If you are currently homeless and pregnant, it’s understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed. Pregnancy can be stressful for any woman, and the lack of a stable environment in which to raise your child may add to that stress. However, we hope you’ll attempt to leave any feelings of shame or stigma at the door as you read this article; you are not the first woman to be pregnant and homeless, nor will you be the last.
Like anyone else, a pregnant homeless woman has three unplanned pregnancy options. Please note that, while we are an adoption agency, this article is not designed to sway you toward adoption. Instead, it was written purely in an attempt to educate you about unexpected pregnancy choices for homeless pregnant women.
The first question any pregnant woman has to ask herself is whether or not she’s ready to parent. This is no different for you, even if you happen to be homeless and pregnant. A few questions we normally recommend that pregnant women ask themselves if they are considering parenting are:
Can you financially provide for a baby? It costs an average of $233,610 to raise a child until the age of 18, a figure which can be daunting to anyone.
Will the baby’s father be involved in his or her upbringing? If not, do you have a support system who will be dependable?
Do you want to be a mother?
At this point, can you provide the kind of life you want for your child?
If you believe you want to parent your child, no one can tell you differently. The choice is yours, and yours alone. Depending on which state you live in, you may want to begin researching homeless shelters for pregnant women and new mothers. Help for homeless pregnant mothers does indeed exist. However, if you aren’t sure that parenting is the right path for you, there are still two other options for homeless pregnant women.
If you don’t feel ready to become a parent at this point in your life, there are still two additional options for your baby. One of those is abortion. While abortion laws vary in each state, in some cases you may be required to:
Obtain parental permission if you are under 18.
Observe a mandatory waiting period between your first consultation with a doctor and actually having the abortion.
Obtain your abortion before viability. In most states, it is illegal to perform a “late-term abortion,” or one that occurs in the latter half of the second trimester or beyond.
Since abortion laws do fluctuate so much depending on the state, you’ll need to research your state’s laws on the practice thoroughly. Abortion is a highly sensationalized topic, so we recommend that you stick to sites like Planned Parenthood to learn more about how abortion could work for you.
Your third unplanned pregnancy option as a pregnant homeless woman is, of course, adoption. Sometimes this option is overlooked, but it can be an amazing choice for both you and your baby. A few advantages to choosing adoption as a homeless pregnant woman are:
Adoption is entirely free to you.
American Adoptions can help to provide you with a safe place to stay during your pregnancy. You may also be eligible to receive financial aid for your living expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, maternity clothing, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, health insurance and more.
Adoption allows you to know that your child is being raised in safe, stable environment while you work to better your own situation.
By choosing an open adoption, you can still have a lifelong relationship with your child and his or her adoptive parents.
The resources for homeless pregnant women who pursue adoption can be invaluable. For more information, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
No matter which pregnancy option you choose, help for homeless pregnant mothers is available. To speak with a social worker for free information about your choices, please call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time. American Adoptions has assisted many homeless pregnant women looking at adoption, and we can provide the services and support you need as you make this decision.
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