top

close menu

“What does adoption mean to a child?”

Watch Video
Call 1-800-ADOPTION Get Free Info

Get Free Info

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. Frankly, being pregnant and thinking about adoption can be overwhelming.

Pregnancy and adoption questions and concerns generally fall into four common categories: thinking about “giving a baby up for adoption” and your other unplanned pregnancy options, thoughts about what your friends and family members will think, thoughts about your child and thoughts about your future. Taking some time to consider each of these thoughts 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. “I’m Thinking about Adoption, Abortion and Parenting”

When you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, adoption is likely not the only option you will consider. In fact, one of your first thoughts when you learned you were pregnant was likely whether you are prepared to raise a child at this point in your life, or whether adoption or abortion are possibilities. If you are pregnant thinking about adoption, it is a good idea to also think about all of your options to determine whether this is really the right choice for you.

Here are some thoughts you may be having about adoption, abortion and parenting:

  • 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 – What are my pregnancy adoption options? What choices will I get to make in this process? 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 pregnant and looking into adoption or abortion instead of parenting, be sure to do lots of research before choosing one or the other. Consult adoption professionals, doctors and unbiased options counselors to help you decide which is the best solution for you and your baby.

2. “I’m Thinking About Giving My Baby Up for Adoption — What Will My Friends and Family Say?”

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 explore her adoption options for unplanned pregnancy, then her thoughts may turn toward what her friends and family members may think about her adoption decision as well.

It’s common for women to worry, “I’m thinking about giving my baby up for adoption, but I’m afraid of what other people will think.” 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.

Some of this concern might come from the language our society uses when we talk about adoption. It is common to use phrases like “giving a baby up for adoption,” but choosing adoption isn’t “giving up” or “giving away” your child at all. When you are unexpectedly pregnant, adoption is actually an incredibly brave, loving, selfless and proactive choice that you make for your baby. When you are thinking of “giving a baby up” for adoption, you are really putting your child’s needs above your own — and above what anyone else might think.

It’s important to understand that while these thoughts and concerns about friends and family are normal, it is much more essential to make a decision that is best for you and your child when thinking about adopting your baby to another family. Seeking the advice of others whom you trust is always a good idea, but understand that this is ultimately your decision.

3. “I’m Thinking About Adopting My Baby Out – What Will He or She Think of Me?”

If you are thinking about putting a baby up for adoption, 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 unnecessary. Today, the adoption options for pregnant mothers look very different than they did even a decade ago. If you are thinking of putting your baby up for adoption, you won’t ever have to wonder or worry about your baby’s wellbeing, because you’ll be able to see and talk to your child yourself.

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 and birth parents’ lives.

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 for your decision.

4. “I Am Pregnant And Thinking About Adoption – And My Future”

Now that you’ve thought about your adoption options for unplanned pregnancy, 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 unplanned pregnancy and 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 putting your baby up for adoption and still have questions about what to do when you are thinking about adoption, 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 when thinking about putting your baby up for adoption, you may also request free adoption information online.

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.

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