Unplanned, Unexpected and Accidental Pregnancies: What are my Options?
Many women find themselves facing a difficult, and sometimes overwhelming, situation with an unplanned pregnancy. There are several factors that may influence your decision on what to do next – and if you’re unsure, you are not alone. We want to provide some helpful insights on things to consider when weighing your options. While some women know what they want from the outset, others can find the decision-making process difficult.
An unplanned pregnancy can cause difficult feelings and thoughts about your current situation and your future. Your feelings can seem confusing as they often conflict with each other. For example, you may feel:
- Scared of becoming a parent when you don’t feel ready
- Anxious as you consider having an unplanned baby
- Concerned if you’re in an unstable relationship
- Joy because this is something you have always dreamed about
- Excited as this may be a new opportunity for you
Even though these feelings may contradict each other, they are important to confront and work through so that you can come to a decision you’re comfortable with.
What Options Should You Think About?
There are three options to consider with an unplanned pregnancy:
- Continuing with the pregnancy and raising the child.
- Continuing with the pregnancy and placing the baby for adoption.
- Terminating the pregnancy, otherwise known as an abortion.
At this stage it can be helpful to talk to someone you know and trust. Many people find it useful to speak to a skilled counselor who can help them work through the emotional, financial and practical issues involved with all the available options.
It’s important to give yourself permission to explore and research these options for unplanned pregnancies. This includes finding as much information as you need to support your decision. Be patient with yourself and don’t rush the decision-making process.
The Truth About Abortion and Adoption
Many women think abortion is a simpler and less difficult solution to an unplanned pregnancy, but this isn’t the case. In truth, abortion has many long-lasting side effects and doesn’t always work out as expected.
One of the most frequent misconceptions about abortion is that the cost is less than the cost of adoption. In truth, however, placing your child for adoption is always less expensive. This is because the costs of pregnancy and giving birth are taken care of by the adoptive family, while the costs of abortion are almost always your own responsibility. Some insurance plans do cover some of the costs of abortion, but this isn’t something you can always rely on.
Another reason women often get abortions is because they see it as more confidential than placing a child for adoption. Many women don’t want to admit they became pregnant unexpectedly, and they see abortion as a “quick fix” that will allow them to keep their situation a secret. However, adoptions may also be performed confidentially with the help of an experienced adoption agency. Registering as a confidential patient at the hospital is just one of the ways to maintain secrecy.
Finally, some women think abortion is preferable to adoption because they think it’s a less emotional decision. In truth, however, many women experience significant mental and emotional side effects after an abortion. It’s also possible for women to have regrets about a decision to place a child for adoption, but in general these women are more satisfied with their choice because they know their child has a better life due to their decision. Further, open adoption allows continued connection with the child.
What you decide to do in your unplanned pregnancy is about you, your child, and what is best for the two of you. It’s possible that adoption might be a valid choice in your circumstance. If you do choose adoption, hopefully others will see your choice for the brave and loving decision that it is, but ultimately it is about the health and well-being for you, your child, and no one else.
Choosing Adoption and All that Comes with It
Adoption affects all members of the adoption triad, which includes the adoptee (child), birth parents, and adoptive parents. As an expectant parent, it is important to know that the decision you make can have a positive outcome for all involved. Reflecting on your motivation or reasoning behind choosing adoption is an important aspect to achieving a positive experience. It helps you to remember why you chose adoption in the first place. Some reasons that expectant mothers often end up choosing adoption are:
- Financial instability
- Single-parent household
- Family opposition to keeping the child
If you are considering adoption for your unplanned pregnancy, do not get consumed with the stereotypes that come with placing a child for adoption. None of these reasons make you any less of a mother or a parent.
Learn More about Adoption and Adoption Services
Today’s adoption process places the birth mother in control and makes it possible for them to plan the type of adoption they desire. In addition, it’s important to remember that adoption services are completely free for the birth mother. In many cases, we can even help you secure additional assistance with living expenses and medical needs.
Finally, remember that adoption gives you one thing abortion never can – the peace of mind that your baby will have a life with a loving family you chose.
If you’re in Oklahoma and want to learn more about your pregnancy options and what choices are available to you, please contact us today at Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption. As Oklahoma’s oldest and most experienced adoption agency, we can help you through every step of the adoption process. Call 405-949-4200 today, or visit us on Facebook to see stories, pictures and videos about our waiting families, birth mothers who chose to make an adoption plan for their child, and people loved and raised by an adoptive family.