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Things to Consider About an Unplanned Pregnancy

And Reasons Why Adoption May Be Right for You

After finding out about an unplanned pregnancy, there are likely countless thoughts running through your head at once. How can you begin to sort them all out?

Fortunately, you have a wide variety of resources to help you move forward and determine your unplanned pregnancy options. As you navigate this time in your life, these are some of the things you may need to consider and the information that will help you moving forward with your unplanned pregnancy.

After Learning of an Unplanned Pregnancy…

  • Know that you are not alone - Almost half of all pregnancies are unexpected.

  • Know that you do have options - Women facing an unexpected pregnancy have three options: raise the child, end the pregnancy, or place the child for adoption.

  • You should immediately confirm your pregnancy with a doctor - Before you take any measures, you should confirm your pregnancy with a doctor. From there, you can determine what your next steps are.

  • Know that feelings of shock, anger, and depression are normal - An unexpected pregnancy can bring on a wide range of emotions, all of which are normal at this stage. As you cope with this sudden life change, give yourself time to process all of your thoughts and feelings.

  • Decide when and how to talk about your unplanned pregnancy - While keeping your unwanted pregnancy a secret is an option, it is usually recommended that you share the information with those close to you when you feel comfortable. By hiding your pregnancy, you may deprive yourself of much-needed support from family or close friends.

  • Understand there are many places to go for support - You can find a variety of support groups and professionals to help you during this time.

Things to Know About Pregnancy and Childbirth: 

  • Working while pregnant may be complicated - Countless women work all the way through their pregnancies, but some aspects can be challenging. Fortunately, there are many strategies to help.

  • Prenatal care should begin immediately - Proper and timely care at all stages is crucial to a healthy pregnancy. 

  • Stay healthy during your pregnancy - The right diet and activity will go a long way in helping your pregnancy. It is also recommended that you avoid caffeine, smoking, and alcohol.

  • Pregnancy symptoms are a good indicator of how the baby is doing - Symptoms vary depending on the person or stage of the pregnancy. Some common side effects include backaches, morning sickness, heartburn, and cramps.

  • You have a number of options for labor and delivery - Some options are up to you to choose, such as whether to give birth at home or in a hospital. Others must be determined when it’s time for the baby to arrive, such as inducing labor or performing a C-section.

  • You can take childbirth classes - There are all kinds of childbirth education you can receive that will help you prepare for the big day.

Your Unplanned Pregnancy Options:

ADOPTION

  • Women choose adoption out of love for their babies - An unfortunately common misconception is that women who place their babies for adoption are selfish or irresponsible. Rather than “giving up” their babies, these women make a difficult, loving decision in the best interests of their children.

  • There are a variety of adoption professionals - Many women choose to work with adoption agencies because they provide all of the necessary adoption services and more. Others may only need certain services and choose to work with an adoption attorney, facilitator, or law center.

  • You are in charge of your baby’s adoption - Adoption is your decision, and you will be in control of the process from beginning to end.

  • You get to choose and meet the baby’s family - Agencies like American Adoptions have adoptive family profiles to help you find the perfect family for your baby. Over the course of your pregnancy, you will be able to get to know them and ask them questions.

  • Adoption does not cost any money for birth mothers - In many cases, you may be eligible for compensation for pregnancy-related expenses.

  • Feelings of grief after an adoption are normal - Even in a perfect adoption experience, it is impossible not to wonder what life raising your baby would have been like. These feelings are not a sign that you have made the wrong decision – only that you love your baby.

  • You can have a lifelong relationship with your baby and the family - Because of open and semi-open adoptions, adoption is no longer a permanent goodbye. You can see your child grow up, know how he or she is doing, and even talk to him or her about adoption.

ABORTION

  • Women choose abortion for various reasons - Some of the more common reasons a woman in your position might choose adoption include a desire to maintain privacy about a pregnancy or avoid the risks of pregnancy and childbirth.

  • There are two ways to obtain an abortion - Medical and surgical abortions are two different processes, each with advantages and disadvantages. Both must be done early in a pregnancy.

  • Each state has abortion laws - You may have to take specific measures to obtain an abortion, especially if you are under 18 years of age. Visit Planned Parenthood for more information.

  • Abortion typically costs $300-$950 - The cost will vary depending on where you live, the facility you go to, and the type of abortion.

  • While generally safe, there are some medical risks - There are some common, mild side effects as well as rare, more severe ones. However, serious complications arise in less than one percent of abortions. Generally, neither type of abortion affects your future chances of getting pregnant.

  • There are also emotional risks of abortion - Some women may feel grief and loss after an abortion. There are many things you can do to prepare for this beforehand and recover afterward.

  • Not all information you will find is reliable - There are “crisis pregnancy centers” all around the country that are actually run by anti-abortion advocates. These places provide biased, misleading, and sometimes plain false information to vulnerable women.

PARENTING

If you are considering parenting, ask these questions:

  1. Am I in a stable financial situation?

  2. Can I provide a healthy home environment for a child?

  3. Do I want to be a parent?

  4. Do I want to be a parent now?

Education or career goals may be put on hold - When you decide to parent, raising your child becomes your first priority. The emotional and financial responsibilities of parenting might mean that school or certain jobs need to wait.

The outlook on single parenting is changing every day - The stigma surrounding unplanned pregnancy and single parenting has decreased immensely in recent years. Today, single parents are raising families more successfully than ever.

It costs over $245,000 to raise a child - From birth to age 18, the costs of raising a child include expenses like housing, education, food, and healthcare.

You have resources available to help you - Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway and Parents Without Partners for information, education, and more.

For more information about your unplanned pregnancy options, you may contact an adoption specialist today confidentially and with no obligation at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Disclaimer
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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