Are You Being Pressured to Choose Adoption, Abortion or Parenting?
After learning about your unplanned pregnancy, you’ve probably had a lot of time to think about what your next step should be. Before even reading this article, you might already have a plan in mind about which of your three options makes the most sense to you. But what should you do if your parents, friends, and even the birth father are pressuring you into one of the unplanned pregnancy decisions that you don’t want?
When it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, everyone will try to tell you what you should do next. You might think, “My family is forcing me to keep the baby; what can I do?” or “My boyfriend wants me to get an abortion, but that’s not what I want to do.” No matter what anyone else says, understand that this is not their decision to make. It’s yours. Which means that you have the right to choose what’s best for you and your baby. If your family won’t let up, and you’re not sure what to do to make them understand, here are some tips you should keep in mind if you feel like you’re being pressured to put a baby up for adoption, get an abortion, or parent your child when you’re not ready.
1. Remember that this is your decision to make
Your family, friends, and potentially the birth father are some of the most important people in your life. It can be really hard to not take their comments and opinions about your choice personally. If you want to choose adoption, they might be pushing you to explore your other options, like abortion or parenting. On the other hand, you might be in a situation where you’re an unwed mother being forced to “give your child up” for adoption. Or at least, that’s what it feels like.
No matter what their reactions are, try not to let that influence your decision. Of course, you’re going to want to do what makes your friends and family happy, but the truth is that you’ll never be able to control their reaction to the news. No matter how they feel about your unplanned pregnancy, you are the only one who gets to make the final decision.
2. Stay Firm in Your Choices
Right now, you’re probably wondering, “Do I have to put my baby up for adoption if that’s what my family or the birth father wants?” or “Can I be forced to keep an unwanted pregnancy?” Many women feel pressured when they talk to others about their unplanned pregnancy options. Whether that’s abortion, parenting, or adoption, it can be difficult to not let others influence your decision. And when you talk to your family especially, it may be hard not to buckle under the pressure. You might feel like you’re being forced to keep an unwanted pregnancy or that you’re not really being listened to. It can be really hard to stick with what feels right for you.
When you do talk to them, remind them that you’re only looking for support and not for their opinions. As your friends and family, they may think that their advice is helping you make the best decision for you and your baby, but in reality, it might be doing the complete opposite. While they’re only trying to be helpful, you might feel overwhelmed. The truth is that there is a way for them to offer a respectful amount of support without pushing you into a decision that you’re not ready for.
If you feel like you’re not being heard, it’s up to you to speak up. Let your friends or family members know that, although you appreciate their support and you’re thankful for their concern, you’re an adult who can make her own decisions. They may not like it, but at the end of the day this is your choice to make.
3. Create Your Own Support Team
It’s a really uncomfortable feeling when the people closest to you don’t want to listen to your side of the story. And more importantly, it can be really hard to walk away from someone who you feel like doesn’t really respect you or your choices. If you feel like your decision isn’t being respected, just remember that you have other options for support. There are a ton of birth mother support groups and forums with women who know exactly what being pressured to put a baby up for adoption feels like. You can also post any questions you have on their forums to get the answers you’re looking for. And don’t forget, your adoption specialist is a great resource! If you’re looking for extra support during your adoption, you can reach out to them at any time.
Hopefully, you’ll find that you do have a few family and friends who support your decision. It will be extremely helpful to lean on them during this difficult time as you try to figure out which decision is right for you.
4. Contact a Professional
Many women have asked, “My parents don’t want me to give my baby up for adoption — who can I contact?” If you’re not getting the support that you need from your friends and family, it may be time to reach out to a professional. There are local and national adoption agencies you can reach out to that can give you the support you’re looking for. For example, on top of offering financial assistance, many of these professionals offer 24/7 hotlines, counseling and education that you can take advantage of at any time. These professionals will also be able to offer information about all of your unplanned pregnancy options, not just adoption. Which means that you can feel that much better about your unplanned pregnancy decisions.
If for any reason you feel like you’re being pressured into choosing adoption by a professional, please don’t hesitate to find another agency to work with. While we hope that every agency has your best interests in mind, there are some agencies out there who are only interested in their own agenda. And with an unplanned pregnancy already being scary enough, the last thing you want is to be pressured into a decision that you don’t want.
5. Understand Your Rights
Right now, you might be in a situation where you’re forced to ask, “I want to give my baby up for adoption, but my mother is forcing me to keep the baby” and “If I want to choose adoption can I be forced to keep my baby?” These questions are more common than you think. However, you should know that no one can force you into an unplanned pregnancy decision that you’re not comfortable with. Not your family, friends, the birth father, or even an adoption professional. No matter what they try to say to change your mind, they cannot legally force you into a decision without your consent.
The same goes for if you’re considering adoption. If you’re considering this path, you are in control of each and every decision. This means that you get to choose the perfect family for your baby, the hospital plan, the amount of contact you’re open to after placement, and much more.
Which Choice is Right for Me?
If you know in your heart what the right decision is, then it’s up to you to make it. Everyone in your life will have their own opinion about what you should do, but at the end of the day, this decision will only be yours to make. You should never feel like you’re forced to keep an unwanted pregnancy, have an abortion or place a baby for adoption. No matter what anyone else thinks, this is your and your baby’s future. If you have any questions at all about what to do next, please fill out our free information form to speak with a trained specialist today, with no obligation to choose adoption.