Unplanned pregnancies happen all the time, all over the world, to people of all ages and stages of life. In fact, studies have shown that as many as 45% of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned! (1) So if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, the first thing you should know is that you are not alone. Not even close! It may feel overwhelming, but remember that you are in charge of your emotions, not the other way around. And second, recognize that you have lots of options in front of you. There are two obvious options that most unexpected parents generally consider: abortion and parenting. However, there is a third and often forgotten option: adoption. Adoption is an amazing way to turn your unplanned pregnancy into an opportunity for another family to welcome a new child into a loving home.
For many parents facing unplanned pregnancies, the choice between abortion and parenting is a difficult one. For many women, the thought of having an abortion can feel overwhelming, especially for those who have a past abortion experience. Others may regret their abortion choice even while they are going through the procedure. (If you have already taken the first abortion pill but changed your mind and want to continue your pregnancy, click here for the abortion pill reversal hotline.)
Still, many of these same women still often feel completely unprepared to parent. There is a tension between these two options–abortion or parenting. Combine that with the hormonal changes of early pregnancy and any other life stresses, and it can just feel like too much. It’s too much! We know that, and we see you. This is a heavy moment, and we want to honor it. It’s okay that it’s heavy; it’s okay if it’s overwhelming. But take a breath–it’s going to be okay.
This is where the adoption option becomes so beautiful. There are many reasons to consider adoption. If you cannot imagine starting or adding to your family at this stage of life, abortion may seem like the only way out. However, it is possible for the abortion experience to lead to various physical and emotional traumas. Many women who go through an abortion experience later feel remorse for that choice, and some experience post-abortion syndrome. While not all women report these feelings, the risk is there.
That’s why it’s so important to remember you have a third option! Adoption acknowledges that now is not your time to welcome someone new into your family. However, it also acknowledges that maybe it is that perfect time for another family out there. The joy and love that can be shared in the adoption experience is precious and unique. As the birth parent, you have the right to choose your child’s adoptive family before they are even born. You also have the right to choose an adoption plan that offers your desired level of connection to the child. So, if neither abortion nor parenting feels right for you, consider the following information on adoption.
How Would an Adoption Work?
There are 3 types of adoption options available to you in the United States. We will explore each one, but before that, we want to tell you that we are proud of you! Considering adoption takes maturity and strength, and we are proud of you for even thinking about it! It can be hard to consider that adoption might be the best option for your unplanned pregnancy. The adoption process takes some effort and it’s not easy to choose a family for your child. It takes wisdom to consider your circumstances alongside the facts of adoption to see if it’s right for you. But like Christopher Robin told Winnie the Pooh, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” We believe in you. So let’s get into it!
In a partially open adoption, you get to choose the type of family your child will grow up in. An agency or a lawyer can show you photos of your child or provide information regarding how your child is doing. Since this adoption is only partially open, you usually won’t know your child’s full name or where they live. Basically, you get to stay updated on their life, but it has to be from a distance. This is a great option if you want some general awareness about your child’s future, but you don’t feel comfortable or able to be too connected to their world.
Closed adoptions are entirely confidential. This means once you give your child up to the agency, you no longer receive any information about them. The agency chooses their family; you’ll have no contact or knowledge of their identity. Only necessary information (like family medical history) will be shared with the new family. If you want to maintain full privacy in an adoption situation, a closed adoption is the way to ensure that is the case.
Open adoptions provide you the special opportunity to choose your child’s family and communicate with them directly about the child. You can make a plan with the family (before you even give birth!) about the frequency of phone calls, photos, letters, texts, and even visits between you. Open adoptions are great if you want to remain involved in your child’s life, but you just aren’t ready to be a full-time mom.
Many women choose abortion because they want their child to enter a situation where they will be loved, and they feel like they can’t offer that love to them. Adoption provides a way for your child to enter a home where they will be chosen, wanted, and loved. Better yet, with an open adoption, you often get to share in some of that love too! Adoption empowers women to carry their pregnancy, give their child to a secure and loving home, and continue on to pursue their own life goals. In some ways, it’s the best of both worlds! You get to continue pursuing your own dreams while watching the amazing future you gave to your child. Visit Brave Love to hear beautiful adoption stories from birth moms, adoptive parents, and adopted children.
If you are facing unplanned parenthood, at Clearway Clinic we offer free ultrasounds and up-to-date information on all your pregnancy decision options. Schedule an appointment today.
- See https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/factsheet/ma_18.pdf for more info.