An unplanned pregnancy is a scary situation. And, when you know that abortion isn’t an option for you, you’re left with one big question: Should I choose adoption or keep the baby growing inside of me?
Both parenting and adoption are noble paths. There’s no “right” answer; there’s only what’s right for you.
Of course, that knowledge probably doesn’t make your decision any easier.
If you’re debating between parenting vs. adoption, there’s only so much a website can tell you. While you can read a bit about each option below, talking to a counselor can be a much greater help. And, fortunately, you can find good unplanned pregnancy counseling for free.
As you read more about parenting vs. adoption below, keep this in mind: Whichever path you choose, make sure it’s the right one for you.
Parenting vs. Adoption: 3 Things to Consider
Placing for adoption vs. keeping the baby is a serious choice to make. Both options will change your life forever.
So, what are some things to think about when it comes to how to choose adoption or to keep your baby?
1. Your Financial Situation
It’s the tough reality, but one of the biggest factors in your unplanned pregnancy decision will be your financial situation. Parenting is not cheap; if you consider this path, you must be prepared to spend at least $230,000 over the next 18 years of your child’s life. There are government resources to help you, but, even with that help, raising a child will cost you a great deal of money. Can you provide the future — good schooling, extracurriculars, a college education — that your child deserves?
If you’re considering parenting, sit down and make a budget. Plan out what you will need to spend; don’t forget the costs of diapers, healthcare and more. Check out local resources, like:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Subsidized housing and housing vouchers
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Security Income
Consider reaching out to a local parenting resource center or check the National Parent Helpline to find more support.
Even with as much preparation as possible, sometimes the financial task of raising a child is just too daunting. If you’re worried about the costs of pregnancy and childbirth — not to mention the rising costs of parenting a child — adoption may be a solution. When you choose this path, you can receive adoption financial assistance to cover expenses like:
- Maternity clothing
- Medical expenses
- And more
Adoption will always be free to you, should you choose it. And, while you should never choose adoption because you feel financially pressured to, it can be a viable path if you’re not ready to be a parent — in more ways than one.
If you can, talk with a financial advisor to determine whether parenting is financially feasible in your situation.
2. Your Emotional Maturity
Choosing between parenting vs. adoption is about more than just the practical aspects. It’s also about the emotional ones.
Neither of these paths is easy. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs a person can have. Guiding an individual through childhood, adolescent and adulthood can sometimes seem like a thankless duty — but many parents will tell you it’s worth it 10 times over. Placing a child for adoption is also one of the hardest things you will ever do; making the selfless decision to do what’s best for your child doesn’t come easily to anyone.
Think about where you are in your life. Are you ready to put your career and personal life on hold to care for a child who needs your attention 24/7? Will that sacrifice lead to resentment and disappointment?
What about adoption — are you prepared to watch your child grow up with another set of parents? Can you handle the emotional task of signing away your parental rights?
Your answers to these questions will depend on your personal situation. Everyone is at a different stage in their life when they experience an unplanned pregnancy — and there’s never any shame in choosing the path that is right for you.
3. Your Personal Feelings
Even when you’re against abortion, adoption or keeping the baby is not an easy decision to make. You can look at the facts and statistics all day long, but there’s one big indicator of which path is right for you: what you really want.
When you face an unplanned pregnancy, people will always be ready to give their opinions about what you should do. But the only one who can make this decision is you. You’ll need to evaluate how you really feel about each option — not just how you think you’re supposed to feel — before you can decide what’s right for you.
If you desperately want to be a parent and you are honest with yourself about the work and commitment this path will take, parenting may be your choice. But, if you’ve never really seen yourself as a parent or you know it’s not a role you want right now, there’s no shame in choosing adoption. Both of these are respectable paths.
You may not be sure of exactly how you feel right now. That’s okay. That’s why unplanned pregnancy counselors exist — to walk you through your emotions and help you identify which may be the right path for you.
Why People Choose Adoption Instead of Keeping the Baby
When many people find out they’re pregnant, they don’t even think about adoption as an option. This is for several reasons — but mostly because adoption is still grossly misunderstood by most people.
You may wonder: Why on Earth would anyone choose adoption instead of keeping the baby?
Adoption offers many advantages to expectant parents:
- Adoption is free, and expectant mothers’ medical and pregnancy expenses are always covered by their adoption agency.
- Adoption allows an expectant mother to give her child the life she cannot provide herself.
- Adoption gives birth parents the chance to stay in contact with their child and the adoptive parents for the rest of their lives.
- Adoption allows a birth parent to move forward with their personal goals, knowing they gave their child their best shot at life.
Placing a child for adoption may seem impossible to you. That’s totally normal. Maybe you’ll end up parenting your child; that’s just as noble a choice.
But, if you’re asking, “Should I keep my baby or give up for adoption?” you may be just a bit curious about what adoption can do for you. You can reach out to the professionals below anytime for free counseling — with absolutely no obligation to choose adoption instead of keeping the baby. That decision will always remain solely up to you.