Women facing an unplanned pregnancy may be unsure of whether or not they are ready to be parents. For those who may not feel ready or prepared to raise a child, there is always the option of adoption.
As you navigate this time in your life, consider using the following information to help you make the best, most informed decision for you and your baby.
Considering Your Decision
It’s important that you make a careful, informed, and educated choice for your unplanned pregnancy. Here are a few things to consider when making this decision:
You Are Not Alone
Countless women have been in your position before; in fact, over half of pregnancies are unplanned. You are not the first to have to make this difficult choice, so do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help or advice.
Moreover, you have access to professional help when you need it. Adoption agencies and Planned Parenthood clinics provide counsel and guidance to women in your position, and they can help you come to the decision that works best for you.
Whether you choose to parent alone, parent with a partner, place your baby for adoption, or make any other decision, you can find the support you need.
It’s Never Too Late
The choice is always yours – it is never too late to choose adoption or parenting.
Women can begin creating an adoption plan at any point in their pregnancy, whether they are just finding out or about to give birth. Whatever your situation, you can get support and help at any time in finding the perfect adoptive family for your child.
Conversely, you can also choose to parent at any point, even if you’re in the middle of an adoption plan. Adoption does not become final until you terminate your parental rights, which occurs a short time after the birth so you have time to be sure of your decision. While this isn’t an ideal situation, because an adoptive family will be adversely affected, you do have that right.
You will Always be a Parent
Choosing whether to raise or place your child may be one of the most difficult decisions you have to make in your life – because whichever choice you make, you are still a parent with all of a parent’s love in your heart for your child.
Birth parents and adoptive parents both play a crucial role in an adopted child’s life. The majority of birth mothers have some type of contact with their children, so regardless of the choice you make, you will never have to wonder how your child is. If you want to know, you will have that opportunity as long as you select an adoptive family interested in sharing similar contact as you.
Parenting: Are You Ready?
You may be facing a pregnancy at a complicated time in your life, and you might be wondering if you are in the right position to parent a child right now. Your feelings and your circumstances will both play a role in the decision you make, and you should give them both the necessary consideration.
When it comes to unplanned pregnancy, you are making one decision that affects two lives: yours and your baby’s. When you choose to parent, every decision you make after that will also affect the both of you. This can feel overwhelming – especially when you were not expecting the pregnancy – so it’s important to look at the situation from every angle as you decide if you are ready to parent.
Questions about Parenting
- Am I in a financial position to raise a child? – Along with the costs of raising a child, the thought of prenatal care and hospital trips can be another source of financial stress.
- Do I have future goals or aspirations that I want to achieve? – An unplanned pregnancy may change the course of your life, and you may have to delay your education or career goals.
- Will the father of the child be involved? – Some women want their children to have the opportunity to grow up in a two-parent household.
- What kind of life do I want for my baby, and can I provide that life? – Oftentimes, a woman may choose not to parent because she does not have the time or ability to provide the life she dreams for her child.
- Do I want to be a parent? – This is the most important question you can ask. You may not be prepared for parenthood at the moment, or you may not have planned for it at all. On the other hand, you may want to parent your child regardless of the challenges.
Adoption vs. Parenting
As you come to a decision, take some time to examine some of the ways that adoption and parenting are both alike and different:
- You will experience pregnancy and childbirth.
- You will get to see and hold your baby.
- You will be able to see your child grow up.
- The cost of caring for a child is significantly higher than choosing adoption, which has no cost for the birth mother.
- While adoption allows you to watch your child grow up, parenting allows you to be the active figure raising your child.
- Adoption allows you to return to the path your life was taking, while parenting is the beginning of a new path with your baby.
The decision to parent or place your child cannot and should not be made overnight, and you have time throughout your pregnancy to reconsider your choices and change your mind. Whatever action you take, you should always feel like the choice is yours – not your parents’, not your friends’, and not an adoption agency’s – and only you can know which one is right.