If you are one of the thousands of women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy each year, then you know that the options you face are difficult and complex. As you ponder your choices – parenting, abortion or adoption— you may be confused, unsure and unhappy with your alternatives. In the end, you will need to choose the option that feels best for you.
Choosing to parent this child may be the obvious choice to most, but it may not be the right choice for you. Parenting this baby may create challenges for you that you’re not ready to meet. If you are not able to raise this child because of your — social, emotional or financial situation — then considering other options may make sense.
Some Reasons Why Women Choose Not to Parent
- Single parenting may feel like too great a challenge
- Perhaps you’re struggling financially, or have too little family support
- The birth father may be out of the picture, unreliable or he simply cannot be counted on for emotional or financial support
- You may have dreams for your child, wishing to have your baby raised in a financially stable, two parent household
- You may have goals and dreams for your own future — like completing your education or landing (or keeping) the perfect job
- Perhaps you feel that you are too young or too unstable to raise this child
These are just a few of the many reasons that may lead you to consider other options for this unplanned pregnancy.
What About Abortion?
If you are early in your pregnancy, then you have the option of considering abortion. While abortion is legal in the U.S and is safe and accessible to most women, it is not the right choice for everyone. Choosing to have an abortion is a very personal decision, and may have long term repercussions, if you haven’t thought it through. Therefore, it makes good sense to have a professional counselor, health care professional, clergy person or close confidant to speak with in order to explore this option fully. It is important that the decision to abort is made without duress, and that your decision is not influenced by the personal views of others. If the birth father is involved, you may wish to include him in the decision making.
What About Adoption?
Adoption is also a difficult decision, because it means going through a nine month pregnancy and then giving your baby to someone else to raise. Some women choose to place their baby with a trusted friend or family member, and others choose to work with an adoption agency to find the right family for their baby.
Adoption agencies typically offer the expectant mother many choices, if she chooses adoption. With the advent of open adoption, the mother may determine the characteristics of the adoptive family she wants to raise her child. She will have the opportunity to choose the family herself, meet with them and get to know them before the baby is born. The open relationship may continue for many years after the placement, and the birth mother may want to have an ongoing relationship with her child. Open adoption does not look the same in every situation, and involves finding the right kind of contact for everyone involved.
In the end, your choices are clear: You may choose to parent this child yourself, have an abortion or make an adoption plan. Whatever you choose, it has to be the right decision for you! My advice is to learn more about each option, evaluate the consequences of each decision, and get the help and support you need to get through a difficult situation.
This blog is provided by Adoption Center for Family Building, a licensed, non-profit, open adoption agency in Illinois and Indiana. For more information about our services, please visit our website at www.centerforfamily.com or call 800-869-1005 or text us at 847-366-6343. A counselor is available to answer your questions 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays.