What are my options if I’m pregnant in Louisiana? Am I ready to be a parent? What if I’m not sure how to decide to keep a baby or not? How do I decide what to do if I’m not ready to be a parent in Louisiana?
It’s not unusual for any of these questions to be running through your head if you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy in Louisiana. Pregnancy can cause a lot of stress in anyone’s life, particularly if it’s unexpected. Wondering what the right move may be is completely natural. Our first advice to you, if this is the situation you find yourself in, is to breathe. You aren’t the first Louisiana woman to experience an unexpected pregnancy, nor will you be the last. It’s going to be okay.
The second piece of advice we’ll give you is to learn as much as possible about your unplanned pregnancy options. In Louisiana, you have three: parenting, abortion or adoption. While we are obviously an adoption agency, this article is not intended to sway you towards any one unplanned pregnancy option. Rather, we hope to help you learn a little about each of the three and determine for yourself what is right for you and your baby.
When facing an unexpected pregnancy in Louisiana, the first thing you have to consider is, “Am I ready to be a parent?” If you know without a doubt that the answer to that question is yes, then you can stop reading this article right now. If you are ready and wish to parent your child, no one should ever try to tell you to do anything else. You know what’s best for you and your baby, and this is your decision and your decision alone.
If, however, your answer to the parenting question is a little less firm, you may consider some of the following aspects of parenting a child:
In 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that it cost an average of $245,340 to raise a child until the age of 18. If you haven’t been saving and budgeting with the intent to raise a child, this can be quite a strain.
How will raising a child potentially affect your educational or career goals? While it is entirely possible to go to school or be successful in your career with an infant, it’s also true that this will become more difficult.
Will you have a support system to raise this child? Is the father going to be a reliable parent? It’s absolutely an option to raise a baby without his or her father in the picture, but it’s important that you consider who will help you with things like childcare.
Do you want to be a parent right now? If the answer is no, there’s no shame in that — whether you simply don’t want to be a mother right now or you don’t feel that parenting is ever in your future.
If you aren’t sure that parenting is the right move for you and your child, there are still two unplanned pregnancy options to choose from in Louisiana.
As an adoption agency, you might expect us to skim over the most sensitive of the Louisiana unplanned pregnancy options, but that’s not the case. Abortion is an option to you in Louisiana. If this is something you’re considering, please make sure to get your information specifically from reputable sources, such as Planned Parenthood. Some things to know are:
If you are a minor, you’ll be required to receive parental permission from one parent prior to having an abortion, unless a judge excuses you from this requirement.
In 2014, there were five clinics that provided abortions in Louisiana. This is a significant decrease from 2011, when there were seven clinics.
92 percent of Louisiana counties do not have abortion-providing clinics.
A woman must receive state-directed counseling and wait 24 hours before having the procedure. This means that two trips to an abortion-providing clinic are required.
A woman must have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before having an abortion, and the provider must show and describe the ultrasound to the woman.
An abortion cannot be performed 20 or more weeks post fertilization unless the woman’s life is endangered or the pregnancy is “medically futile.”
Naturally, the final unplanned pregnancy option in Louisiana is adoption. Obviously, we have quite a bit of information on this choice, but we feel it’s important to list some of the benefits that are specific to adoption:
You get to remain in your child’s life. With open adoption, you get to know your baby and watch him or her turn into a successful, happy young adult.
Women who have strong negative feelings about abortion but aren’t necessarily ready to parent a child have an alternative to both of those unplanned pregnancy options with adoption.
Adopted children are raises in homes that are more prepared for them, which leads to those children being more likely to participate in things like extracurricular activities or secondary education.
Reading this article may not have illuminated the right choice for you, but we do hope it helped you to learn more about your unexpected pregnancy options in Louisiana. For free, noncommittal information about any of your three choices, please call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a social worker.
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