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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Homeless, Pregnant and Considering Adoption

Help for Homeless Pregnant Women Looking at Adoption

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. You can choose to parent your child, terminate your pregnancy, or place your child for adoption. However, not all of these options may be realistically possible for you as a homeless, pregnant woman. That’s why it’s so important that you learn as much as you can about all of your unplanned pregnancy options before moving forward — so you can choose the path that is right for you.

American Adoptions’ counselors are here to help. 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.

While facing homelessness while pregnant can be frightening, you don’t have to handle this on your own. Remember that if you have any questions about your three pregnancy options, you can always contact American Adoptions online or at 1-800-ADOPTION.

1. Parenting

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 that 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.

2. Abortion

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.

3. Adoption

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 that:

  • 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 with parents who have been waiting for him or her.
  • By choosing an open adoption, you can still have a lifelong relationship with your child and his or her adoptive parents.

Again, American Adoptions is here to help you in any way we can. That includes finding you safe housing and access to medical care throughout your pregnancy and more. We can help connect you to whatever resources you need to improve your current situation. Homelessness is frightening in any circumstances, but you don’t have to face being homeless and pregnant on your own.

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.

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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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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