You hold your breath as you wait for the test results to come. The quiet seconds seem to stretch into minutes as you watch the lines appear: positive! Even as you start denying the reality, the proof that is real is right in front of you. This was not something you planned but it happened. Now what is the next step?
There are basically three options you have for an unplanned pregnancy:
– You can decide to go through with the pregnancy and to parent the child
– You can terminate the pregnancy
– You can decide to go through with the pregnancy and choose adoption for the child
Here are some questions to help you thresh out the issues related to an unplanned pregnancy. Eventually, as you carefully answer these questions, you can make a decision to choose adoption or the other options available in dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
“Am I ready to be a parent?” Are you ready to take on the role of a parent and to commit your time, resources and energy into caring for and raising this child? Do you have personal goals that you want to reach? Can you still pursue these goals (finish your education or get employment) with a newborn to take care of? What is best for me in the long term? What is best for your baby? What do you want for the baby’s future?
“What support mechanisms do I have?” Do you have the necessary support to carry this child and raise him on your own? Who can you turn to in the event that you decide to parent? Are your parents willing to help you in raising the child? With your current resources and support mechanisms, can you realistically afford to be the child’s parent?
“How does the birthfather figure into all this?” Is the birthfather willing to do his share and contributed to the child’s expenses, whether you get married or not? Will the relationship with the birthfather work for the long term? If ever you decide to parent, are you ready to be a single parent?
“Is abortion a feasible option for me? You should decide whether this is a path you want to seriously think about and receive counseling surrounding the long-term effects.
“Is adoption a feasible option for me?” When choosing adoption, you will be going through some losses. Although adoption can be a great way to ensure that your child is raised in an emotionally, financially stable and loving home, it cannot be denied that this will involve letting go on your part. You will be relinquishing your parental rights to the prospective parents who will stand and be the child’s parents in every way. Also, adoption, like all your other options for an unplanned pregnancy, should be a choice you make yourself and not from pressure from other parties (your parents, the birthfather, society in general). It is a well thought-out decision that you make as you weigh what is best not just for you and your future but for the baby as well. Are you ready to push through with the pregnancy and delivery of the baby and all the challenges this entails? Are you willing to go through and deal with the feelings of loss you may have? Counseling is a great tool to help you make these decisions.
“Who can help me with my adoption plan?” You may want to seriously consider working with an adoption agency. There are reputable agencies that are able to provide you with a wide range of services and plenty of choices for prospective families, if you desire to be the one to choose which family your baby will go to. The adoption agency should be able to help you build your adoption plan according to your preferences.
“In what areas can an adoption agency help?” As the birthmother, you can get assistance not just with counseling, but also with your housing, daily living and medical expenses. Aside from this, you can get legal counseling to help you understand all the legal requirements and implications of your decision. Depending on the type of adoption you desire, it will usually be the prospective parents who will shoulder these pregnancy related expenses and the services provided by the adoption agency.