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5 Alternatives to Abortion When Faced with an Unplanned Pregnancy

Considering Alternatives to Abortion

While abortion certainly is a decision you can consider, there are better, more rewarding abortion alternatives, including adoption. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to learn more about the adoption process.

You have several alternatives to abortion to consider, including:

  • Placing the baby with an amazing adoptive family

  • Becoming a single parent

  • Coparenting with the baby's father

  • Temporary guardianship

  • Placing the baby with a relative

When faced with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, many women feel overwhelmed by their circumstances. Desperate for a “quick fix,” these women sometimes rush into an abortion decision before they’ve had an opportunity to fully explore all of their options. In fact, for every 149 women who choose abortion, only one woman chooses adoption

While there’s nothing wrong with choosing abortion if it’s truly the best choice for you, these numbers suggest that some women may be unaware that these other options besides abortion even exist. It demonstrates the need for more women to be aware of their options other than abortion.

At American Adoptions, many of our staff members are adoptees, adoptive parents or birth parents. Because of our first-hand personal experience, we think an adoption is an amazing option for a woman to:

  • Find a loving and nurturing home for her child

  • Create a better future for herself

  • Give a hopeful adoptive family the gift of being able to grow a family of their own. 

Take it from Scott Mars, founder of American Adoptions, and an adoptee himself.   

“My mom and dad were a couple who weren’t able to become a mom and dad without adoption. Of all people in this world, my mom and dad deserve to be parents. And without adoption, they would not have been able to share their love, share their life, and give someone the life that I had.       

“Because of adoption, my life was filled with love and opportunity.”  

You can watch Scott’s video to see his entire adoption story.     

In this article, learn more about some of your alternative options to abortion so you can make a fully informed decision when faced with an unplanned pregnancy

If you’re ready to start the adoption process with our agency or want to get more information on adoption as an alternative to abortion, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION, or visit our online contact form for prospective birth mothers

Here’s What to Know When Considering Abortion 

It is up to each expectant mother to determine what is best for her and her baby. However, many women who choose abortion believe that this is their best option based on false assumptions: that it is a quick, painless solution to an unplanned pregnancy, or worse — that they have no other choice.  

Before making an abortion decision, it is important to consider some of the challenges of this option: 

  • Abortion costs can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on a woman’s circumstances, the stage of her pregnancy, the clinic she uses, her insurance policy and many other factors. 

  • Some women struggle to come to terms with their abortion decision after the procedure is complete; if you are not 100 percent confident in your abortion decision, you might experience feelings of grief, loss, guilt, regret and in rare cases, even depression following an abortion. 

  • Abortion is a medical procedure, and while complications are rare, there are some health risks associated with this process. 

  • Abortion is a time-sensitive decision; because most abortions must be completed very early in the pregnancy, some women are forced into an abortion decision before they are truly ready — and before they’ve had a chance to consider their alternative pregnancy options. Other times, a woman learns of her pregnancy too late and must consider other options instead of abortion. 

  • In many states, women younger than 18 must obtain parental consent for abortion

  • Abortions may be difficult to access for many women, as there may be only one or two abortion clinics in a given state. In many cases, women are forced to travel several hours to find safe and legal abortion services. Additionally, women should be careful when choosing an abortion provider to avoid working with a fake abortion clinic.   

  • Abortion is permanent. Once the abortion procedure has started, a woman cannot change her mind. 

These challenges lead many women to wonder: What are some alternatives to abortion? Are there other ways besides abortion to deal with an unplanned pregnancy? The answer is yes. There are other options, including parenting and adoption.  

Unplanned Pregnancy Options Other than Abortion and How Adoption Can Create a Better Future 

Many women carefully consider all their alternatives to abortion and ultimately decide that abortion is the best path forward for them. As long as you are making an informed decision and doing what you feel is best for you, that’s all that matters. 

However, if abortion doesn’t quite feel right to you, or if you are still in the process of considering your options, you might be wondering, “Instead of abortion, what are other options I could consider?” 

If you are facing an unintended pregnancy and thinking, "I don't want to be pregnant, but I don't want an abortion," here are alternatives you may consider: 

  • Placing the baby with an adoptive family - Of all of your choices other than abortion, adoption may be the best. Not only does this option allow you to avoid abortion, but it also allows you to give your baby an amazing life, make a couple’s dreams of parenthood come true, and move forward with your own life knowing that you did something heroic.

  • Becoming a single parent - Many women consider abortion because they are not in a relationship with their baby’s father and do not feel ready for the challenges of raising a baby alone. But while single parenting can be challenging, it is one of the most common options besides abortion. Before deciding to become a single parent, however, it is important to develop a strong support system and consider the many practical and financial challenges of raising a baby on your own. 

  • Co-parenting with the baby’s father - If you are married, in a committed relationship, or otherwise on good terms with your baby’s father, raising your child together may be one of your other options besides abortion. 

  • Placing the baby in a temporary guardianship - You may be considering abortion because it would be difficult for you to raise your baby in your current circumstances. However, if you believe that your situation may change soon, there are other options instead of abortion. For example, you may choose to place your baby in a temporary guardianship with a close friend or family member. These legal arrangements allow you to ensure your baby is safe and cared for while you finish school, find more stable housing or make other changes to your life that will allow you to successfully parent.  

  • Placing the baby with a family member - Sometimes, a family member may step in and offer to help an expectant mother raise her baby through a kinship adoption placement. While this may seem like an ideal alternative to abortion, there are many important challenges to consider before choosing relative adoption.  

Adoption is an Alternative to Abortion – Giving Your Child a Chance at Life  

Adoption as an alternative to abortion is a decision that: 

  • Gves your child a chance at having a great life

  • Gives you hope for a better future

  • Is a life-changing gift for adoptive parents with dreams of growing their family

Women often find that this option helps address many of the challenges of abortion. For example, while abortion and adoption may both involve grief and loss, many women find that by maintaining an open relationship with their child, they are better able to process these feelings healthily.  

Sara placed her child for adoption knowing it was the best possible outcome under difficult circumstances. 

“I was scared I wouldn’t be able to care for the baby properly, financially support the baby, and keep up with the baby as he grew older,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do, so I got on the internet and searched ‘adoption.’ I was trying to convince myself it was the right thing to do. The next day, I called American Adoptions and left my information. I had never known anyone who’d been through adoption, and I had a lot of questions. Social worker Erin immediately returned my call. She answered my questions, and we discussed the concept of adoption. When I hung up the phone (crying), I knew this was the right choice for me and the baby. It was what my child deserved.” 

Finally, of all your abortion alternatives, adoption arguably has the most potential to benefit the greatest number of people — you, your child and a hopeful couple that has been desperately waiting to become parents. 

Because of our national size and scope, you will have access to profiles of available families from across the country. Your adoption plan will include specific needs you have for a prospective adoptive family so that you can find a couple that best fits what you want for your child.

It is never too late to begin considering adoption or your other alternatives to abortion. To learn more about all of your unplanned pregnancy options, or to get help deciding to abort or put a baby up for adoption, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a licensed options counselor.  

You can also ask Michelle, a birth parent specialist and a birth parent herself ready to answer any questions you have about putting a baby up for adoption as an alternative to abortion.          

“I am available to answer any questions that arise, particularly from birth moms, as I have been in your shoes and know how you are feeling,” Michelle said. “It was most helpful to me when I had someone to talk to who would just listen to me without making any judgments or conclusions about who I was as a person.”

Contact Michelle or another adoption specialist now by calling 1-800-ADOPTION.          

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions 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

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

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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