No matter what your circumstances are, you choose what is best for you and your baby.
You could be at the crossroads of your decision between what you want, what you believe and what you know is right for you and your baby. This situation can be made more difficult when your family and friends try to pressure you into making a decision you don’t agree with. This situation could be especially daunting and confusing if you are a teenager.
If you are feeling pressured to make a decision and would like to speak to a helpful, experienced professional, you can contact us online now.
In the meantime, let’s address your most important concern: can you be forced to make a decision about your unplanned pregnancy?
Common Questions About Being Forced to Choose Parenting, Abortion or Adoption
Can I be forced to choose parenting?
“I want adoption for my baby, but my parents want me to parent my child.”
No one can force you to keep your child. This could lead to unhealthy relationships, stress and an unfulfilling childhood for your baby.
Can I be forced to choose adoption?
“The baby’s father is pressuring me to ‘give my baby up’ for adoption.”
No one can force you to choose adoption. You must complete adoption paperwork if you are choosing adoption for your baby. This paperwork can be revoked by the court if you sign under duress or coercion. It is important for all adoptions to be completed ethically.
Can I be forced to choose abortion?
“My friends are telling me to terminate my pregnancy, but I want to keep my baby.”
No one can force you to have an abortion. There should always be counseling available to you and paperwork to sign before any abortion procedure can take place.
Choosing parenting, adoption or abortion outside of your family and friend’s advice or opinions can be difficult. You can use the following guide to help you confidently communicate with family and friends. It is important to remind family and friends that you need their support in your decision.
Things to Consider When Your Parents Don’t Want You to “Give Your Baby Up”
It can be hard to make a decision for parenting, adoption or abortion if your parents, friends or your baby’s father disagree with your views. These may be some of the most important people in your life — people that you respect and look up to. But, the needs of you and your baby are equally important. If you want to choose adoption you cannot be forced to keep your baby. The decision for your future is yours to make.
Your Religion, Values and Beliefs Can Have a Big Influence
Your relationships with your friends and family may be heavily influenced by your religion, values and beliefs. However, try not to allow anyone to force their religious beliefs and values onto you. You have a right to consider your own religious beliefs and values.
Allow Your Family and Friends Time to Think
When your family, friends and your baby’s father know about your unplanned pregnancy, they need time to process this potentially life-changing information. You can remind them that your unplanned pregnancy is a delicate situation that deserves the best possible decision through reasonable time and careful consideration.
Let Go of the Idea of Controlling Other’s Reactions and Opinions
You will never be able to control the reactions and opinions of your family and friends. No matter how others feel about your unplanned pregnancy, you are the only one who can make the final decision. Their reactions have nothing to do with you. Don’t allow anyone to confuse their opinion about your choice with their opinion about you.
Understand Your Rights as a Prospective Birth Mother
No matter what your family, friends or the baby’s father try to say to change your mind, they cannot legally force you into a decision without your consent.
Coercive adoption situations may be more common than you think. When you know your rights, you can have the comfort of knowing that you can say no to your parents and your baby’s father.
For example, here are some situations that women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy may encounter:
“I want to give my baby up for adoption, but my mother is forcing me to keep the baby.”
This can be a very uncomfortable situation, especially if you are a pregnant teen, or if your parents are providing most of your needs. Even if your parents don’t want you to “give your baby up” for adoption, 40 out of 50 states do not require your parents to give consent in order for you to place your baby for adoption. If you live in one of the ten states that require parental consent or notification of your adoption decision, you can benefit from contacting a full-service adoption agency that can connect you with a trusted adoption attorney for legal advice.
Adoption is a legal process that is managed by the laws of each State. Adoption attorneys and adoption agencies exist to help you have a legal, safe and ethical adoption. If you have questions about your rights to place your baby for adoption, you can contact an adoption professional online at any time.
“If I want to choose adoption, can I be forced to keep my baby?”
If you want to choose adoption, you can benefit from speaking with an adoption professional at a licensed adoption agency. When you contact an adoption agency, you should be assigned to an adoption specialist who could be your best asset on your adoption support team.
Your adoption specialist can even help you get the resources you need when you feel you are being pressured to make an unfair decision about your unplanned pregnancy. You can get counseling, educational material and even profiles of hopeful families that are dreaming of starting or growing their family.
If you’re considering adoption, you are in control of each and every decision in the adoption process. Adoption is a beautiful gift that is best given out of love. You always have the right to choose adoption.
Understand the Rights of the Birth Father
A father has the right to develop a relationship with his child, according to federal law. It could be unfair and unethical to conceal an unplanned pregnancy from the baby’s father, if you have contact with him. Telling your baby’s father about your unplanned pregnancy can help you both come to an agreeable decision about adoption in a healthy way.
If you are in a complicated relationship with your baby’s father, or he is absent altogether, you can benefit from working with an adoption agency. A full-service adoption agency will provide you with access to an adoption attorney. Adoption attorneys handle any and all legal situations that may arise during your adoption process.
Create Your Own Support System
It can be hard to walk away from your friends and family when you feel they don’t support your decisions. It’s even harder to cope with an unplanned pregnancy when you feel disrespected and judged by the very people that you hold dear. You can benefit from other options of support such as religious figures, teachers, counselors or an adoption professional.
When you’re considering adoption, you can have access to many sources of good advice and wisdom. There are even some adoption agencies with staff members who are birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents. They have been through the adoption process and have encouraging adoption stories to tell.
Often, after having time to think, your family and friends may realize that they want to support your decision. The support of family, friends, the baby’s father and other people in your life can make this difficult decision a bit easier. Their support can help you feel more confident in your choice.
Stay Firm in Your Choice
Once you make your decision for parenting, placing you child for adoption, or abortion, stick with it.
When you feel like your unplanned pregnancy has placed you against the world, it can be easy to buckle under the pressure of selfish and unsupportive advice.
The truth is, there is a way for your family and friends to offer a respectful amount of support without pushing you into a decision that you’re not ready for. Here are reasons that family and friends may be unsupportive and things you can do to stay firm in your choice:
- They think they’re being helpful. Your friends and family may think that their advice is helping you make the best decision for you and your baby, but in reality, it might be causing confusion and doubt. While they may think they’re being helpful, they may not realize that you feel overwhelmed.
- They think you need their opinion. When you talk to family and friends, remind them that you’re only looking for support and not for their opinions.
- They don’t think you have a say. If you are a young adult or a teenager living with your parents or guardians, they probably think they can make this choice for you. If you are a minor, your parents or guardians can make certain decisions for you, but they cannot make a decision for your unplanned pregnancy.
- They don’t have confidence in you. Your parents’ or guardians’ opinions about your choices don’t have anything to do with you as a person. Their opinions are created by their values. When your decision is made, you can be confident in your own values while not allowing others to change your mind.
- They don’t think you know what you want. You may not know what you want right now. It may take some time for you to learn about yourself and your future plans. Give yourself the time and resources you need to make your decision. You can focus on your chosen path and live your best life possible.
Contact a Professional
Who can you contact when you, your family and friends don’t agree on a decision for your unplanned pregnancy? You can always reach out to a professional who specializes in helping women through an unplanned pregnancy.
Many local and national adoption agencies have a 24/7 hotline that you can call for advice or support for placing your baby for adoption. You can also receive information about counseling, adoption financial assistance and adoption laws in your state.
You can get professional help with your unplanned pregnancy decision if you need support.
Not all adoption agencies and adoption professionals are created equally. You can also do your research on the best prenatal care resources for you because maternity care professionals can be a good source of referral information. You should feel comfortable and confident in your professional support system.
Should I Choose Parenting, Adoption or Abortion?
If you are struggling with your decision of parenting, adoption or abortion, you can ask yourself some important questions about each option. When you consider your answers to these questions, the right decision may become clearer to you.
Step 1: “Do you want to be a parent right now?”
Step 2: Can you afford to raise a child or pay for an abortion? Adoption is always free for prospective birth parents.
Step 3: Make a list of your future plans and determine if you can achieve your goals while raising a child.
Step 4: What opportunities do you want for your child? Can you realistically provide those opportunities?
Step 5: Don’t let anyone make the decision for you. Create a support group of family and friends once you have made your decision — remain firm in your decision.
You should never feel like you’re forced to keep your baby, place your baby for adoption or terminate your pregnancy. Only your decision matters for your future because you are the one who lives with that decision. You can contact a professional online if you would like to discuss your unplanned pregnancy options.