Unplanned pregnancies happen often, even when women are actively hoping to avoid getting pregnant. In this case, knowing the unplanned pregnancy options to decide how to proceed can be helpful toward making the decision that’s right for you.
On unplanned pregnancy
According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States were unintended. The decision about whether to continue or seek unplanned pregnancy options was affected by many factors:
- Access to medical care
- Financial stability
- Ability to care for another person
- The woman’s health
- Relationships with the father
- Religious beliefs
Of course, caring for a baby requires planning, commitment, and some education. When a woman isn’t sure she is ready to provide for a baby, she may consider aborting the pregnancy. However, there are some alternatives available.
Remember, pregnancy and the alternatives represent big changes in your life. For the best results and for your personal health and well-being, it’s a good idea to involve supportive friends and family members in this part of your life.
This statement doesn’t mean turning decisions over to them, but it does mean having trustworthy people to talk with about your decisions. Having a strong support system also means that you have loved ones who can be there for you through the upcoming months.
More unplanned pregnancy options: Adoption
This option is one of the most popular ones for women who don’t feel ready to become mothers. Women go through pregnancy and delivery and then place the baby in the care of another family. If you choose adoption, you can consider open and closed adoptions.
In an open adoption, you have contact with the child and the adoptive family. Communication may involve yearly photographs or regular visits.
If it’s the open type, then the amount of contact and communication is worked out before the adoption is complete. In a closed adoption, on the other hand, the adoptive family may not tell the child about the adoption or birth parents.
When placing the child with an adoptive family, you relinquish all your parental rights. If you aren’t prepared to do that, you may choose to establish a legal guardianship arrangement.
For example, some women choose to have their parents or a sibling raise the child. In these situations, the woman retains some of her parental rights (and may pay monthly child support payments), and the guardians provide the bulk of childcare. This option allows the woman to be a big part of the child’s life.
Unplanned pregnancy options: Father as single parent
If the father wants to raise the baby, you may share responsibilities or turn care over to the father altogether. In this situation, you should have a good relationship with the father.
Open conversations about what is expected from each party in the arrangement. It is possible that one of the parents in this arrangement will have a change of heart. Prevent future difficulties by laying out the arrangements in a legal written document.
You may decide to keep the baby, even if you weren’t planning to start a family yet. It is okay to reconsider your plans and make adjustments to your life.
Some women find that they become attached to the child as they feel tiny movements and experience pregnancy. If you decide you want to raise the baby, you’ll likely find that motherhood is both difficult and rewarding at the same time.
If you are pregnant and aren’t sure how you want to proceed, start by confirming the pregnancy. Next, contact a crisis pregnancy center with counseling and other resources.
Be sure to begin getting medical care. Even without health insurance, there are some options for you. Continue to reach out to available support services for counseling and other types of treatment too.
A few last words on unplanned pregnancy options
Remember that you are not alone.
Many women have experienced unplanned pregnancies and have successfully established new life plans. If you don’t want to consider abortion, read through these alternatives to abortion.
Reach out to your own supportive loved ones and give yourself room to make tough decisions. It’s okay to determine what is best for you, your unborn child, and for your future.