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5 Things to Consider When Placing a Baby for Adoption in Your Teens

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy at any age can be stressful, but unexpectedly becoming pregnant as a teenager can be even more so than for other women. The first thing you should know is that you aren’t alone. You aren’t the first teenager to experience an unplanned pregnancy, nor will you be the last. And while you’re the only one who can decide how to proceed with this pregnancy, there are plenty of resources out there dedicated to helping you make that decision — like us.

As an adoption agency, we at American Adoptions are obviously well-versed in the realm of adoption. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone, nor is this article at all intended to sway you toward making this choice for your child. Rather, this article serves to help you consider important factors as you decide what to do about your unplanned pregnancy.

The first thing you should do as a pregnant teen, however, is to make good, healthy choices for yourself and your child. If you smoke or use alcohol or drugs, you should stop those habits immediately or seek help to do so. It’s also important that you exercise and eat well in addition to surrounding yourself with positive friends and family members who will be there for you as your life unavoidably changes, no matter what you decide to do with your unplanned pregnancy.

As you begin to consider your unplanned pregnancy options, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Do you have the financial means to raise a baby?

According to the Wall Street Journal in 2013, raising a child until age 18 costs an average of $245,340. Of course, there are resources that exist to help women provide for their children, but many teenagers choose adoption because they don’t feel they can give their child everything he or she deserves. Adoption, on the other hand, is completely free to women of any age who choose to place their babies, and you may also be eligible for financial help during your pregnancy.  

2. Will the child’s father be involved in his or her upbringing?

It is absolutely possible to raise a child as a single mother, but many teenagers who become pregnant aren’t in serious, long-term relationships with their baby’s father. It’s important to know that you’ll have a strong support system when raising a child. Will the father help? Will your parents help? How much help can you expect to get? It’s important that you surround yourself with people who will be around when you need a favor or even just someone to talk to. These people should make you feel good about yourself instead of bringing you down about your pregnancy, and it’s important that they don’t tempt you into making any bad decisions for yourself and your child.

3. How will raising a child affect your goals for the future?

Becoming a parent while still in high school will naturally affect your future. Do you have access to reliable childcare so you can continue with your education and receive your diploma? Will your school cooperate with the needs of your pregnancy and adjust your schedule? Will becoming a mother affect your plans for college? It can be helpful to know that, if you choose adoption, American Adoptions gives out birth mother scholarships, as well provides every pregnant woman with free, zero-obligation counseling.

4. Are you ready to become a mother?

Some teens just aren’t ready to become parents yet, and that’s completely okay. As a teenager, this is likely the biggest decision you’ll ever have to make — and it doesn’t just concern you. Whether you feel you aren’t ready to be responsible for a child or you don’t wish to ever become a parent, it’s okay if motherhood just isn’t something you want right now.

5. Is abortion an option for you?

If you decide that you don’t wish to become a parent, one of your options is to have an abortion. Some women feel strongly that abortion is not for them. If that is the case for you, that’s completely okay. If you are considering having an abortion, however, it’s important to know your state’s laws about the procedure. There is, of course, a time limit on legal abortions in every state, but many also have laws about parental consent when a minor is involved. Depending on where you live, you may have to have your parents accompany you and give permission for an abortion if you are under 18.

Only you can answer these questions for yourself. If, however, you decide that you aren’t ready to parent but do not wish to have an abortion either, know that adoption is a third option for you and your baby. To learn more about adoption and what it could look like for you and your child, call American Adoptions at any time at 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a licensed social worker.

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

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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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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