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Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, many women say they are considering two options: parenting or abortion. Both of these options have their own set of challenges, so what happens if you are completely overwhelmed by the thought of parenting, but at the same time you know abortion is not for you? Is there really a third choice that could work?
Adoption is an option that thousands of expectant parents in the United States choose per year. It can be a tough option to think through and consider because of preexisting ideas of what adoption is and how it works. What comes to mind when we think of adoption may be the experience of a family member or friend, or something we’ve seen in a movie. Is their story aligned with the truth of what really happens during an adoption in today’s world? If you’ve found yourself considering even the small possibility of adoption as an option for your pregnancy, we encourage you to think through the facts surrounding this choice, and give yourself time to weigh the potential positive aspects as well as the challenging parts of choosing adoption.
What adoption looks like now is much different than adoption 20 or 30 years ago. You, as the birthparent, are in control of the entire process, from determining how much you’d like to be involved in the child’s life, to choosing an adoptive family for your baby. Throughout your pregnancy, you will meet with someone called a birth mother advocate, or adoption counselor, whose entire job is to ensure that you are supported all the way through the adoption process and afterward. This person will ensure that you feel comfortable with each aspect of your adoption plan.
Ideally, you and the father of the baby would both be on the same page about the decisions regarding your pregnancy. However, life does not always happen this way. There are certain circumstances in which a judge may determine that you do not have to name the father of the baby in order to make an adoption plan. Additionally, you are still able to make an adoption plan if you are unsure of who the father is. The birth mother advocate at the agency you choose to work with will be able to answer your questions regarding the father of the baby and your specific situation.
One of the advantages of looking at adoption as an option is that you have your entire pregnancy to make your decision. You are able to meet with the agency as many times as you would like, and you are not committed to the adoption until you sign the paperwork after delivery (and even then, you have a few days to revoke your decision). Occasionally, a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy may decide at first to parent her baby, but realize over time that she is not ready for this commitment at her stage in life. Adoption is an option she may choose to consider, even in the last days of pregnancy.
Choosing adoption is not easy; in fact there is no easy option when considering an unplanned pregnancy. However, there are positive aspects to adoption that you may not have considered.
You get to give the biggest gift to your child by allowing them to experience life.
You’ll be able to choose an adoptive family that has been thoroughly vetted by the agency you are working with. By doing this, you get to determine the kind of life that your child has. You’ll know everything from the beliefs and values of the family, to whether or not your baby will have siblings, and even the pets that the family has.
If you choose an open adoption, you will be able to see your child grow and learn. You’ll receive photos, letters, and be able to visit your child. Your child will know who you are and that you love him or her.
You will have a second chance to continue pursuing your goals and dreams for your life, like your education, career, and relationships, without having to manage the responsibilities that come with parenthood.
If you’d like to discuss your pregnancy choices, The HOPE Center is the best first step. We will confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test and ultrasound, and help you to decide which option is the best one for you and your specific circumstances. We work with several wonderful and caring advocates from adoption agencies in our area, and can connect you if you’d like to learn more. Call us at 770.924.0864 to schedule your free and confidential appointment.