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"I Don't Want My Baby" - What Are My Options?

Pregnant But Don’t Want to Be? You Are Not Alone

Perhaps you’ve muttered the following words to yourself, or even said them to a friend or a family member: “I don't want to be pregnant, I don’t want my baby, and I don’t know what to do next.”

If this describes your situation, first understand that you are not alone. Secondly, understand that these feelings of being pregnant but not wanting the baby are common with unplanned pregnancies, and it’s important to determine whether they are feelings that should be acted upon or just stressors of adjusting to this new phase of your life.

Antenatal or postpartum depression can result in temporary feelings you may not actually believe or want to act upon. Do you really not want your baby, or are you just nervous about what’s to come? This is an answer only you can provide, but of course there are plenty of professionals available to help you make that decision.

If you think that you may be suffering from depression, know that it is a treatable condition. It is important to seek the proper treatment to allow you to enjoy your new baby and being a parent to him or her. 

Now, if you believe that your feelings are more permanent, you may be asking yourself a difficult question: “I don’t want my baby. What should I do?”

What to do if You Don’t Want to be Pregnant

Maybe it was the first thought you had after taking the home pregnancy test: “I’m pregnant and I don’t want it.” Or maybe you didn’t know how to feel about your unplanned pregnancy at first, but lately you’ve been thinking, “I don’t want to have a baby.” Maybe it’s a thought you’ve had once in passing, or maybe the words are repeating themselves over and over in your mind: “I do not want this pregnancy. I don’t want this baby.”

Whatever the case may be, it’s okay — and you have options if you are pregnant and don’t want the baby. Ultimately, you are the only person who can decide what to do if you’re pregnant and don’t want it, but taking the following steps is a good place to start.

Step 1: Come to terms with your pregnancy.

Coming to terms with an unplanned pregnancy can be difficult — especially when you’re thinking, “I don’t want a baby.” Sometimes, when we hear news we don’t want to believe, it can be easy to go about our lives pretending that it isn’t so. Upon learning of an unplanned pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for some women to find themselves in a state of shock, denial or disbelief. If this sounds like you, accepting that you are pregnant is the first step. Try saying the words out loud: “I don’t want to be pregnant, but I am.”

When you don’t want to be pregnant, what to do next can be decided only after you have accepted the fact that you are pregnant. You will know you are ready when you begin thinking, “I am pregnant, I don’t want the baby, and now I have to decide what to do next.”

Step 2: Determine the true nature of your feelings.

It’s important to make sure that no underlying medical issue is causing you to think, “I am pregnant and don’t want the baby.” Conditions like antenatal and postpartum depression affect large numbers of women and may cause you to think that you don’t want to be pregnant or you, now that you are pregnant, don’t want the baby.

Before you make any decisions about your unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to pinpoint the true nature of your feelings and rule out treatable conditions, like depression, as the cause. If you are truly pregnant but don’t want it, that’s okay, and you can move forward exploring your unplanned pregnancy options. However, if you have any of the following symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately:

  • Changes in appetite or sleep habits

  • Irritability

  • Mood swings

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Frequent crying

  • Chronic anxiety

  • Lack of energy

Any of these symptoms could be an indicator of depression, which is a serious illness and should be treated immediately. After receiving treatment for depression, you may find that thoughts of not wanting your baby disappear, and you are actually excited to become a parent to your little one.

However, if depression is ruled out and your feelings persist, read on for what to do if you’re pregnant and don’t want it.

Step 3: Learn about your options. 

If you determine that you are pregnant and don’t want to be and no other medical issues are influencing these feelings, your next thoughts might be, “I don’t want my baby. What are my options?”

When you are pregnant but don’t want a baby, know that you (along with every other pregnant woman) have three options: parenting, abortion or adoption.

No one can tell you what to do if you don’t want to be pregnant, and no one can determine which of these choices is right for you and your child. The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you’re ready to be a parent. If you know that this is not the right solution for you at this point in your life (or if you don’t ever see yourself being a parent), that’s completely okay. If you’ve identified that you aren’t yet ready to become a mom, you may be thinking, “What if you’re pregnant and don’t want the baby?”

Many women assume that if you are pregnant and don’t want it, the correct choice is abortion. And, despite the fact that we’re an adoption agency, we aren’t going to pretend like abortion is not an option for you. It is. If you are pregnant but don’t want the baby, you can see whether the laws in your state will allow you to have an abortion procedure depending on factors like how far along you are in the pregnancy, whether you are a minor, whether insurance might help to cover the procedure and more.

However, we hope you’ll remember there’s another option if you are pregnant and don’t want a baby: Adoption. If you’re wondering what to do if, once pregnant, you don’t want a baby, there are many, many families out there who do. These families can provide a safe, loving home for your child and give him or her all of the love and opportunities that you may not currently be able to provide.

Step 4: Contact a professional.

Whether you ultimately choose abortion or adoption, your next step if you are pregnant and don’t want the baby is to contact a professional who can help you through your journey. If you are pregnant and want to give baby up for adoption — or if you are simply looking for more information about your options — we can help. Call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn about your options or request more free information about adoption

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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