close menu

Unplanned Pregnancy Options at 19 Years Old [How Adoption Works]

Steps of the Adoption Process

There are three important things you should know if you’re pregnant at 19:

  • No matter your age, adoption is always an option for your pregnancy. Call 1-800-ADOPTION now for basic information.
  • Hundreds of adoptive families are waiting for the chance to give your child a loving home. Choose your baby's future family here.
  • You are in control of every aspect of your adoption journey. 

Upon finding out you’re pregnant at 19, your current goals and aspirations may seem unattainable. As a legal adult, you might also be considering, “I’m pregnant, and I’m 19.  Should I keep my baby?” 

What if parenting isn’t an option? Maybe finishing college or immersing yourself in your career is the priority in your life, not parenting.

Thankfully, you have an unplanned pregnancy option that gives everyone involved a chance at a better future: Adoption. 

Because many of our adoption specialists are adoptees, adoptive parents and birth mothers, we know exactly what you're feeling. Our goal is to make sure your adoption is just as rewarding as ours and to help you understand that your decision to find your baby a loving home not only makes you a great mother, it makes you a hero. 

When you contact our agency, you can speak to an adoption specialist for free and get answers to your questions about your unplanned pregnancy at 19. You can also get started on creating an adoption plan specifically tailored to what you need and want for yourself and your baby.

Call 1-800-ADOPTION or visit us online to get more information. Our prospective adoptive families can get more information on how to adopt by contacting us online as well

If you are considering parenting at 19, here are some questions to ask yourself: 

1. “Can I provide a stable home environment for a child?” 

Many times, women who are pregnant at 19 ask, “Should I keep my baby?”

To answer this, you need to first evaluate your ability to be the kind of parent your child deserves. 

  • When you are 19, you are probably at the beginning of your adult life.
  • You may be attending college, or you may have just started your first steady career after high school.
  • You may be financially dependent upon your parents, or you may still live with them to save money.
  • You’ll need to take all of these things into account when deciding whether to become a parent at 19. 

Ask yourself this: Does your current lifestyle accommodate the addition of a child? 

Imagine the perfect childhood that you wish you could give your child. Do you see that as a reality in your own life? 

If not, don’t worry — there are always adoptive parents who can provide this kind of safety and stability to your child if you place him or her for adoption when pregnant at 19. 

2. “Can I financially afford to raise a child?” 

One of the biggest challenges that teenage parents cope with is the financial burden of raising a child. Raising a baby will cost you more than $230,000 over 18 years — and that’s not including all of the medical expenses associated with prenatal care and delivery. The annual cost of having a child will decrease as they get older, but that also means that the most expensive years of being a parent are the first few.  

 Are you able to make this financial commitment as a young woman? Who will take care of your baby while you work to afford their formula, clothes and medical expenses?

Instead, you might consider adoption — the only free unplanned pregnancy option available to you. 

3. “How will parenting affect my educational and career goals?” 

As mentioned above, many young women at your age are working toward their college degrees or just starting their career paths. When you have a baby at 19, you will need to readjust these goals to do what is best for your child. That may mean going to school part-time (if at all) or changing your career to have more family-friendly hours. 

If you are not ready to give up or postpone those goals to have a baby, that’s not anything to be ashamed of.

When you choose adoption instead, you can continue working toward those goals knowing that your child is cared for by someone who is 100 percent prepared to be a parent and is ready to give their all to your child’s well-being. 

4. “Will the baby’s father be involved?” 

If you’re like many young expectant mothers, you want your baby to have the best life possible. Often, this includes a two-parent home.

Before you decide to become a parent, you should talk at length with the baby’s father to determine how he will be involved in your child’s life. 

Your baby’s father might be 100 percent committed to raising your child with you, but it is equally as possible that he will not be.  

If you want your child to have a two-parent family that you can’t provide, consider placing him or her for adoption with a couple who have been waiting to become parents. That way, your child will have more than two parents — their adoptive parents and you, their birth mother! 

5. “Do I want to be a parent?” 

Finally, if you’re thinking, “I’m 19 — should I keep my baby?” take the time to consider whether parenting is really what you want to do at this time in your life.

Odds are, if you weren’t pregnant now you wouldn’t even consider having a child at your age. Just because you are facing an unplanned pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to become a parent. You always have other options. 

You can get more information on what parenting means for a pregnancy at 19, as well as how adoption might be a better option considering your circumstances in life by calling 1-800-ADOPTION and speaking to an adoption specialist today. 

Are You Ready to Give Your Child the Best Possible Life? 

You can by placing your child for adoption.

This choice will give your child a life with parents who are ready to love and support them, while also giving you the chance to continue working toward your personal goals and return to your everyday lifestyle after giving birth.  

You can choose the parents you wish to adopt your child, as well as choosing the type of relationship you want to have with them during and after adoption. You can even have a personal relationship with your child as they grow up!  

It’s important to remember that by choosing adoption, you are never “giving up” on your child. You’re making a selfless decision based on love and the desire to give your child the best life possible. It’s not “giving up,” it’s heroic. 

We will provide you with support and services to make sure you feel completely confident and know you’re getting what you need for your adoption.

Some of the many services and resources available to you include: 

Our adoption specialists can guide you through these important steps in the adoption process: 

Step 1: Create an adoption plan

As you get started, your adoption specialist will help create an adoption plan for your pregnancy at 19, which serves as the playbook for your entire adoption. Everything you feel is important is taken into consideration.

For you, this may include:

  • The type of family you want for your baby.
  • The adoption hospital plan dictates your stay during labor and delivery.
  • The amount of contact you have both during the adoption and post-placement.
  • And more. 

Step 2: Find the perfect adoptive family 

While creating your adoption plan, you will outline the type of adoptive family you wish to find and then begin viewing profiles of available adoptive parents from around the country.  

Some of the key attributes and personality traits you can consider in a family include: 

  • Age 
  • Location 
  • Religious beliefs 
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Hobbies and interests 
  • And more 

Choosing a family with similar interests and background means your child will enter an environment that is familiar to you. This can help you build a stronger connection as you progress through the adoption process and beyond. 

Once you’ve found the family you feel best suits your needs, your adoption specialist will help mediate an initial meeting. This can take place via email, phone call, video chat, text message or an in-person meeting. 

Step 3: Create an adoption hospital plan 

Your experience at the hospital during labor and delivery is an important aspect of the overall adoption process. We want to make sure your needs are being met and your stay at the hospital is comfortable. 

You are in complete control of your adoption hospital plan and some of the details you’ll focus on include: 

  • The hospital you wish to use. 
  • Which members of your support team you plan on allowing at the hospital. 
  • Who you prefer to have in the delivery room with you. 
  • How much time you wish to spend with the baby. 
  • How much time you want to spend with the adoptive family. 
  • And more. 

Step 4: Sign your adoption paperwork 

While at the hospital following the birth of your baby, you will complete the adoption paperwork. This makes your adoption official.

Your adoption specialist and an attorney will help you through this process and answer any questions you may have about making your adoption legal. 

If you’re ready to place your child for adoption or simply want to learn more about all of your unplanned pregnancy options as a pregnant 19-year-old, Michelle, a birth parent specialist and a birth parent herself, is ready to answer any questions you have about putting a baby up for adoption at 19.    

“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.”         

You can ask Michelle questions about the adoption process online.

You can also call us at 1-800-ADOPTION, or get free information with our online contact form for prospective birth mothers considering adoption here. Adoptive families wanting more information on adopting a child can click here to get more information. 

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.

Request Free Information

View Waiting Families
Want to speak to someone who has chosen adoption?
Meet Michelle — A Proud Birth Mom
Ask an Adoption Question
View More Waiting Familes
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.

Read More

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.

Read More