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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

As a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you might be thinking, “I’m pregnant but I don’t want my baby.” Thankfully, there are options for you and your child, starting with adoption. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION to get free information and support now.

  • No matter your circumstances, adoption is always an option for your baby — during your pregnancy or after birth. 

  • We can help you create an adoption plan and, with our national size and scope, find the perfect adoptive family for your baby. 

  • Not only is adoption free, but you can receive financial assistance for pregnancy-related living expenses like rent, groceries, cell phone service and more. 

Life has its challenges. You may have circumstances that make an unplanned pregnancy and the thought of parenting seem impossible. Knowing what to do can feel overwhelming and emotionally draining.  

American Adoptions is here to help. 

Many women in the United States choose an abortion for their unwanted pregnancy. During 2019-2020, Planned Parenthood completed more than 350,000 abortion procedures while only recording 2,600 adoption referrals.   

While abortion is certainly an option every woman can consider when pregnant but not wanting a child, we’re here to tell you about the selfless, loving choice of adoption.  

  • Adoption is an alternative to abortion that gives your child a chance at having an amazing life.

  • Through adoption, you can create a better future for yourself while giving a life-changing gift to a hopeful adoptive couple dreaming of growing a family. 

  • Unlike abortion, adoption is 100% free to you, and it is an option you can choose at any point in your pregnancy or after your baby is born.

The choice of adoption was difficult for Sara but knew she was giving her baby the chance to have a better life with an amazing family.

“I hope Teddy will always know how much I love him, and that this was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. But I made it in his best interest. I made it for him to have better opportunities, to have a future, to grow up and be something big, and I always hope to be a part of his life.”

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.” We will address why those thoughts and questions are perfectly valid, as well as give you information on how adoption can be the best decision for you and your baby. 

If you’re ready to start the adoption process with our agency or want to get more information on adoption, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION, or visit our online contact form for prospective birth mothersProspective adoptive parents, contact us today to get more information about adopting a child through our agency. 

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.” 

  • 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 OK — 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: Coming to acceptance of your unplanned pregnancy. 

Coming to terms with an unplanned pregnancy can be difficult — especially when you’re thinking, “I don’t want a baby.” Upon learning of an unplanned pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for some women to find themselves in a state of shock, denial or disbelief.  

“I hid my pregnancy from everyone and really didn’t seek any prenatal care because I didn’t want to believe that I was really pregnant,” said Amanda, a birth mother who worked with American Adoptions.

Amanda’s story is a common one. If you weren’t planning on becoming pregnant, you may not be excited about this pregnancy. You might even think, “I don’t want this baby.” These thoughts are natural. It may take you some time to sort through your feelings, accept your pregnancy and find the best path forward.

For Amanda, that path was adoption.

“I can’t say enough how happy I am about how things worked out in the end,” Amanda said. “I loved Lauren enough to want so much more for her than I would be able to give her, which is why I chose to place her for adoption.”

Conditions like antenatal and postpartum depression also affect large numbers of women and may cause you to think that you don’t want to be pregnant or, now that you are pregnant, that you don’t want the baby. If you’ve ruled these conditions out with the help of a medical professional, you can begin to figure out what’s next for your unplanned pregnancy. 

Step 2: What are my pregnancy 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

  • 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 (or if you're ready to add another baby to your family).  

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 OK.  

Many women immediately think abortion is the answer to their unplanned pregnancy when parenting isn’t an option.  If you are pregnant but don’t want the baby, abortion may be possible, 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

But 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 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. 

“I just wasn’t at a place in my life where I knew I could give my son what I wanted him to have,” said Carly, a birth mother who was also adopted as a child. “I knew what adoption did for me, and I decided to give him a better life.”

You can get information on your pregnancy options and how adoption can be the right decision for you by calling us at 1-800-ADOPTION or visiting us online and completing our free information form

Step 3: Choosing adoption – do you want to give your child the best life possible? 

Being pregnant and not wanting your child or not feeling ready to parent them is perfectly OK.

  • Adoption can be a decision that gives you hope for a better future.

  • You can work with an adoptive family that is ready to give your child a loving and nurturing home.

  • Placing your baby for adoption can give you the opportunity to achieve your goals in life. 

Our adoption agency has professionals that are adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents, and because of our first-hand experience with adoption, we can give you support and offer services to ensure your adoption journey is everything you hope and need it to be to find your baby the perfect home. 

Some of the important support and services we provide include:

Our top priority is finding your baby an incredible adoptive family and ensuring you have an amazing adoption experience. Even if you are pregnant but don’t want this baby, you can give your child and a hopeful adoptive couple a selfless and heroic gift. Through adoption, the lives of everyone involved are filled with hope for the future.

Randi, one of our birth mothers, remains open and in communication with her child and the adoptive family. Even though she wasn’t ready to parent at the time, she has seen firsthand how adoption has benefited her daughter and the adoptive parents she chose.

“I love still being able to have that connection with Juniper,” she said. “I get all jittery thinking about it because it’s going to blow my mind when she’s five and she starts talking, and I can actually talk to her and have a conversation with her.

“Every picture, it brightens my day. There are two things I check every day, the blog and my Facebook. When I see a random picture that she puts on there, it just makes me feel like [the adoptive mother is] not forgetting about me, and keeping up with what she said she was going to do.” 

How to start your adoption journey today 

You can begin your adoption journey today by calling us at 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with one of our experienced adoption professionals. We will start creating an adoption plan based specifically on what you feel is important for you and your child during the adoption process as well as after. 

With the information you provide, we can narrow down the available family profiles you view, based on your specific wishes. This can include a prospective family’s: 

  • Age 

  • Location 

  • Lifestyle choices 

  • Religious beliefs and cultural background 

  • Race 

  • Sexual orientation 

  • Hobbies and interests 

  • And more 

We have hundreds of available families waiting for the opportunity to give your child a loving home.  

You are never judged for choosing adoption. We consider you to be a hero, and as your child grows and develops, they will learn more about you, why you chose adoption and will see that your decision was not only heroic but made out of love. 

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.          

“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.

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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

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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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