It’s hard to predict a woman’s thoughts when she first learns she is pregnant. It’s a life-changing moment, and it’s one that is often accompanied by many emotions. Any of the following thoughts could be racing through your brain if you’ve just seen that positive sign on your pregnancy test:

I don’t want to be pregnant.

I don’t want to have a baby.

What to do if you’re pregnant and don’t want it?

If you identify with any of the above thoughts, you may be wondering what to do if you don’t want to be pregnant. You aren’t alone. Many women ask this same question, and it’s important to know that you do have options. However, your first priority should be to determine if these feelings are temporary or permanent.

If you are pregnant and want to give a baby up for adoption, consider the following questions:

Are you showing signs of depression?

Pregnancy and childbirth can affect your body in ways you may not even realize. Both antenatal and postpartum depression  can cause the thoughts, “I don’t want my child,” or “I don’t want my child anymore.” Of course, it’s entirely possible and acceptable to have these thoughts without being influenced by depression, but it’s important to rule out an underlying cause. You may need to reach out to a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms in addition to feelings of not wanting your baby:

  • Changes in appetite or sleep routines
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Mood swings or frequent crying
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

If you think you may be depressed, it’s important to speak with a doctor before you begin making decisions about what to do if you don’t want to be pregnant.

Is your home environment ready for a child? Can it be made ready?

Often times, women who are pregnant and don’t want the baby come to that decision because their living situations are not suited to a child.  Maybe you don’t feel fully prepared, or maybe you have a somewhat tumultuous situation that is making you second-guess bringing a child into your life. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you be raising your baby with a partner? Many women feel strongly about two-parent households, and it might not be realistic to expect the child’s father to live with you and take an active, healthy role in the child’s life.
  • Do you have a support system at home, or are your relationships with the people around you somewhat toxic?
  • What is your financial situation? Can you provide a safe, stable home for your child? Raising a baby is expensive enough, but providing for a stable environment can be difficult as well.

It’s totally understandable for any of the above questions to make you think you don’t want to be pregnant. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that those situations may not be permanent. Even if you don’t work things out with the father of your child, it’s entirely likely that you will one day enter a stable relationship with someone else. It’s also possible to find healthy people to surround your child with, and to change your financial situation.

Can you accomplish your goals while parenting?

Many woman who are pregnant don’t want a baby while they’re working on certain educational or career-oriented goals. It’s understandable; becoming a parent may mean things take longer or are more difficult to accomplish.

That’s not to say, however, that it can’t be done. You can absolutely accomplish all of your goals while becoming a mother, but you may need to look into options like childcare if you plan to pursue both paths at the same time.

Do you want to be a mom?

It’s not uncommon for people to know from an early age whether or not they want to be parents. If you know that you are pregnant and don’t want it because you’ve never wanted a child, then that’s okay. You can even be married, pregnant and don’t want baby. It’s entirely okay to admit that you don’t want to be a mother, either now or at any point in your life.

If you’ve considered all of the above questions and are still thinking, “I’m pregnant and I don’t want it,” you have two options aside from parenting: abortion or adoption. If you are pregnant and want to give a baby up for adoption, we encourage you to use our site as a resource for learning more about what that process could look like for you. To learn more about adoption or to speak to an adoption specialist who can counsel you on your individual situation, we encourage you to reach out to an adoption professional, such as: