When you learn of an unplanned pregnancy, you may feel a complex mix of emotions: shock, uncertainty, and even fear are common responses. You might have thoughts like, “I don’t want to be pregnant,” or even, “I don’t want this baby.” These are all natural reactions to an unexpected pregnancy, and there is help available to you with Adoption Choices of Kansas. If you are pregnant and don’t want to be, or if you simply feel that you are not ready to be a parent, there are many resources and professionals who can help you understand your unplanned pregnancy options.
Here are some steps you can take when learning of an unexpected pregnancy:
1. Confirm that you are pregnant.
The first step for any woman facing an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy is to make an appointment with a doctor or clinic. Your doctor can confirm that you are pregnant and tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy. Your doctor can give you some advice to help keep you and the baby healthy. He or she might suggest:
- Starting prenatal vitamins
- Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and other substances
- Beginning pre-natal care
- Keeping active
- Maintaining a healthy diet
Your doctor may also be able to provide information about your options for unplanned pregnancy. He or she can talk to you about next steps and point you toward additional resources and professionals who can help.
2. Get the support you need.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be emotionally overwhelming; especially if you do it alone. You may want to confide in a close friend or family member about your unplanned pregnancy, or reach out to a professional to get the emotional support you need.
Regardless of how you choose to move forward with your unintended pregnancy, you will need to build a support system of friends, family and professionals to lean on. Adoption Choices offers free, confidential counseling services to any woman considering her unplanned or unwanted pregnancy options. You can reach out to one of our licensed social workers at any time, with no obligation to proceed with an adoption plan.
3. Explore your options.
When you become aware of an unexpected pregnancy, you may feel overwhelmed by a flood of tough questions: Should I keep my baby? Am I ready to be a parent? What should I do if I’m pregnant and don’t want the baby?
While it can be difficult to find the answers to these questions, you are the only person who must decide which of your pregnancy options is truly best in your circumstances: adoption, parenting, or terminating the pregnancy. As you contemplate your options for unwanted pregnancy, it may be helpful to consider the following factors:
Your Current Circumstances and Future Goals
When debating between parenting vs. adoption, consider your current situation as well as your goals for your future. Are you planning to further your education? Do you want to begin or advance your career? Do you hope to be married before raising your children? Are you in a safe, stable, financially sound situation?
When you become a parent, raising your child often becomes first priority, and personal, educational and career goals sometimes have to be put on hold.Ask yourself whether you are able or willing to delay your plans in order to start a family. If not, adoption is a wonderful alternative to parenting that may allow you to continue pursuing the goals and dreams that are important to you.
The Costs of Adoption, Abortion and Parenting
It costs an estimated $245,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18. Many women facing an unplanned pregnancy know that they do not have the financial stability needed to provide the life they want for their child.
Abortion can be a financially less expensive option, although you may be responsible for medical costs, which can range from $500-$2,000. But there is a hidden, drastic cost for many women: long-term feelings of guilt and sadness because you wish you had chosen life for your child. You may be tormented with wondering what their child would be like today if you hadn’t had an abortion.
Alternatively, adoption is always free to expectant mothers. Adoption Choices of Kansas services are available at no cost to you, and you can receive additional financial assistance to cover your living expenses throughout your pregnancy. While you may still struggle with some feelings of sadness over not raising your child, you will rest in knowing that you chose life for your child; something that can be harder in the short term, but so much better for the long term!
The Type of Life You Want for Your Child
When deciding whether to parent, many expectant mothers envision the type of life they want their child to have. Consider your life situation, home environment and support system, and ask yourself whether you can provide the opportunities you imagine for your baby.
If you believe that you are not in a position to personally provide this type of life for your child, you may determine that you are not ready to be a parent. However, rather than abortion, there is another way to give your baby a life full of love and opportunity: adoption. When you choose to make an adoption plan, you will have the opportunity to select your perfect adoptive family who fits all of the hopes you have for your baby’s future.
The Relationship You Want to Have with Your Baby
Ultimately, the way you choose to respond to your unplanned pregnancy will come down to the type of relationship you want to have with your child. If you want to experience parenthood and feel that you are ready for all of its day-to-day joys and challenges, parenting your baby may be the best option for you.
However, many women in your circumstances want to watch their children grow up; they just don’t feel prepared to raise a baby at this time in their lives. If this describes your situation, consider making an adoption plan. Adoption is not the end of your relationship with your child; in fact, you can remain an important part of his or her life with an open or semi-open adoption.
Alternatively, if you choose abortion, you will not have the option of knowing your child or watching him or her grow up. It is important to consider the lasting emotional impact that this loss may have.
As a woman facing an unplanned, unexpected, or unwanted pregnancy, you are faced with deciding what is best for you and your baby; but you do not have to decide alone. The licensed social workers at Adoption Choices of Kansas can help you explore all of your unplanned pregnancy options and will support you in whichever choice is right for you.