Finding out that you are pregnant when you did not plan on it can feel overwhelming. It may even feel frightening, because you know that it may dramatically change your life. But do not give in to fear, and allow yourself to be pressured into making any choice before you really understand how that choice will impact your overall health and well-being. You and your child deserve far better than to be treated like an unwanted mistake. You deserve respect and compassion.
If you have an unplanned pregnancy and you feel that you might not be ready to take on the responsibility of motherhood, there are options available to you besides an abortion. You may feel isolated, fearful, or even a bit anxious, but there is a place where you can go – where someone will listen to you and who will understand your situation. Here at Choices, you can come to get confidential, sympathetic care and support from people who will provide you with information, assistance, and real medical advice, so that you are capable of making an informed decision for yourself.
Choices has centers in Phoenix, Mesa, and Glendale with licensed medical staff ready and waiting to discuss your options with you – free of judgment and pressure.
Carrying a baby to term and pursuing adoption is a compassionate option to consider for your unplanned pregnancy. Did you know that, at any given time, there are over a million couples in the United States wanting to adopt? Adoption agencies easily find adoptive parents for young infants and, in most cases, babies are able to be united with adoptive parents immediately after birth.
When you decide to proceed with an adoption, you are actually helping another family, which is why it is often referred to as the “loving option”. You can give your child a loving home, and bring great joy to someone who otherwise might not have a child to care for.
If you’re considering adoption, Choices staff can help prepare you for the process. One thing to note is – YOU get to decide whether you want it to be a closed adoption or an open adoption.
What Is a Closed Adoption?
As a general rule, a closed adoption means you won’t have contact with the child or with the adoptive family once you give the child up to the adoption agency. Conversely, with an open adoption, you and the adoptive family will work together during your pregnancy and the adoptive process, and you have the option of being able to stay in contact with both the family and the child after adoption. While you do have to give up your parental rights, you still have the ability to create a relationship with your child and with the adoptive family.
What Is an Open Adoption?
Open adoptions allow children to ask questions about their biological families, so they can better understand who they are, and have access to information such as gene-related medical issues that might affect them as they grow up. Open adoption relationships often change over time. For example, even if you are not involved in the day-to-day raising of your child while he or she is young, you may enjoy becoming more involved as they grow older or when they reach adulthood and have families of their own. In most cases, there are also ways to alter adoption agreements to make them more flexible, so that they are not entirely closed or entirely open.
As you continue through your pregnancy, you may also discover that you want to keep and raise your child yourself. Even if you do not feel quite ready for the responsibility of parenting right away, we can assist you with resources, education, and a team of staff ready to help you in any way they can.
It is important to remember that you do not have to raise the child by yourself. The first place to seek help is with the child’s father. If you believe it is best for your child for the father to be part of the child’s life, you can arrange a time to discuss what co-parenting would look like and even take LifePath courses together to help you prepare.
If you conclude that it is healthier for the child not to have a relationship with the father, this still does not mean that you have to bear 100% of the responsibilities by yourself. Friends, family, and other loved ones may be willing to help you raise your child. While single parenting is undoubtedly hard, you can also receive support from your community with free resources, such as baby supplies and parenting classes at Choices.
Another option is legal guardianship. Legal guardianship is when another person is given legal rights with respect to caring for your child, but it does not terminate your parental rights. Legal guardianship may be the best option if you are uncomfortable with the idea of adoption but are not ready to parent your child on your own. It ensures that your child has a safe and warm upbringing, but gives you the option to reclaim your rights as a parent later, perhaps when you are more financially and emotionally capable.
No matter what your frame of mind now, if you are pregnant and not sure of what to do, we are here to help and support you. We can provide you with the resources you need to truly explore your options, and learn about how to keep yourself healthy and on a good path forward. Contact us at Choices to find out how we can help you to see that both you and your baby can look forward to a more hopeful future.