Pregnant and Homeless? Adoption is an Option
People who are experiencing homelessness often feel shame about their situation. To make things more complicated, someone who is facing housing instability may then find out about an unintended pregnancy. Pregnant and homeless people are then left to wonder, “If I’m pregnant and homeless, what do I do?”
Anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy has three options, and the same is true for women experiencing homelessness or housing instability:
However, if you’re pregnant, homeless or think you may be about to become homeless, those options become more difficult for you. You’ve probably already considered:
- Parenting: You could try to parent your baby, but where would he or she live? You may not have the resources to provide for yourself in the way you want to, let alone someone who is fully dependent on you. You may even be homeless and struggling to care for older children.
- Abortion: There are grants and funds that may help you with the costs of a safe abortion, but federal funding does not cover those expenses. You’d also need someplace safe to recover for a couple days following an abortion procedure.
So, that leaves many homeless pregnant mothers considering adoption. In this guide, we’ll cover what placing a baby for adoption is like when you’re experiencing both pregnancy and homelessness, and the help for pregnant homeless women that is available.
Remember: Unplanned pregnancy (and homelessness) can happen to anyone, you have nothing to be ashamed of, and there are professionals who can help you get the services and support you need to move forward. You deserve support, information and understanding during this moment of crisis.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions from homeless pregnant women looking at adoption:
What Should I Do if I’m Pregnant and About to Be Homeless?
Unfortunately, many women find themselves pregnant, on the verge of homelessness and afraid for their future (and their baby’s). If you’re about to be homeless and pregnant, you should first reach out to a women’s shelter or crisis center. Consider contacting one of these organizations, and ask if a local branch can help you.
Your local crisis center may be able to help you stabilize your current living situation, or help you to find a safe place to stay temporarily. This will give you some more time to consider your unplanned pregnancy options without having to worry about not knowing where you’ll sleep or get your next meal from.
Contacting a licensed adoption professional is another way to learn more about each of your unplanned pregnancy options, including adoption. When you make an adoption plan, they’ll help you to find whatever resources you need, including safe housing, help with finances, health care, legal representation and more.
We understand that facing homelessness is scary enough, without the added stress of an unplanned pregnancy. But there are people who can, and want to help.
I Became Homeless While Pregnant. Now What?
Whether your current homelessness is because of your pregnancy, or just a tragic coincidence, what matters now is that you (and your baby) stay safe and healthy. If you think that placing your baby for adoption is the best decision for the both of you right now, an adoption professional can help you to create an adoption plan that you feel comfortable with.
If you’re considering adoption, you can contact an adoption professional to find help with your homelessness. They should be able to secure safe housing for you and can offer financial support, health care, legal counsel and more.
If you’re hoping to parent, or you’re considering abortion, contact a local women’s shelter like one of the organizations listed about. They can help connect you to whatever resources you need to make the choice that you feel is best for your unplanned pregnancy, and then help you to deal with your housing crisis.
I’m Homeless and Pregnant, But I’m Struggling to Support My Other Children. Can I Choose Adoption?
You always have the right to choose adoption if you feel that’s what’s best, no matter what your current situation is like. Being homeless doesn’t prevent you from placing your child for adoption, and the majority of women who choose adoption for their unborn baby are actually already raising children, so this is not an uncommon path.
Many women who find themselves homeless while caring for their children are struggling with feeling as though they’re unable to provide the life for their children that they’d hoped for. Then, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, they feel as though they must choose between providing for their older children and this new baby.
And so, these women may choose to place their child with a family who is able to provide the kind of life they feel their child deserves. For some, adoption means providing the best possible future for their baby, while also making sure that their older children (and themselves) are also still cared for.
If I’m Considering Adoption While Homeless, Do I Still Have Options?
Just because you’re experiencing homelessness doesn’t mean that you don’t still have choices. If you do decide that you want to pursue adoption, you’ll always have the opportunity to:
- Select your baby’s future family
- Get to know that family
- Maintain whatever amount of communication you’d like to share with your child and the adoptive family throughout the years
- Decide what your hospital plan looks like
- Access free health care and legal representation
- Change your mind about adoption during the process, if you find new resources to help you parent
- And more
You always have the right to make the choices that you feel are best for you and your child, no matter what that looks like for you. Just because you contact an adoption professional for information doesn’t mean that you’re obligated to choose adoption.
If I Place My Baby for Adoption, Will I Become Homeless Again?
If you choose to place your baby for adoption, nobody is going to just leave you high and dry to continue battling homelessness. Your adoption professional will work with you throughout your pregnancy and beyond to try to secure housing that you can continue to afford, long after the adoption.
They will do what they can help you to find:
- Physical or mental health services
- Financial assistance
- Emotional support
- Help with transportation
- And any other resources you may need
Most women who choose to place a baby for adoption while homeless use the help of their professional to get back on their feet. An adoption counselor can help you to get to a more stable place in your life, one step at a time.
We’re in a Loving Relationship But Are Currently Homeless — Can a Homeless Pregnant Couple Choose Adoption Together?
Absolutely. One of the hardest parts of homelessness isn’t just the lack of financial support, it’s the lack of emotional support. When you’re in a relationship, the other person becomes your support through all things, including crises like homelessness.
But if you become pregnant in this relationship, the fact that you’re experiencing homelessness and aren’t able to provide your child with a home is a serious consideration for you both. You want to do what’s safest for your child, even if that means placing him or her in a different family.
Together, you can choose and get to know the adoptive family you feel is perfect for your child, and you can continue to share a relationship with your child through an open adoption. Learn more about choosing adoption as a couple here.
Services for Homeless Pregnant Women
Outside of help placing your baby for adoption, a pregnant homeless woman may ask, “What kind of pregnant/homeless assistance is available to me?”
Fortunately, there is help for pregnant homeless moms. The available help for pregnant and homeless women includes:
- Pregnancy Care Center Locator
- Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Program
- Covenant House
- Guides to financial help
- Supporting New and Expectant Mothers
- Homelessness Grants
- GoFundMe’s guide to financial support for pregnant women
- Infant Safe Havens
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Shelters throughout the U.S.
- Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Vaccines For Children (VFC)
- Financial Management During Crisis
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- The National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
If you’re currently pregnant and experiencing homelessness, your first priority is to keep yourself safe and healthy. Considering adoption for your child? You can contact a professional at any time for free information with no obligation to commit to adoption. They’ll be able to help you find any resources you need to handle your immediate crises.