When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, you’re often told that you have options. It can be scary to have to make decisions that will affect not only you, but other people. We are going to take a look at two of these unplanned pregnancy options, parenting and adoption, and the thought process I recommend when considering the possibilities.
In considering whether or not you want to pursue the option of parenting your unborn child, there are some questions you should ask yourself: am I in a position financially to take care of another person? In my current living situation, is there space for a child to live in? Is it a safe place? If the answers to any of those are questions are no, what would it take to accomplish those goals? Am I able to do it in a timely manner, either during my pregnancy or shortly after, to ensure that my child can be well taken care of by me? These questions can be hard to consider, but it is important to answer them realistically.
Another thing to ask yourself is if you have a support system in place to help you raise the child. This can mean having steady childcare so you can maintain a job, having a babysitter handy in times of need, or even having a person available in case of emergency. Consider whether your family or friends are dependable to look after your child in your absence. Also, consider whether or not you are ready to dedicate the rest of your life to the wants and needs of this child and what that means for your future.
The other option we are looking at is creating an adoption plan. Deciding to do so can be a very emotional process. You have to consider whether you are comfortable with your child being raised by other parents and not being a full-time player in their everyday life.
In making an adoption plan, there are many avenues to consider. You may think about placing through an agency, finding a family privately through an attorney or on your own, or even placing the child with a family member in a kinship adoption (each of which can depend on the laws in the state where you live).
Once you decide the route through which you would like to proceed, you need to decide what you are looking for in potential parents of your child: single parent, married couple, same-sex, religious, already have children or not, traditional views, the list goes on. Sometimes, you won’t even know what you want in prospective parents until you meet them, and that’s okay. One important thing to think about is whether you hope to have continuing contact through an open or semi-open adoption plan, or if you would prefer to not have contact with your child. Different things work for different people, and it is good to have an idea of what you’re comfortable with.
All of this may seem overwhelming right now. Not only are you hormonal because of your pregnancy, but you are facing big life decisions that carry a lot of emotions. It is okay not to know, or to take your time to figure it out. There are counselors and other people who have been in the same position as you that would be willing to discuss options and give you a better idea. Just remember that you are in the driver’s seat of this process and only you can truly know what is the best option for you and your unplanned pregnancy.
For more guidance in your unexpected pregnancy, visit Adoption.com.