Let’s face it: when a woman is facing an unplanned pregnancy, there are no easy answers.
The decision she makes will likely be one of the most difficult decisions of her life. And while abortion is a readily available option, it’s not the quick fix some women hope it will be. The guilt and regret that often follows an abortion may persist lifelong. A woman often chooses abortion because she feels trapped and doesn’t see any other way out of the situation. As author Frederica Matthewes Green wrote, “No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.”
Even though abortion may seem like the easiest solution to an unplanned pregnancy, there are other alternatives. Both parenting and adoption may be viable options and need to be considered before making an irreversible decision. Ultimately, there is no easy choice here, but a woman owes it to herself and her baby to consider ALL her choices before jumping into a decision:
You may decide that parenting is the right decision for you, but you owe it to yourself and your baby to be well informed about what that means.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you equipped to meet the challenges of single parenting?
- Do you have the emotional and financial resources necessary to care for a child? If not, are there people in your community (family, church, friends, support organizations) who could help fill in the gaps for you? Most states offer public assistance and subsidized childcare for single parents.
- Is co-parenting with the baby’s father an option? Even if you are no longer in a relationship, are you able to work together to create a stable and loving home for your child?
- Could relationship counseling help?
- Do either of you struggle with substance abuse issues or other mental or physical challenges that would limit your ability to successfully parent?
- If abortion or parenting are not workable options, do you have any family members who are willing to help you raise your child?
Just like abortion and parenting, adoption is not an easy solution to an unintended pregnancy, but sometimes it’s the one that makes the most sense. Although adoption involves a great deal of sacrifice, many expectant parents choose adoption because they believe it is the option that will give their child the best chance in life. Birth mothers often experience emotional pain of the loss of their child for years afterward; accordingly, adoption should not be presented to expectant parents as a happy “win-win” solution, free from long-term challenges. It is not. But when a woman is facing an unintended pregnancy, there’s no such thing as an easy out.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Is it important to you that your child be raised in a two-parent family?
- Is it important to you that your child have the opportunities and stability that you are currently unable to provide?
- Modern adoption gives an expectant parent the opportunity to place her child with a family who desires an ongoing relationship. Recent research shows that that when a birthmother is able to be even a small part of her child’s life, her feelings of loss are significantly reduced. An ongoing relationship, even contact consisting only of emails or phone calls can have a significant positive impact on both the child and the birthparent. If a child is told from the beginning about his or her birth parents and adoption story, the “shroud of secrecy” is lifted and replaced with compassion and honesty.
- You may decide that you would rather not have ongoing contact with your child. This is typically referred to as a closed adoption. If so, we will work with you to find an adoptive family that also wants to have their adoption closed.
- If you decide that adoption is the best choice for your unborn baby, many other decisions will follow. From choosing a family, to deciding whether you want to remain in contact with the family as your child grows up, there’s a lot to consider.
AdoptMatch exists to empower women to choose the family that’s right for them, with the guidance of an ethical, experienced adoption professional who will make sure the birth mother’s rights and interests are considered, as well as that of the child. We know that adoption is not right for everyone, but we’re here to help if it’s the path you choose.
To view waiting adoptive parents who are working with ethical adoption professionals, go here. Or to speak to an ethical professional in your area and ask further questions about adoption, go to our list of approved adoption attorneys here OR agencies here.
Want to know more about parenting?
Reach out to a Pregnancy Care Clinic in your area to ask about help and support. We have a full list of clinics in each state here.