Chantal & Mark
Our wonderful birthmother found us on ParentProfiles.com and things couldn't have gone better! She found us the week before Thanksgiving and contacted us that same night. We emailed, phoned and then met in person within a week of the first contact and we all knew right away it was the right match! Our beautiful baby boy came home with us 2 weeks ago and we couldn't be happier or more sure that more ...
An unplanned pregnancy can be a very difficult emotional time. You may be wondering what your options are. You might be thinking about your future and the future of your unborn child. You may not even know that you have several options to consider, but you do. An unplanned pregnancy doesn't have to be the end of the world. Becoming familiar with and understanding and educating yourself on your options is one of the first steps you'll take as you move forward.
Continuing Your Pregnancy
Deciding whether or not you will parent or place your child for adoption is secondary to making the decision to continue or terminate your pregnancy, which is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in this process. If you feel overwhelmed with the process, think of each step individually instead of all the steps as a whole. Focus your attention on the step right in front of you instead of decisions you'll need to make weeks and months down the road. Deciding to maintain your pregnancy means that you accept the responsibility of doing what you can to ensure your health and the health of your child, which translates into proper nutrition and keeping doctor appointments. However, before you make the decision to terminate or maintain your pregnancy, research your state's abortion laws, as they can differ from location to location.
It doesn't matter if you're a teenager or experiencing an unplanned pregnancy; you have the right to parent your child. You may be pressured to abort or place your child, and it can come from sources such as your parents, the father of the baby, friends, and even strangers. But remember that you're the one who has to live with the decision you make.
When it comes to the father of the child, it's important that you consider his opinions, unless you are in danger by doing so. If you decide you want to parent your child and he decides he doesn't, you can keep your parental rights while he severs his own. Essentially this will make you a single parent. If you're comfortable with accepting the full responsibilities of single parenthood, it might be a great option to consider.
It's important to remember that if you choose to parent, you're not alone. It may feel like it sometimes, but there are many resources available to you. You can build your support system by joining a local support group or you can enlist the support of your family and friends. The federal government has established a program for low-income families to buy things like milk, cheese, and baby formula. This program can really bolster and stretch your finances. You can also find daycare programs for low-income families, in the event that you decide to go to school or work outside the home.
Placing your child with an adoptive family isn't just a simple decision. It's a process all on its own. After you make the decision to place, you'll need to find a family, agency, and adoption professionals with whom to work. You'll need to create an adoption plan and decide which type of post-adoption relationship you'd like.
The main types of adoption are open, semi-open/semi-closed, and closed adoption. Open adoption means that information is exchanged between all parties and that contact after adoption finalization is generally accepted and sometimes even encouraged. A semi-open or semi-closed adoption means that some information may be exchanged and in-person visits or future contact may be acceptable. A closed adoption is when private information isn't shared and any contact between birth family and adoptive family is generally frowned upon.
While progressing through the adoption process, make sure to voice your needs and adoption relationship expectations. Although it's important to compromise when working with a potential adoptive family, make sure you hold strong to the things most important to you. Otherwise, you won't feel content after the adoption finalization.
Parenting and placing are two main options for an unplanned pregnancy, but there are other options to consider. If you prefer to have your child raised in your family, just not by you, you can look into guardianship and kinship care laws. Also, if you're not in a place to care for your child, but you'd eventually like to parent, s/he can temporarily be placed in foster care until you meet the goals of the judge. Once you meet the judge's expectations and requirements, your parental rights will be restored and you can take your child home with you.
Exploring your options is the best thing you can do for yourself and your child. Once you've explored your many options, it's time to make an informed decision. Take what you've learned about each choice and determine which is the best one for you and your child, your goals, and your life expectations. Only then will your decision be the right decision.