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Thinking About Adoption and Your Unplanned Pregnancy

Common Thoughts When Making an Adoption Decision

A woman just learning of an unplanned pregnancy will often have hundreds of thoughts and feelings running through her head, and thinking about adoption can complicate these emotions even more.

These questions and concerns can generally be categorized into four common thoughts that you may be feeling. Taking some time to think about each one individually, instead of thinking about all of them at the same time, can help you organize your thoughts and determine what your next step might be.

1. Thinking about Adoption, Abortion and Parenting

When you first learned you were pregnant, one of your first thoughts was likely whether you are prepared to raise a child at this point in your life, or whether adoption or abortion are possibilities.

Here are some things you may be thinking about each option and links to some supporting articles:

  • Parenting – Am I ready to raise a child at this point in my life? Do I have the finances to raise a child (or another child)? Will my baby have a father figure in his or her life?

  • Abortion – Is abortion the best solution for my unplanned pregnancy? What will an abortion cost? Is abortion really the “quick fix” it seems to be? What will my friends and family think about this decision?

  • Adoption – Am I prepared for another family to raise my child? What will my child think of me? How much will adoption cost? Will I get to see my child again?

If you are considering adoption or abortion instead of parenting, be sure to do lots of research before choosing one or the other. Consult adoption professionals, doctors and crisis pregnancy centers to help you decide which is the best solution for you and your baby.

2. Thinking About Adoption and Your Friends and Family

When experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, one of the first things a woman (especially a young woman) may worry about is what she is going to tell her parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, co-workers, teachers and even fellow students. Furthermore, if she decides to pursue adoption, then her thoughts may turn toward what her friends and family members may think about her adoption decision as well.

Sometimes these thoughts about what others will think of her can dominate a woman’s mind during this very critical stage, when her time and energy should be spent thinking about what is best for her and her baby.

It’s important to understand that while these thoughts and concerns about friends and family are necessary, it is much more essential to make a decision that is best for you and your child.

Seeking the advice of others whom you trust is always a good idea, but understand that this is ultimately your decision.

If you are considering adoption, here are some helpful articles about talking to friends and family member about adoption.

3. Thinking About Adoption and Your Child

If you decide adoption could be a solution to your unplanned pregnancy, then what happens to your child? Will he or she have negative feelings toward you, resent you for your decision, or even “hate” you? Will you ever see your child again?

These thoughts are very common but are not at all representative of today’s adoptions.

In the past, adoption professionals favored closed relationships with no contact between adopted children and their birth parents, and they oftentimes did not provide the child information about his or her race, family background and many other items that are very important to a child’s sense of self. This would commonly lead to doubt, frustration and a void left in the child’s life.

Today, adoption professionals encourage adoptive families to be open and honest about their child’s adoption from a very young age, eliminating any surprise or shock later in life.

Also, regardless of whether you are interested in an open or closed adoption, the child will usually know his or her race, family origins, medical background and other important information. This helps fill that void that some adoptees from past generations still feel in their lives today.

When thinking about adoption and your child, understand that while this decision is very difficult for you, your child will experience a happy childhood that perhaps you are unable to provide at this time in your life, and he or she will be forever grateful of your decision.

4. Thinking About Adoption and Your Future

Now that you’ve thought about adoption, your family, and your child, it’s time to think about yourself and what this decision will do for your future.

For every negative adoption story that is reported in the media, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of positive adoption stories. Many of these women point to their adoption decision as a turning point, when they were able to reclaim stability in their lives and look toward the future.

Whether you have goals of finishing school, beginning a career or getting married before starting a family, but an unplanned pregnancy has put those goals on hold, you have to decide which decision is not only going to be best for your baby but also for yourself. Are you ready to raise a child? Or is adoption a possibility to allow you to achieve your other goals?


If you are thinking about adoption and still have questions, our Adoption Specialists are always available at 1-800-ADOPTION. Contacting our agency in no way obligates you to pursue an adoption plan, and your call is completely confidential. To help you think about adoption further, you may also click the following to receive free adoption information.

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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