Your loved one is facing an unplanned pregnancy. This is a difficult time for everyone, and you may be feeling a wide range of emotions, from joy to shock and despair. But it’s more important than ever to listen to your pregnant loved one’s thoughts, feelings, and worries, rather than focusing on your own. This situation will be most difficult for them, and they need your support.
Unplanned Pregnancy Resources For Families & Loved Ones
The following pages were created to help family members and friends confront and handle unplanned pregnancies in a healthy, supportive way. Follow the links to learn more about your particular situation:
Below you’ll find suggestions of what to read, great places to learn more about your loved one’s three options, parenting, adoption, and abortion.
Want to Learn More?
Recommended Books and Light Reading
- Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge
With warmth and candor, Sherrie Eldridge reveals the twenty complex emotional issues you must understand to nurture the child you love–that he must grieve his loss now if he is to receive love fully in the future–that she needs honest information about her birth family no matter how painful the details may be–and that although he may choose to search for his birth family, he will always rely on you to be his parents.
- Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents by Deborah D. Gray
Attaching in Adoption is a comprehensive guide for prospective and actual adoptive parents on how to understand and care for their adopted child and promote healthy attachment. This classic text provides practical parenting strategies designed to enhance children’s happiness and emotional health. It explains what attachment is, how grief and trauma can affect children’s emotional development, and how to improve attachment, respect, cooperation and trust. Parenting techniques are matched to children’s emotional needs and stages, and checklists are included to help parents assess how their child is doing at each developmental stage. The book covers a wide range of issues including international adoption, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and learning disabilities, and combines sound theory and direct advice with case examples throughout. This book is a must read for anyone interested in adoption and for all adoptive families. It will also be a valuable resource for adoption professionals.
- The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler
In this deeply moving work, Ann Fessler brings to light the lives of hundreds of thousands of young single American women forced to give up their newborn children in the years following World War II and before Roe v. Wade. The Girls Who Went Away tells a story not of wild and carefree sexual liberation, but rather of a devastating double standard that has had punishing long-term effects on these women and on the children they gave up for adoption. Based on Fessler’s groundbreaking interviews, it brings to brilliant life these women’s voices and the spirit of the time, allowing each to share her own experience in gripping and intimate detail. Today, when the future of the Roe decision and women’s reproductive rights stand squarely at the front of a divisive national debate, Fessler brings to the fore a long-overlooked history of single women in the fifties, sixties, and early seventies.
- Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by David M. Brodzinsky
Like Passages, this groundbreaking book uses the poignant, powerful voices of adoptees and adoptive parents to explore the experience of adoption and its lifelong effects. A major work, filled with astute analysis and moving truths.
- Raising Adopted Children: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina
In this completely revised and updated edition of Raising Adopted Children, Lois Melina, editor of Adopted Child newsletter and the mother of two children by adoption, draws on the latest research in psychology, sociology, and medicine to guide parents through all stages of their child’s development. Melina addresses the pressing adoption issues of today, such as open adoption, international adoption, and transracial adoption, and answers parents’ most frequently asked questions
- Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff
While books about adoption proliferate, none of them addresses the subject of open and interracial adoption like Jana Wolff’s personal and frank account does in Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother. Often irreverent, always insightful, surprisingly funny and stunningly honest, Secret Thoughts tells it like it is: How it feels for a woman to look nothing like her child and to know the woman who does. This fiercely honest and funny book answers questions no one dares to ask: What if I don’t like the child I get? Will she want the baby back? If this is the happiest day of my life, why am I so sad? Am I too white for a kid this black?
- Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption by Scott Simon
In this warm, funny, and wise new book, NPR’s award-winning and beloved Scott Simon tells the story of how he and his wife found true love with two tiny strangers from the other side of the world. It’s a book of unforgettable moments: when Scott and Caroline get their first thumb-size pictures of their daughters, when the small girls are placed in their arms, and all the laughs and tumbles along the road as they become a real family.
- Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos
For the first time, Nia Vardalos, writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, tells her hilarious and heartfelt bumpy-road-to-parenting story that eventually leads to her meeting an almost-three-year old girl who she knows instantly is her daughter.
- Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison
Another Place at the Table is the story of life at our social services’ front lines, centered on three children who, when they come together in Harrison’s home, nearly destroy it. It is the frank first-person story of a woman whose compassionate best intentions for a child are sometimes all that stand between violence and redemption.
- Post-Adoption Blues by Karen J. Foli
At last, Karen J. Foli, a registered nurse, and her husband, John R. Thompson, a psychiatrist, lift the curtain of secrecy from “Post Adoption Depression Syndrome” (PADS). Drawing on their own experience as adoptive parents as well as interviews with dozens of adoptive families and experts in the field, the couple offers parents the understanding, support, and concrete solutions they need to overcome post-adoption blues-and open their hearts to the joy adoption can bring.
- Dear Birthmother: Thank You for Our Baby by Kathleen Silber and Phylis Speedlin
This is the third revised edition of the open adoption classic recommended by the Child Welfare League of America. Gently provocative, warm and convincing, this open adoption guide
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
Incorporating everything that’s new in pregnancy, childbirth, and the lifestyles of parents-to-be, complete with a preconception plan, information on choosing a practitioner, birthing alternatives, second pregnancies, twins, making love while pregnant, and coping with common and not so common pregnancy symptoms.
- The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by William Sears
The “baby bible” of the post-Dr. Spock generation, already embraced by hundreds of thousands of American parents, has now been revised, expanded, and brought thoroughly up-to-date — with the latest information on everything from diapering to day care, from midwifery to hospital birthing rooms, from postpartum nutrition to infant development.
- What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff
Some things about babies, happily, will never change. They still arrive warm, cuddly, soft, and smelling impossibly sweet. But how moms and dads care for their brand-new bundles of baby joy has changed—and now, so has the new-baby bible.
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care,Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.
- The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby by William Sears and Martha Sears
Might you and your baby both sleep better if you shared a bed? How old is too old for breastfeeding? What is a father’s role in nurturing a newborn? How does early attachment foster a child’s eventual independence? Dr. Bill and Martha Sears — the doctor-and-nurse, husband-and-wife team who coined the term “attachment parenting” — answer these and many more questions in this practical, inspiring guide. Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that encourages a strong early attachment, and advocates parental responsiveness to babies’ dependency needs. “The Attachment Parenting Book” clearly explains the six “Baby B’s” that form the basis of this increasingly popular parenting style: Bonding, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Bedding close to baby, Belief in the language value of baby’s cry, Beware of baby trainers. Here’s all the information you need to achieve your most important goals as a new parent: to know your child, to help your child feel right, and to enjoy parenting.
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau
When Tracy Hogg’s Secrets of the Baby Whisperer was first published, it soared onto bestseller lists across the country. Parents everywhere became “whisperers” to their newborns, amazed that they could actually communicate with their baby within weeks of their child’s birth. Tracy gave parents what for some amounted to a miracle: the ability to understand their baby’s every coo and cry so that they could tell immediately if the baby was hungry, tired, in real distress, or just in need of a little TLC. Tracy also dispelled the insidious myth that parents must go sleepless for the first year of a baby’s life–because a happy baby sleeps through the night. Now you too can benefit from Tracy’s more than twenty years’ experience.
- Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year by Denise Fields and Ari Brown
Dr. Spock meets Judge Judy–finally a parenting book that separates fact from fiction. What if you could bottle the wisdom of all those parents who’ve come before you…and combine them with the sold medical advice from an award-winning pediatrician? Baby 411 is the answer.
- Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
Friends, family, colleagues, the UPS delivery guy — suddenly everybody is a trove of advice, much of it contradictory and confusing. With dire warnings of what will happen if baby is fed on demand and even direr warnings of what will happen if he isn’t, not to mention hordes of militant “lactivists,” co-sleeping advocates, and books on what to worry about next, modern parenthood can seem like a minefield.
- All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior.
In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior isolates and analyzes the many ways in which children reshape their parents’ lives, whether it’s their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today’s mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources-in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology-she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood’s deepest vexations-and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards.