Nearly half of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, and if you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, then you are not alone. But, is it OK to not want your baby? Can your feelings of not wanting to raise your child change, or should you find an option besides parenting?
Women experiencing an unwanted pregnancy have three options:
- Raise your child
- Place your child for adoption
- Terminate the pregnancy
If you are reading this article, then you likely feel that you don’t want your baby. Many women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy don’t want to raise a child and don’t want an abortion either. Adoption could be your best option.
When you say “I don’t want my baby,” you likely mean that you love your baby but you don’t want to raise a child. That’s perfectly OK. You are not a bad person — this thought is normal for many women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
There are hundreds of waiting, hopeful parents across the U.S. who want to add a child to their home. These families have limitless love to give and a lifetime of opportunities to share with your child.
Why Don’t I Want My Baby?
If you feel like you don’t want your baby, this could mean that you really want more for your baby. You may not have the time and resources needed to raise your child and you know that your child deserves better than what you can provide right now. You may want to be a parent, but perhaps it is not the right time in your life to raise your child. All children deserve to have the best life possible.
“I knew I was not in the position that would be conducive to raising a child, and as awful as it might sound, I did not want to keep it,” said Penny, who ended up choosing adoption for her baby. “[I knew] full well that the child would be better off with two parents that wanted it, rather than one parent who didn’t…I decided that my child deserved what I could not give it, which was two loving parents. Someone who could love and care for it the rest of its life.”
If you don’t understand why you don’t want your baby, here are some of the most common reasons prospective birth parents consider options besides parenting for an unplanned pregnancy.
Your Home Environment is Not Ideal
It’s important for a child to be raised in a healthy and stable household. You may not feel that your household is fully prepared for the introduction of a child for the following reasons:
- A single-parent home– For some pregnant women, the baby’s father is unsupportive or out of the picture. You may believe that you don’t want your baby because raising your baby in a two-parent household is important to you.
- Unhealthy relationships– Some home environments may present unhealthy, unsafe or unstable situations for a child. Bringing a baby into a toxic relationship is not fair to them and can put their development at risk. These are also situations where law enforcement and state courts can get involved, and you might want to make a proactive plan to place your baby in a better situation.
If you are in an abusive or violent relationship, you can get help for yourself and your baby.
- Low or unstable source of income– The most common reason that women don’t want to raise a child is due to financial instability. The financial burden of adding a child to the family may cause your resources to be stretched too thin. If this happens, you and your child may not get the opportunities that you both deserve.
If these are the reasons you are experiencing feelings of not wanting your baby, you can give your child a fresh start and an amazing future by considering adoption.
“The adoptive parents are super supportive. They have reached out to me on this journey and are very adamant in keeping in touch and sharing [my daughter’s] milestones with me. It makes me feel connected to her still.” — Jessica, a birth mother who placed her child for adoption.
You Have Unfinished Life Goals
Maybe you have thought about having kids one day, but is now the right time? Are you prepared to delay your education or career goals?
You can consider the following scenarios and compare your future with raising a child:
- If you are a teenager experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you may not want your baby because you want to finish high school, save money for college and get the perfect job. Raising a child may disrupt your goals.
- As a college student, you may be experiencing an important chapter of your life and you’re not ready to raise a child before you have learned important things about yourself.
- Being in a new relationship and experiencing an unplanned pregnancy could affect your relationship with your partner. You may feel like you don’t want your baby because you and your partner are not ready to raise a child
- You could be married and raising children with the perfect future plans already laid out for your family. If you believe that your family is complete, then you may feel like you don’t want your baby.
The good news is that there are hundreds of hopeful parents in the U.S. who are dreaming of starting or expanding their families. Your baby can get the love and support of a family, and the life that you want them to have, through adoption.
You can always choose to pursue your life goals during pregnancy and while raising your child, but it can be a lot of work. If your goals for your life outweigh the possibility of raising your child, then adoption could be your best choice.
You Don’t Want to Be a Parent
This is an important topic that should be addressed before committing to parenthood. You may not want your baby because you know you don’t want to be a parent. But, is that reason enough to place a baby for adoption?
Some people know from an early age that they do not want to be parents. Others decide later in life that their careers, personal relationships or other goals are more important to them than having children.
However, this does not stop an unplanned pregnancy from happening. For many women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, adoption allows them to pursue the life they want to live while ensuring that their child grows up in a loving home.
Here are some of the thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing if you don’t want to be a parent:
- Anger: “How could this happen to me? I don’t deserve this”.
- Depression and Hopelessness: “I feel like I have no control over my life”.
- Denial: “If I ignore my pregnancy it will go away”.
- Fear: “I don’t know what’s going to happen now”.
- Doubt: “I can’t do this”.
These feelings can be normal, but sometimes they can be so intense that you need professional help. Even if your feelings of not wanting your baby are not extreme, you can benefit from contacting an adoption agency to speak with an adoption professional.
It may be the case that your doctor or counselor can help you view your unplanned pregnancy in a positive way.
Help Me, I Don’t Want My Baby
Your health and safety are very important. You can get help from a doctor or a counselor when you don’t want your baby and your negative emotions are interfering with your daily life.
If your hormone levels or other internal factors are imbalanced and you feel like you don’t want your baby while you’re pregnant, then you could be experiencing prenatal depression. Most people have heard of postpartum depression which can occur when your hormone levels drop after your baby is born.
Your doctor can help you understand if your feelings of not wanting your baby are a sign of depression or a milder case of sadness known as the “baby blues.”
Consider reaching out to a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Chronic anxiety
- Mood swings and irritability
- Changes in appetite
- Insomnia and lack of energy
- Inability to concentrate
- Frequent crying
Depression is a serious clinical illness, and you do not want to make an important decision under its influence. You can call a 24/7 adoption hotline to speak with an adoption counselor, or you can contact an adoption professional online at any time.
If you have thought long and hard about your unplanned pregnancy options and talked to your support system, you may know that you don’t want your baby but you don’t want an abortion either.
Let’s talk about adoption because it could be your perfect choice.
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.
Step1: 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 4: Create your hospital plan for labor and delivery.
Step 5: Give birth and complete your adoption paperwork.
You can look forward to the following, positive emotions if you choose adoption:
- 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.”
- Hope: “I have a promising future”.
The truth is, once you make a decision for your unplanned pregnancy, you will be OK. It may not seem that way now if you don’t want to be pregnant, but many women live their best possible life after placing their baby for adoption.
“Adoption has changed me — I’m more open and I talk more,” Caitlin says. “I feel like I’ve become better because I know that if I can place [my son] into someone else’s arms and still move on, I can do anything.” — Caitlin is a birth mother who placed her child for adoption.
When Can I Start the Adoption Process?
It’s never too early or too late to choose adoption. Adoption is an option for you at any time and at any stage of your pregnancy.
If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you can choose adoption as soon as you find out. Some women start the adoption process within a few weeks after conception, while others start in the hospital while they’re in labor.
Even if you have taken your baby home and you have been caring for your baby for weeks or months, you may realize that you don’t want your child because you tried parenting and it’s not what’s best for you and your baby. It is possible to place an older child for adoption.
You can start your adoption process today by following these three steps:
Step 1: Know that adoption is right for you and your baby.
Step 2: Get all the adoption information that you need.
Step 3: Contact an adoption agency or reach out to an adoption professional online at any time.