The decisions you are dealing with, with an unplanned pregnancy will not be easy. Our goal is to provide you as much information as possible so that you can choose the best option for you and your baby. We are not here to sway you in any direction. Our job is to provide information and help support you as you make your decision,
Some options for you and your child’s father include:
For some women, deciding whether to have an abortion is a relatively straightforward decision. But for others, this option can be confusing and difficult. If you are considering this medical procedure, it is important to be sure you get all the information you need to make an informed choice.
The time frame in which you can determine your choice of abortion depends on your state, generally abortions are usually performed within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. There are two methods of abortion: in-clinic abortion and medication abortion. Medication abortion also known as the “abortion pill” is prescribed by a doctor, this is not the same thing as the “morning after pill” which prevents pregnancy. If taken within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy this is a viable method and may take up to 24 hours to be effective.
An in-clinic or surgical abortion is performed by a doctor or nurse at a healthcare facility. Abortion is the most common outpatient surgical procedure in the country and, when performed by an experienced physician, it is extremely safe.
Each year 14,000 women in the United States consider adoption. The adoption of today is nothing like the adoptions of old where secrecy was key. Now women have choices and contracts between adoptive parents and birth parents can be legally binding (depending on what state you are in).
Women can choose between 3 different types of adoption:
- Semi-open adoption: Approximately 95% of adoptions these days are what are called semi-open adoptions, where pictures and letters are exchanged through an adoption agency or 3rd party and the pregnant women choose the family. Occasionally visitations are also involved.
- Open adoption is when each party knows last names they meet, they exchange letters, phone calls, etc.
- Closed Adoption: If open adoption is too scary or you don’t want any future contact this may be a good choice. Women can still choose to pick a family if they want or they can allow the agency to choose, and they can decide they don’t want any future contact.
You can choose to place your child for adoption at any point, either while pregnant or even after birth. Each state has different laws about how long you have to change your mind regarding the adoption after you sign papers relinquishing your parental rights, so make sure you are told this before you sign anything. You should never be coerced into signing paperwork and being paid for your child is illegal. Private agencies do charge adoptive parents fees but these are usually for their time in counseling and working with the pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and beyond. Women who would like to place a child with an agency receive their services for free.
Adoption is not an easy decision, you need to prepare yourself for the emotions and physical challenges of pregnancy and postpartum recovery and the emotions that follow once you have placed your baby for adoption. Adoption social workers can help you navigate this journey and support you along the way.
Of course, the other option you have is parenting your child. Whether that is as a single parent, or shared parenting with the father or another partner or marriage to the father or another partner.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself and the father of your baby, if possible, if you are considering parenting.
Am I mature and responsible?
Am I willing to learn about child development and parenting?
How do I handle situations when I am angry or upset?
Am I willing to put my child’s needs before my own?
My Goals & Priorities
What are my goals in life?
How would a child fit into those goals?
Am I willing to give up my goals for my child?
Would I have the time & energy to parent and still pursue my goals?
How would having a child impact my social life?
Does my partner want to have a child and parent with me?
Is our relationship strong?
Is my partner ready to give time, energy, and money to raise our child?
Do we know each other’s feelings about parenting-discipline, religion, family, child-raising, work, and his/her future goals?
If my partner is unwilling/unable to partner, am I capable of raising a child alone?
Do I live in an environment suitable for raising a child?
Do I get along well with my parents and family? Will I have their support?
My Financial Resources & Expenses
Can I afford child support?
Do I know how much money it requires to provide for a child?
Do I know the estimated expenses of newborns?
Whatever option you choose, no one should pressure you into the decision. Try to find unbiased support for answers to your questions and lean on people who will support you no matter what you decide. Adoptions agencies can be a great resource for options counseling. Their social workers are knowledgeable about the laws in their state and can give you all your options.