As you come to terms with your unplanned pregnancy, you will have a number of important decisions to make – the first of which will be what you want to do about your pregnancy.

You have three options for unplanned pregnancy: parent the baby, place the baby for adoption, or terminate the pregnancy.

Each of these options has specific considerations and challenges that will play a role in the decision-making process. The following page will give you the information and resources you need to begin considering your unwanted pregnancy options.

Abortion

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, involving either a medical or surgical intervention. Usually, there will be counselors available to you before and after the process, and some states require counseling before you can obtain an abortion. This will help you to not only make sure that abortion is the right choice for you, but to answer any questions about what to expect.

Commonly Asked Questions about Abortion

When is it too late to get an abortion?

The latest that you can usually obtain an abortion is about 14-16 weeks into a pregnancy, depending on the type of procedure. A medical abortion can be performed within the first nine weeks and a surgical abortion within the first 16 weeks.

Because an abortion must be obtained early in a pregnancy, it is recommended that you begin researching this option as soon as possible so that you can make a timely decision. Late-term abortions are prohibited in many states and usually allowed only under extenuating circumstances.

Are there any risks to abortion?

Abortion is generally safe and does not affect your chances of getting pregnant in the future. But like any medication or procedure, there are possible side effects:

  • Cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing more severe effects, such as heavy bleeding, consult a doctor immediately.

How much does abortion cost?

Depending on the type of procedure you choose and the state where you live, abortion will typically cost between $300 and $950. Check your Medicaid or insurance information to see if you can have these expenses partially or completely covered.

Is Abortion Right for Me?

In order to determine if it is the right option for you, consider some of the reasons that women may choose abortion:

  • They want to maintain privacy – While it is possible to hide a pregnancy in necessary situations, it is typically difficult and unrealistic. Women who have an abortion do not have to announce or explain their pregnancy unless they choose to.
  • They do not want to experience pregnancy – Pregnancy and childbirth take a huge physical and emotional toll on the body, and every woman has the right to decide whether or not they go through it.
  • They do not want to delay their education or career – Pregnancy and childrearing can both interfere with a woman’s plans for her life and future.

On the other hand, there are a number of reasons that abortion is not the right choice for everybody. For example, women who feel that abortion conflicts with their personal or religious values may decide on adoption instead.

Additionally, if you are under 18 years of age, many states’ laws will require you to inform at least one parent of your abortion. Consult a healthcare clinic in your state to determine what you will need to do to obtain an abortion.

Abortion Resources

For more information on how and where to obtain an abortion, see the following links:

Adoption

Through adoption, a woman can choose an adoptive family to raise her child and transfer her parental rights to that family. By working with an adoption agency or other professional, you can make an adoption plan that will help you decide exactly what you want for you and your baby – from beginning to end, the birth mother is in control of the adoption process.

Commonly Asked Questions about Adoption

How much control do I have of the adoption process?

If you choose adoption for your baby, you are completely in charge. Unlike in the past, when birth mothers were believed to be giving their baby up for adoption,” today’s birth mothers make an educated an empowered choice. Every step of the process is up to you.

Will I get to meet my baby’s adoptive parents?

Not only will you get to meet your baby’s parents, but you will get to choose them yourself. You can either find an adoptive family on your own or work with an adoption agency, which will provide you with adoptive family profiles to help you decide. After you choose a family, you will be able to communicate with them and even meet in person before the baby is born.

Does adoption cost money for pregnant mothers?

Women do not have to pay money to place a baby for adoption, and they may even be eligible to receive compensation for pregnancy-related expenses.  Depending on the state you live in, the adoptive family you choose might be able to help you with medical, legal, and even living expenses.

How much can I see my baby after the adoption?

You can see your baby as much or as little as you decide. Most women feel most comfortable in a semi-open adoption, which allows them to know how their baby is doing while still maintaining their own life and privacy.

Is Adoption Right for Me?

If you are just beginning to learn about adoption, here are just a few of the reasons that many women pursue this option for their babies:

  • They want to pursue their goals – By placing a baby for adoption, women can resume their career and education without delay.
  • They want to help a hopeful adoptive family – Although some women are not ready to raise a child, there are countless families struggling with infertility and waiting to grow through adoption.
  • They want a relationship with their child – In today’s adoptions, a birth mother can have ongoing communication with the adoptive family, see her child grow up, and always know how he or she is doing.

While adoption is certainly a positive experience for many, it also has its own challenges. If you are considering adoption, you must be prepared for the feelings of grief that come from parting with your newborn baby. Take the time to make sure that you are completely certain about adoption before beginning the process, but also keep in mind that you can change your mind at any time before the adoption is completed.

Adoption Resources

To learn more about adoption and finding an adoptive family, see the following:

Parenting

In many cases, women facing unplanned pregnancies have a desire to be parents and the means to care for a child – the timing just wasn’t what they expected. But upon discovering their pregnancy, they realize that it truly is the right time for a new addition into their lives. For these reasons, a woman may choose to parent her child.

Commonly Asked Questions about Parenting

How much does it cost to raise a child?

Some studies suggest that it takes around $245,000 to raise a child from birth to age eighteen. This includes expenses such as housing, food, education, childcare, transportation, and more.

What are the challenges of being a single parent?

If you are considering raising your child as a single parent, then you have an exciting journey ahead of you. But it will also be a journey with obstacles such as:

  • One income – One income isn’t as convenient as two, but single parents frequently succeed through smart saving, supplemental income, and other financial resources.
  • Finding support – Couples and single parents alike need to lean on loved ones from time to time. You might find the support you need from close family and friends.
  • Childcare – Quality childcare will be crucial for the times you are working. Children need the supervision of an adult who is experienced in childcare.

What kind of care does a newborn baby need?

A child needs more care and attention as a newborn than at any other stage of life. In addition to necessary childcare products such as diapers, bottles, and nursery items, you child will also need constant care and affection from you. It is especially important that a baby’s physical needs are met during the first months of life, as this is the primary way the baby develops and bonds with you.

Is Parenting Right for me?

Raising a child after an unplanned pregnancy is a choice women can make for any number of reasons, but here a few of the factors that lead women to choose parenting:

  • They planned on having children one day – While some women facing unplanned pregnancies never see themselves having children, others may be excited about the pregnancy even though the timing was unexpected.
  • They have the means to support a family – If you are considering raising your child, you should consider whether you are not just emotionally willing, but financially capable.
  • They can provide the home environment they want for their child – Sometimes, a woman may want to have a child, but not in her current home environment.

Parenting is not a decision that should be made lightly. While it is always the hope to keep a mother and her child together, no one should become a parent unless they are ready and willing.

Parenting Resources

If you decide to pursue the option of raising your child, the following resources can help you find more support and information:

How Do I Decide?

The information on this page is only the start to helping you understand your unplanned pregnancy options. While there are many places you can go for advice and information, you are the only one who can make the right decision for your situation. With education, time, and careful consideration, you will be able to make an informed decision on what to do about your unplanned pregnancy.