When people think about women who place their babies for adoption, it’s not uncommon for women in their teens or early 20s to come to mind. The assumption is that unplanned pregnancies happen only to young women, but that’s not necessarily the case. Women in their 30s and 40s experience unplanned pregnancies as well. If you are a woman in your 40s who isn’t sure what to do about an unexpected pregnancy, you aren’t alone.
Becoming pregnant later in life doesn’t automatically mean that parenting is your only option. Like any other woman who unexpectedly becomes pregnant, you have three choices: parenting, abortion or adoption.
If you aren’t sure what to do, the first question to ask yourself is whether or not you’re ready to parent this baby. Women in their 40s may choose not to parent their children for any of the following reasons:
Contrary to popular misconception, many women who choose adoption actually already have other children. It’s not always a question of feeling ready to become a mother, but feeling prepared to become a mother again. Many women ultimately choose adoption when experiencing an unplanned pregnancy because they know there’s not enough attention or resources to stretch to another child in the family. If this is the case for you, you already know how expensive raising a baby can be. To raise a child until the age of 18 can cost an average of $245,340, and that was in 2013. Adoption is a wonderful way to make sure all of your children — both your new baby and the ones you’re already raising — get the best lives imaginable.
Gone are the days when you could skate in and out of work without anyone taking much notice. Internships are over, as is school, and it’s likely that you have some responsibility at your job at this point. Of course, it’s absolutely possible to have a baby and continue to succeed at the office, but it’s also true that having a baby means time off as well as a less flexible schedule.
Maybe you have the resources to have another child, but you simply don’t want to. It’s okay to feel that your family planning phase is over and you don’t wish to enter back into that era. Many women don’t wish to have babies in their 40s simply because they know they’ll be entering their senior years earlier in their child’s lifetime than other parents. Maybe you’d rather just relax instead of taking care of a newborn. It’s completely okay to acknowledge those feelings if that’s the case.
Not all women wish to be mothers. If you don’t have any children yet and wish to keep it that way, that is completely okay. Never let anyone guilt trip you for not finding parenthood appealing, whatever your reasons are.
If any of the above bullet points describe you, that’s completely okay. Like any other woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy who doesn’t wish to parent her child, you have two other options: abortion or adoption. Many women already have a firm stance on whether or not they’d have an abortion, and that is completely up to you. If, however, adoption is something you are considering, it’s important to know some of its biggest benefits:
Adopted children are more likely to participate in extracurricular activities or pursue secondary education. Since they are raised in homes that are both emotionally and financially prepared for them, adopted kids have access to endless opportunities.
Choosing open adoption allows you to watch your child grow into a happy, healthy and successful young man or woman. Your relationship with your child doesn’t have to end as soon as he or she is born.
A child who is adopted gets not one but two sets of parents who love them more than anything and put their interests first.
No matter which option you choose for you and your baby, it’s important that you make healthy choices as you go through your pregnancy. As a woman in her 40s, it’s crucial that you maintain frequent contact with your doctor to make sure everything progresses smoothly. If you find that you might be interested in adoption for your baby, please feel free to call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time.
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