An unplanned pregnancy can be terrifying. It can make everything else in your life seem to stop. You’re probably panicking about what to do next.

Remember: You are not alone, and you always have unplanned pregnancy options in Wisconsin — parenting, abortion and adoption.

Deciding between your options for unplanned pregnancy is always a highly personal choice. You should never feel pressured into one path or another by anyone in your life. This is a decision that only you can make. After all, you are the only one who knows what is best for you and the future of your pregnancy.

We’re not here to tell you which unplanned pregnancy options in Wisconsin you should choose. Instead, we’re here to give you the resources and information you need to make an informed decision. This will be a life-changing choice, and you need to be fully educated about all of your unwanted pregnancy options before moving forward.

The information below will help you start your research on your pregnancy options in Wisconsin. If you want to speak to an objective, knowledgeable professional, you can always contact an unplanned pregnancy counselor here.

We know this is an impossible situation to be in — but we believe in you and your judgement to do what is right for you.

What Are My Options if I’m Pregnant in Wisconsin?

Every woman’s situation is different. You may have discovered your pregnancy early on, or you may be months into the journey without even realizing it. The time at which you learn you are pregnant will play a huge role in which options for unplanned pregnancy in Wisconsin are right for you.

Generally speaking, a woman who learns she is pregnant has three options. We’ve described them in more detail below.

Option 1: Parenting

When a woman becomes pregnant, her first thought is often of her first unplanned pregnancy option: to raise her unborn child and become a parent for the rest of her life.

Parenting can be exciting. It’s an opportunity to raise a confident, caring, and generous child who may make a difference on the world. Along the way, you’ll develop lifelong skills of patience, time-management and more. And, of course, most parents feel a sense of unconditional love they’ve never felt before.

But, like every unplanned pregnancy option, parenting comes with its challenges:

  • Financial: Raising a child to age 18 costs an average of $233,610, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This not only includes basics like food, clothing, and housing but also important expenses like childcare, extracurricular activities and education. When asking, “Am I ready to be a parent?” ask yourself more specifically: “Can I afford to raise a child on my income right now?”
  • Mental: When you become a parent, you need to be a role model in your child’s life. While this is easy for most parents, some people simply aren’t mentally mature enough to be the disciplinarian their child needs. You must also be prepared to cope with the stressors of parenting, working (if applicable) and maintaining your everyday routine (with certain adjustments). Are you ready to take on those responsibilities?
  • Emotional: Finally, if you’re asking yourself, “Should I keep my baby?” ask yourself this question: “Do I really want to be a parent?” Not everyone does. If the idea of raising a child makes your skin crawl, there’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t want to be a parent at this point in your life, and maybe you don’t ever want to be. Parenting is a lifelong commitment, so you need to be confident that this is the path you want.

Option 2: Abortion

If you are facing an unwanted pregnancy, you’re probably unprepared for the challenges of the next nine months. If you’ve discovered your pregnancy early on, you can choose to terminate it with an abortion procedure.

Abortion is one of your early pregnancy options. In Wisconsin, an abortion must be performed within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are additional state laws that make this procedure difficult to obtain.

First, you must receive state-directed counseling, including information designed to discourage you from moving forward. During this counseling session, a physician will complete an ultrasound, during which they will show and describe the accompanying image to you. You must then wait 24 hours before the abortion is provided. This means you will have to make two trips to the healthcare facility.

However, don’t let these laws fool you. Abortion is legal in Wisconsin. If you’re not ready for a baby but pregnant in Wisconsin, you can choose abortion to avoid the emotional and physical challenges of pregnancy. Abortion can be emotionally difficult, but rest assured that 95 percent of women who have had an abortion do not regret their decision.

Before choosing this unplanned pregnancy option, make sure to fully research the costs and physical experiences of an abortion procedure.

Option 3: Adoption

Maybe you’re uncomfortable with the idea of an abortion, or you’re too far along in your pregnancy for that path to be an option. You may be considering choosing adoption vs. keeping the baby.

We know adoption can be scary. But, when you learn more about this option, you may find it’s the perfect choice for you.

Adoption allows a pregnant woman (like yourself) to choose different parents for her child. She can get to know that family during her pregnancy and before placement, and she can develop a relationship that will last throughout her child’s life. When pursuing adoption, you always have the right to change your mind — and you will never be pressured to make this decision.

So, how do you know if adoption in Wisconsin is right for you?

  • You want your child to have a life of opportunities. You may not be ready to be a parent yet, but you may still want your child to have the chance at life. With adoption, you can choose exactly what kind of life he or she will have: what kind of parents will raise him or her, what kind of lifestyle he or she will have and more. Adoption is not “giving up” or “giving away” your child; it’s making the brave decision to give them the best opportunities possible.
  • You are worried about the costs of pregnancy. When you pursue adoption, you will receive financial assistance to cover the costs of pregnancy and childbirth. You may also be eligible for additional assistance for maternity clothes, rent, transportation and other living expenses. None of these payments obligate you to choose adoption; they just allow you to pursue adoption without feeling pressured by financial concerns.
  • You want to remain in your child’s life. Today, most adoptions are “open.” As a birth mother, you would be able to have contact with your child and their adoptive parents in the years to come. That can be to whatever degree you want — phone calls and emails, letters and pictures, and even in-person visits for birthday parties and vacations! Adoption is not “goodbye” but simply a process that lets you move forward with your life seeing your child grow up happy and healthy.

Think adoption may be the unwanted pregnancy option that’s right for you? You can talk to an adoption counselor at any time to learn more and start the process whenever you’re ready.

If you’re torn between adoption, abortion or keeping your baby in Wisconsin, we encourage you to contact an unplanned pregnancy counselor right away. They can talk you through your options and provide information to help you make a decision. Remember: You are the only one who can make this choice. Having accurate information about your unplanned pregnancy options in Wisconsin will make all the difference.