agency that provides 24/7 support, a national scope, and includes staff with personal and professional adoption experience.

Step 3: Create your adoption plan with your adoption specialist and find the perfect parents for your baby.

Step 4: Create your hospital plan for labor and delivery.

Step 5: Give birth and complete your adoption paperwork.

Abortion Facts and Statistics

When you are considering adoption vs. abortion, you can think about the research numbers for the following abortion statistics:

  • From 2019 to 2020, Planned Parenthood reported that their affiliate medical services performed 354,871 abortions.
  • Abortion is legal in all 50 states in the United States because of the Supreme Court ruling in the Roe vs. Wade case in 1973.
  • The average cost of abortion nationwide is between $0 to $1,000, but it could be more depending on the type of abortion and your stage of pregnancy.
  • In 2017, there were 808 medical clinics in the United States providing abortion services.

When Can I Choose Abortion?

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you can choose abortion in the first and second trimester, depending on your state’s abortion laws.

It is never too early to choose abortion. When your pregnancy can be confirmed by ultrasound, usually within a few weeks of conception, you can schedule an abortion. You may have to inform your parents or undergo counseling before having a procedure done, and there may also be a waiting period. If you are further along than 14 weeks in your pregnancy, the procedure can become more complicated, so it is generally recommended to make such a decision early in your pregnancy.

After 24 weeks of pregnancy, most states restrict abortion because the baby is considered “viable”, which means he or she can potentially survive outside of the womb. If you are later in your pregnancy, this may be a major factor leading you to choose adoption vs. abortion.

What is the Abortion Process?

There are two types of abortion: medical abortion, known as the abortion pill, and surgical abortion, typically the vacuum aspiration method. You can choose a medical abortion up to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. Surgical abortion can be performed between 11 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The first three basic steps of abortion are usually the same:

Step 1: Know that abortion is right for you.

Step 2: Contact a trustworthy and experienced abortion clinic.

Step 3: Complete a physical exam, including an ultrasound, and complete abortion consent paperwork. Depending on your state’s laws and the clinic’s procedures, you may be required to attend multiple appointments at the clinic, receive counseling, and complete a state-mandated waiting period before the abortion can take place.

Steps for a Medical Abortion:

Step 4: Take the first abortion pill at the clinic to block hormones that support your pregnancy.

Step 5: Take the second abortion pill at home to start the process of emptying the uterus.

Step 6: Return to the clinic in one or two weeks to verify through ultrasound that the medical abortion was successful.

Steps for a Surgical Abortion:

Step 4: Take pain medication, if you choose to do so, and receive numbing medication injected into the cervix to decrease discomfort during the procedure.

Step 5: In the procedure room, a narrow tube will be inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. The attached vacuum will gently empty the uterus, guided by an ultrasound to verify that the uterus is completely emptied.

Step 6: Wait in the recovery room for up to an hour to be monitored for any adverse reactions or side effects. A follow-up appointment is generally not necessary unless you experience severe side effects like infection, blood clots or excessive pain.

Reasons Women Consider Choosing Adoption or Abortion

There are many reasons that women choose to place their baby for adoption, and there are equally as many reasons that women choose to terminate their pregnancy.

Adoption is sometimes referred to as “giving your baby up”, but this is not the case. You are not “giving up” on your child – you are choosing to give your child a brighter and more fulfilling future. When you choose to place your baby for adoption, you are choosing to give your baby unconditional love and opportunities that you may not be able to provide for him or her right now.

Terminating a pregnancy, known as abortion, may be referred to as “the easy way out” of pregnancy and parenting, but this is not necessarily the case, either. If you desire to prevent the possible turmoil and emotional upheaval that an unplanned pregnancy could bring to you and your family, then you can choose abortion.

Here is a comparison list of the top five reasons that women choose adoption or abortion.



“I can’t financially provide for a child yet.”

Parenting is expensive. If you’re not ready for those costs right now, adoption and abortion can both be options for you. Many adoptive families have been preparing for years to have a child, and they are ready to provide a lifetime of opportunities to your baby.

“I can’t afford maternity services or the cost of raising a child.”

This is a common reason why women choose abortion, but did you know that adoption can also help you avoid the costs of pregnancy? In fact, when you work with an agency to create an adoption plan, they can help cover many of your pregnancy-related living expenses, including rent, groceries, maternity clothes and more. While you may need to pay to cover the costs of an abortion procedure, adoption is always 100% free to you.

“My family is already complete.”

Many people believe that adoption is for young, single women, but this is a common misconception. Married couples who already have children can, and do, choose adoption.  An unplanned pregnancy can happen to anyone, but you can always decide that adoption is best for you and your baby.

“I am having relationship problems with my baby’s father.”

Relationships can be complex and difficult at times, and couples may decide that abortion is the best choice for their situation. Some women who are in unhealthy relationships choose to terminate their pregnancy for their safety as they navigate their uncertain environments.

“I am dealing with personal struggles that may prevent me from parenting.”

Raising a child requires resources and time that some prospective birth parents don’t have. But, there are hundreds of families who have the resources, time and desire to raise a child.

“Being pregnant would drastically change my life and I’m not ready for that change.”

Pregnancy causes physical changes and can be limiting in certain daily routines. Some women choose not to carry a pregnancy to term because this physical change would significantly interfere with their daily lives.

“I want to create a positive out of my unplanned pregnancy by helping hopeful parents start or grow their family.”

Adoption is a selfless gift that a birth mother gives to her child and to her child’s adoptive parents. She may not be at the right time in her life to give her child the love that he or she deserves, but she knows that there are families who have immense love to share with her child.

“I am not ready to be pregnant and give birth.”

Childbirth can be a scary process for some women. Whether a woman has been pregnant before or not, she can choose to terminate her pregnancy if she is not comfortable with experiencing the process of labor and delivery or the surgical intervention of a C-section.

“I want my child to have opportunities and experiences that I know I cannot give to him or her.”

Women experiencing unplanned pregnancies still want what they believe is best for their child, and all children deserve to live their best possible lives. A prospective birth mother can give her child the opportunities and experiences that she envisions by choosing the perfect family that is ready and willing to provide those things for a child.

“I am the victim of sexual assault and I want to terminate the resulting pregnancy.”

Rape and incest are traumatic experiences that can take a lifetime to overcome, and a woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy if she believes that it will help her heal from that trauma.

Adoption vs. Abortion [Pros and Cons]

The good news is that there can be many positive benefits of adoption and abortion. The bad news, there can also be negative impacts of adoption and abortion, depending on how you view your unplanned pregnancy and how you feel about the possible outcomes of adoption or abortion.

We’ll start with the pros and cons of adoption.

Peace of mind in knowing you chose the best family for your babyLoss and grief — while you will have access to free adoption counseling, it takes time to heal and move forward from the adoption grief process
Open adoption allows you to see your child grow upLegal rights to your child are terminated after adoption consent
Knowing that your child is in a safe and loving homeIf you choose a closed adoption, you may not get to see your child grow or get to know their adoptive family.
Financial freedom to focus on yourself and your futurePotential conflict with the father, family and friends if they don’t support your adoption decision

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of pros and cons for adoption. Every adoption experience is different and unique. A good adoption agency will help you through every challenge of the adoption process so you can focus on the amazing benefits you are giving yourself and your baby.

An adoption agency with a national scope can provide hundreds of adoptive family profiles for you to choose the perfect family for your baby. When the adoption agency staff includes birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents, then you can be confident that you have access to specialists who know the ins and outs of adoption from all perspectives. These two features in an adoption agency can help you have a fulfilling and positive adoption experience. Let’s continue with the pros and cons of abortion.

Gain control over your bodyMay be difficult to access due to state restrictions
Low medical risk compared to childbirthContrary to some religious beliefs
Alternative to carrying a pregnancy to termDecision must be made early, within the first 20 weeks
Most women feel positive about their decisionCan be costly, not usually covered by health insurance

There is nothing easy about the process of adoption or abortion. You can always seek out counseling before and after your decision for adoption or abortion. Some of the psychological difficulties of adoption and abortion include:

  • Doubt: “I don’t think I can do this.”
  • Denial: “I don’t have to choose because someone else will choose for me.”
  • Hopelessness: “I feel like I have no control over my life because of this unplanned pregnancy.”

Here are a few of the psychological benefits of adoption and abortion:

  • Acceptance: “I am strong enough and brave enough to do this.”
  • Healing: “I did it. This is a new chapter in my life.”
  • Relief: “I don’t need to worry about this decision anymore.”

Adoption and abortion can come with emotional pain, loss and grief. But, adoption and abortion can also decrease stress, change your perspective and offer you the opportunity for a brighter future.

The decision between adoption and abortion can be difficult, but you can benefit from contacting a professional to help you assess your situation and move forward with your decision.

Others That May Influence Your Decision for Adoption or Abortion

When you are choosing between adoption and abortion, remember that the final decision is yours alone. However, you may be offered opinions from other people in your life that are important to you. You can have a healthy discussion with those people, but it is important to let them know that you will be making the final decision.

Here are the people that you may want to talk to about adoption vs. abortion.

The Baby’s Father

“I really wish that I could have been involved with the decision from day one when she found out she was pregnant instead of waiting a while to tell me… [but] I knew that the right decision had been made. Both of us were still in high school and already had plans to attend college. I definitely was not ready to be a father; I had no idea how to take care of a child.” – Shawn, a birth father who placed his newborn for adoption.

If you have contact with your baby’s father and an amicable relationship, you can consider talking to him about your options. It is important to remember that your baby’s father has parental rights to the unborn child. The best-case scenario is one in which you and your baby’s father both agree on adoption or abortion, and he is supportive throughout the process.

It is OK if you don’t know who your baby’s father is, you don’t have contact with your baby’s father, or your baby’s father is unsupportive.

  • If you choose adoption and you work with a full-service adoption agency, one of the services is access to an adoption attorney who can sort through all legal adoption matters, including the father’s rights.
  • No one, not even the baby’s father, can prevent you from terminating your pregnancy through abortion. If you are a pregnant teen considering abortion, you can learn about the abortion consent laws in your state.

Your baby’s father’s opinion may be important to you, but it is also important to let him know that the final choice of adoption or abortion is yours to make.

Family and Friends

“I didn’t have family support; everything was on my own… You’re going to have to sleep at night with the decision you made, so if someone is trying to persuade you to do it or not do it, you need to ultimately make that decision yourself, and you need to really sit down and think about what’s best for your child.” – Casey, a birth mother who placed her child for adoption.

When choosing between adoption or abortion, your immediate family, your extended family and your friends’ opinions may be important to you. However, some family members may try to enforce ultimatums or make the decision for you. You should know that you have rights as a pregnant woman to decide what is best for you and your baby, even if you are a pregnant teen.

Some situations may present themselves, such as family members wanting to adopt your child or parents willing to pay for an abortion. You may appreciate these offers, but if you don’t believe that those situations are right for you and your baby, then it is OK to refuse those offers. The best way to make your decision is to learn the facts about adoption and abortion, and make your decision with (or without) the support of your family.


It is important for you to find quality content from credible sources when deciding between adoption and abortion. There are anti-adoption groups and there are also anti-abortion groups that are very vocal about their stance. Remember, they cannot make your adoption vs. abortion decision for you. Aggressive media could make you feel pressured and uncomfortable, and they sometimes show up outside of businesses that promote adoption or abortion.

One of the ways that a supportive family member or friend can help you is by being physically by your side as you face opposition.

Steps for Choosing Adoption vs. Abortion

Now, you may know which option, adoption or abortion, is right for you. If not, you can take the information you have learned and consider what your future and your child’s future may look like after an adoption.

“I knew my life did not stop after adoption… It gave me a second chance to pursue my goals and dreams so that I can be a better version of myself and help people along the way. I wanted to show my daughter that I didn’t give up on myself and, more importantly, her.” — Julia, a birth mother who placed her child for adoption.

In the same way, you can take what you have learned and consider what your life may look like after an abortion.

Here are the three steps for choosing adoption or abortion:

  • Step 1: Know the facts about adoption and abortion
  • Step 2: Create and maintain a support system while you decide on adoption or abortion.
  • Step 3: Make your decision for adoption or abortion — don’t allow anyone to choose for you.

This is a decision only you can make — but you don’t have to make it alone. To get free information and support that can help in your decision-making process, contact us today.