Unplanned Pregnancy by Age
Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy in Your 20s? Your Next Steps
An unplanned pregnancy in your 20s can bring your world to a stop. But you are not alone, and you always have options. Here, learn more about what those options are.
For many people, their 20s are a time of exploration — finding out who they are, exactly what they want to do and where they fit in the world. And, for many of them, their 20s will also be one of challenges — including an unexpected pregnancy.
If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy in your 20s, you’re not alone. This is a common situation, and there is help out there for you. In clicking on this article, you’ve come to the right place.
Your 3 Options for an Unplanned Pregnancy in Your 20s
Every woman’s situation is different; your circumstances will determine which unplanned pregnancy option you choose.
That said, there are three general choices available for an unplanned pregnancy in your 20s.
You can always choose to carry your pregnancy to term and raise your baby yourself. A lot of people become parents in their 20s and, with a little bit of preparation and support, you can successfully raise a child at this time in your life.
Many people choose to become parents in their 20s for several reasons:
- They are young and energetic to keep up with a small child.
- They have plenty of healthy decades ahead to spend with their children.
- Their friends and family are having children, and they want their children to grow up around others their age.
All that said, feeling like you are “supposed to” is not a good enough reason to become a parent. Parenting is hard, and it’s important that you are 100 percent committed to the challenges ahead before choosing this path.
If you don’t wish to continue your pregnancy, you can choose to terminate, according to your state’s laws. This is mostly an early pregnancy option; you can usually explore this option if you are less than 20 weeks along.
Abortion can be completed surgically at a clinic or medically at home. Either option can cost hundreds of dollars and may or may not be covered by insurance. While abortion can cause emotions like grief or loss, 95 percent of women do not regret the procedure.
Please contact a local healthcare provider like Planned Parenthood for more information about your abortion options.
Finally, you can choose to place your child for adoption. Many women who choose adoption are in your shoes; they’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in their 20s and often have children at home they’re already caring for.
Adoption is 100 percent free, and you are in charge of every decision, including:
- Who will adopt your baby
- How much contact you’ll have with them and your child in the future
- Where and how you deliver
- And more
For more information about adoption, reach out to any of these adoption professionals:
Before Deciding: 3 Things to Consider About an Unplanned Pregnancy in Your 20s
When deciding what to do with your unplanned pregnancy in your 20s, you need to think seriously about your lifestyle. Is it conducive to raising a child or even having a healthy pregnancy? Can you adjust your habits to make your desired future possible?
There are countless things to consider if you’re unexpectedly pregnant, but here are the big ones.
1. Your Financial Situation
Your finances will often play the largest role in choosing an unplanned pregnancy option. It’s no secret: Parenting is not cheap. If you want to raise a child, you must be prepared for the expenses awaiting you. Abortion also costs money, although the price will vary based on which procedure and provider you use.
The only unplanned pregnancy option that’s 100% free is adoption. An adoption professional will cover your pregnancy- and adoption-related expenses while you are pregnant and placing.
Look more into the costs of your unplanned pregnancy options before deciding what’s feasible for your future.
2. Your Support System
Your group of family and friends may play a role in which unplanned pregnancy option you choose. If the baby’s father is ready to co-parent with you, that may sway you toward raising your child. On the other hand, if you don’t have any friends or family to lean on, raising a child as a single parent will be exceedingly difficult.
If you feel comfortable doing so, confiding in a few close loved ones can give you some clarity and, of course, support during this difficult time. Don’t have anyone to talk to? Reach out to an unplanned pregnancy counselor for information and support.
3. Your Personal Goals
Are you finishing your education? Working toward a promotion at work? It’s easy to get caught up in the panic of an unplanned pregnancy in your 20s, but don’t forget to look at the long-term when making this big decision.
If you have big plans for your future, a child will make those harder. You’ll likely need to delay your personal goals to do what is best for your child, if you become a parent. On the other hand, adoption or abortion can allow you to move forward with those plans, despite an unplanned pregnancy in your 20s.
Think about what’s really important to you right now. Which unplanned pregnancy option will make that path most achievable?
Unplanned Pregnancy in Your 20s: A Year-By-Year Guide
Obviously, everyone’s personal situation is unique. That’s why we encourage anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy in their 20s to contact an unplanned pregnancy counselor or trusted friend/family member for advice and guidance. They can evaluate your personal circumstances and help you decide which options may be best for you.
In the meantime, we’ve listed some things you should consider in the age-by-age breakdown below.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 20 Years Old
I’m 20 years old and pregnant. What should I do?
No one anticipates starting their third decade of life with an unplanned pregnancy. But it happens to lots of people — and now it’s happened to you. You can’t even legally drink yet, but you’re expected to raise a child?
Take a deep breath. We know how distressing this can be. If you’re like most 20-year-olds, you’re attending classes and still reliant on your parents for financial support. Consider reaching out to them for help; they can discuss your options with you and help you decide which path is right for you.
Whether you’re thinking, “I’m 20; should I keep my baby?” or “I’m 20, pregnant and don’t want the baby,” you have a choice. Start thinking about it now to take the right steps forward.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 21 Years Old
With the age 21 comes a lot of responsibility, but maybe having a baby isn’t what you had in mind.
Because you’re in your 20s, you can make this decision on your own, without parental permission. But, if you have a good relationship with your parents, you might turn to them for advice. Or, if you are more independent right now, consider reaching out to an unplanned pregnancy counselor or other trusted loved one.
Unplanned Pregnancy at Age 22
At 22, you’re getting ready to head out into the world — if you’re not out there on your own already. You’re graduating college and setting up your first job, or you’re establishing yourself in your new career.
When you’re 22, an unplanned pregnancy can be just as devastating as any other year in your 20s. It’s important to evaluate your goals at this time in your life. Do you want to finish schooling, if you haven’t already? What kind of job field are you heading into? And how would a child impact those dreams?
While 22 is still very young, there are many happy, successful parents of your age. But if parenting isn’t your thing right now, remember that you always have abortion and adoption options.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 23 Years Old
At 23, you may feel like you’ve just started the life you’ve always worked toward. Independence and freedom may be the breath of fresh air you’re wanting, but an unplanned pregnancy at 23 can seem like it’s taking all of that away.
As you should at any other year in your 20s, evaluate your feelings. Do you really want to be a parent right now? Do you even want to continue your pregnancy to term? Think about your unplanned pregnancy options and do what is right for you.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 24 Years Old
When you’re 24, you’re almost done with your early 20s — and it’s safe to say an unplanned pregnancy probably wasn’t at the top of your “to-do” list for the first half of this decade.
Now that it’s here, however, you’ll need to move forward safely, whatever option you choose. If you haven’t already, speak with a counselor or contact Planned Parenthood. A licensed professional can offer advice and support for your personal circumstances.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 25 Years Old
As you approach your late 20s, you’re probably dealing with the same concerns from earlier in the decade: financial stability, advancement at work and dating to find the “right” one.
Unfortunately, pregnancy doesn’t always come when you’ve found your perfect match. An unplanned pregnancy at 25 can seem like something to be ashamed of, especially if you’re in a new or casual relationship.
On the other hand, maybe you’re already married and having kids wasn’t in the plans yet. You’d be surprised how many people are in this exact same situation.
Wherever you’re at, make sure to talk to your partner about your unplanned pregnancy — and decide together what to do moving forward.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 26 Years Old
When you’re 26 years old, an unplanned pregnancy can feel like the end of the world. We know what you’re feeling, so take a deep breath and think about your options.
Your age doesn’t play a role in which unplanned pregnancy options you can choose, although it may play a role in which one you do choose. Do you want to be a parent right now? Do you have the funds to pay for an abortion? Do you want to give your child life and opportunities through adoption?
Each is a mature, respectable decision. But it’s only one that you can make after considering all of the possibilities.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 27 Years Old
Not sure which unplanned pregnancy option is right for you? That’s understandable; what you choose to do with your unplanned pregnancy at 27 will change the rest of your life.
In some ways, you may still feel like a child inside, still working out the realities of adult life. Your unplanned pregnancy may set you over the edge, but don’t panic. There are plenty of resources out there to help you.
Take your time and think about what’s right for you — not what others may be pressuring you to choose.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 28 Years Old
Preparing for your 30s can be daunting but equally exciting. Just a few years ahead of you is a brand-new decade and, if you’re lucky, you’ve spent the last one setting yourself up for the goals you want to achieve.
Whether those goals include promotions, getting married or having children, an unplanned pregnancy at 28 probably wasn’t on the list. Even though you’re 28, you aren’t pressured into parenting a child of an unplanned pregnancy. You always have options, so realistically consider them all before choosing the path that will lead you into the last year of this decade.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 29 Years Old
You’re about to close out one of the most influential years of your young life. Maybe getting married and having kids is in the near future for you — but you never imagined an unplanned pregnancy at this moment.
You’re in a different place than you were in your early 20s. You’re older, wiser and more prepared for the life ahead of you. Your gut instinct for an unplanned pregnancy then may be different now. Whatever path you choose, make sure you have the support and resources you deserve along the way.
Yes, your unplanned pregnancy in your 20s will change your life — but you get the ultimate say in what exactly that looks like.