Unexpectedly Pregnant? Three Choices

When a women finds out she is pregnant, her life will never be the same again no matter what choice she makes. Take some time to let the initial shock settle. Start by confirming your pregnancy, having an ultrasound and meeting with a counselor to discuss your situation. Call a pregnancy specialist for free and confidential local services. You may want to consider writing down your thoughts, feelings, and fears about each option. Try to get in touch with your values, beliefs, and circumstances. Read Tips for Making a Decision. Because you will never forget this pivotal, life-changing experience, you will want to explore every possibility.

Your Choice to Parent

Being a parent is often described as one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of life. It is a miracle to watch this little life grow inside you and develop into a person with a unique personality, interests and talents; as you learn how to guide, encourage and provide for this extension of you. Besides love, the most essential need in parenting is support.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is marrying the father a possibility? Why or why not?
  • Would he consider pre-marital counseling?
  • What type of support could he provide? (i.e.: financial, role model, childcare)
  • How would my family help? (i.e.: financially, childcare, living arrangements)
  • Could I live with family or another single mom?
  • How could I share responsibilities with those I live with?
  • What would it take to live on my own with my baby?
  • How can I continue to reach my goals to make a better life for me and my child?
  • Would I consider applying for WIC, Medicaid and other government programs?
  • Have I called the Helpline to find resources in my area that can provide parenting support and supplies?

Your Choice to Place for Adoption

There are a wide range of adoption plans to choose from, everything from closed to very open adoptions. Obtain as much information on adoption as possible to make an informed decision. Here are some things that adoption can include:

  • You can choose the adoptive family and many details of your child's future.
  • You can determine what you would like your relationship to be with your child and the adoptive family.
  • Adoptive parents explain adoption to the child at each stage of development in order to become well-adjusted, successful individuals.
  • At any point in the process you may decide to parent. Every state is different, though most adoptions are final when the child is 6 months old.
  • Counseling, support groups and other services enable each person involved to work through the grieving process, issues of loss and challenges along the way.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What would be an ideal home for my child?
  • What do I want to provide for my child?
  • Have I called a pregnancy specialist to find out about adoption services and counselors in my area?

Your Choice to Have an Abortion

Though no decision will be easy and each comes with different challenges, gathering as much information on the types of abortion procedures and their risks will help you make an informed decision. Remember that this is your decision, even though other's opinions may matter.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I informed of all the procedures and risks, both physically and emotionally?
  • Have I been tested for STD's?
  • What are my state's laws?
  • Is there anyone pressuring me to have an abortion?
  • Have I talked with someone who has been through an abortion to discuss their experience?
  • How have I viewed abortion in the past?
  • Have I called a pregnancy specialist to discuss my options and find local services that can help?

Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association.