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Deciding Between Abortion and Adoption in Teenage Pregnancy

Which Unplanned Pregnancy Option is Right for You?

Oftentimes, when a teenager finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she knows one thing for sure — she is not ready to become a parent. She may have further educational goals like attending college, or she simply may not wish to give up the teenage and high school experiences that she holds dear. If you are in this situation, you have two options for your teenage pregnancy: abortion and adoption. Each of these paths has its own pros and cons, and each of them will change your life in different ways. In the end, the decision will be entirely up to you.

So, to decide whether abortion or adoption in teenage pregnancy is right for you, you’ll first need to understand exactly what these options entail. The specialists at American Adoptions can help. When you contact our agency, you can receive free unplanned pregnancy counseling to help you decide which option is best for you. You are never obligated to choose adoption by contacting our specialists; they will just help you get the objective information you need to make the right choice for you.

To talk with one of our specialists now, please call 1-800-ADOPTION. In the meantime, you can learn a bit more about abortion and adoption in teenage pregnancy below.

What to Know About Teenage Abortion

When you’re facing a teenage pregnancy, “adoption vs. abortion” can be a difficult decision to make. However, many teenagers first consider the option of terminating their pregnancy. This is for many reasons: An abortion can seem like the quickest way to “get rid of” their unwanted pregnancy, and it prevents them from having to carry their pregnancy to term and give birth to a baby at their young age.

However, there are a few important things to know about teenage abortion before you decide on this unplanned pregnancy option. To help you learn more, we’ve answered a few of your biggest questions below:

  • Do you have to be 18 to get an abortion? No. Young women under the age of 18 can get abortions to terminate their pregnancy, as long as they have spoken to their doctor and confirmed that it a possibility for them. However, depending on state laws, they may need parental permission before moving forward.
  • So, can you get an abortion without your parents knowing? This is a complicated situation, depending upon your state laws. In some states, there is an abortion age limit — that is, you do need parental consent for abortion if you are under a certain age. It’s a good idea to research your state laws if you are wondering how to get an abortion without your parents knowing, as this information will help you determine if this is the right choice for you.
  • How much does a teen abortion cost? This will depend upon the kind of abortion you choose and how far you are in your pregnancy. Abortion can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, especially if you do not use insurance to cover the procedure. This can be a prohibitive cost for anyone, especially a young woman who is not financially independent.
  • Is abortion risky? Like any medical procedure, an abortion does come with certain physical risks. But, when performed by a licensed professional and early enough in pregnancy, it is a rather safe procedure. There will always be a risk of tough emotions (like grief and guilt) after obtaining a teenage abortion but, if you go into your abortion procedure confident you are making the right choice, you will not likely have any long-term emotional effects.

Teen pregnancy and abortion can both be difficult situations to cope with, so it’s important that you fully understand the pros and cons of this option before moving forward. It can be a good idea to speak with an unplanned pregnancy counselor or a trusted friend or family member for support during this time.

What to Know About Placing a Baby for Adoption as a Teen

If you’re choosing between abortion and adoption in teenage pregnancy, adoption may not be your first thought. That’s totally normal; only one-third of women with an unplanned pregnancy consider adoption, and only about half of those women ever end up taking any action toward placing their child. Adoption is often the least talked-about unplanned pregnancy option, but it is always a possibility for a young woman in your situation.

Adoption is not right for every woman, and you may not be sure it’s right for you at first. When you choose to place your child for adoption, you will carry your pregnancy to term and give birth to your son or daughter — but, for the young women who choose adoption, this is well worth it for the benefits they experience along the way, such as:

  • Financial assistance: Adoption is always free for an expectant mother, which means that her pregnancy expenses are free to her, as well. When you pursue adoption, your adoption specialist will make sure that you receive the financial support you need for a healthy pregnancy. You may even be eligible for additional financial assistance, based upon your personal circumstances.
  • Open adoption: When you choose adoption, you will have the ability to choose the family you wish to raise your child. You can also choose the kind of relationship you have with them before and after you place your child. Adoption doesn’t have to mean “goodbye” forever; you can watch your child grow up happy and healthy for years to come.
  • A fresh start: When you place your child for adoption instead of becoming a teenage parent, you allow yourself the chance to continue working toward the personal, educational and career goals you have set for yourself. Your adoption specialist will work with you throughout your pregnancy to keep you on the path to your goals, and you can even attend an alternative schooling program during this time, if you desire. After placement, you will also be eligible for an adoption scholarship for your future educational goals.

These are just a few of the reasons why women considering abortion and adoption in teenage pregnancy end up choosing the latter option. When you choose adoption, you choose life — a beautiful one for your child and one with a new, selfless outlook for yourself.

For those facing an unplanned teenage pregnancy, “adoption vs. abortion” is a tough decision to make. Here at American Adoptions, we want to help you make the right choice for you by providing the objective unplanned pregnancy counseling you may need. For more information about all of your unplanned pregnancy options as a young woman, don’t hesitate to reach out to our agency at 1-800-ADOPTION today.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

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Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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