When moving forward after an unplanned pregnancy, a woman in your position has three options: placing the baby for adoption, terminating the pregnancy, or parenting the child. You may have decided that abortion is not the right option for you, but you still have a big decision to make. When it comes to parenting vs. adoption, how do you know what’s best for you and your baby?
The best thing you can do as you weigh your options is ask questions. Below you can find the answers to some of the questions you may have about adoption and parenting, along with the questions you need to ask yourself before you make a decision about your pregnancy.
What to Ask about Adoption and Parenting
When you are weighing the options of adoption vs. keeping the baby, the first thing you should do is sort through the facts. Read on to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about parenting and adoption.
Whether your pregnancy is planned or unplanned, parenting a child is always a huge commitment. If you are considering this option, you want to know as much as you can so you are prepared for the experience ahead of you. Here are just a few of the questions you may have about parenting:
How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Child?
Raising a child from birth to age 18 will cost, on average, over $245,000.
Will I Be Able to Return to Work or School?
As a parent, the course of your education or career path may not be the same as before you were pregnant. If you plan to continue working or going to school as a parent, there may be options available to help you in your community.
What Will I Need to Do to Get Ready For Parenthood?
When you are going to be raising a baby, it is important that your home is safe and supplied with all of the material items your baby will need. Consult this list to find the things you will need to care for a newborn.
How do Children Grow Up in Single Parent Households?
If the child’s father is uninvolved, a woman may be apprehensive about the idea of parenting on her own. While families with single mothers have historically struggled, the stigma surrounding single parents is disappearing more each year, allowing more opportunities for the women and children in these families. Moreover, every family is unique, and only you can know if you can provide the right home environment for a child.
What Resources are Available to Me as a Parent?
Visit the Single Parent Advocate if you are parenting on your own, and review Medicaid to determine what kind of coverage you may be able to receive.
If you are unsure of whether or not you are in a position to parent, you may be thinking about adoption – but you may not know a lot about it. These questions and their answers will help you to understand adoption and dispel some common misconceptions:
Will my Baby Go Into Foster Care?
In the past, babies who were placed for adoption spent a brief time in the foster care system, but this is not the case now. If you choose adoption, your baby will immediately go home with the adoptive parents.
Who is Going to Raise My Baby?
The answer to that is entirely up to you, as you get to choose the adoptive parents for your baby. You can begin browsing adoptive family profiles at any time to search for the perfect adoptive parents for your child.
Will I See My Baby if I Choose Adoption?
If you want to see and have a relationship with your baby after the adoption, then you can absolutely arrange for that. When a birth mother has ongoing contact with her baby and the adoptive family, this is known as an open adoption. These types of adoption relationships are becoming increasingly common.
Does Adoption Cost Money?
Often, women in an unplanned pregnancy may be considering other options for financial reasons. It’s natural to wonder which is more expensive: adoption or pregnancy. You may be surprised to learn that adoption is actually completely free for you. In fact, in some cases, you may be eligible to receive help with pregnancy and living expenses.
Who Will Help Me if I Choose Adoption?
If you decide on adoption for your baby, you can reach out to an adoption agency and receive the help of a specialist.
If I Choose Adoption, Will I Regret it Later?
Many women wonder if adoption comes with feelings of regret. While birth mothers may experience grief and loss, they are usually reassured by the knowledge that their child is growing up with a loving family that they chose.
What to Ask Yourself
As you learn more about adoption and parenting, it may become easier for you to know which option is right for you. If you are still unsure, then there is one important question you need to ask yourself: Am I ready to be a parent?
This is a multi-faceted question, and you must consider factors such as your financial situation, the ideal upbringing you want for your baby, and your own emotional readiness to be a parent.
Am I in a Position to Raise a Child?
You may be in a position where parenting is simply not a viable option for you. The reasons a woman might be unable to parent are varied, but some of the factors you might be taking into consideration include:
- Financial stability
- Lack of support
- Health issues for you or the child
Without some of these things, it may simply be impossible for you to parent your child.
Can I Provide the Life I Want for My Child?
There is no question that you love your baby, and you want to make sure that he or she has the best possible upbringing. You may be able to parent your child, but you might be concerned that he or she won’t grow up with the kind of life you would want for some of these reasons:
- Home environment
- Two-parent household
- Time to devote to your child
Do I Want to Be a Parent?
Sometimes, women facing an unplanned pregnancy simply know that it is not the right time for them to be a parent – in fact, they may never see themselves as being parents. But if you feel this way, you may be wondering: is this enough of a reason to choose adoption?
If you do not see yourself as a parent, then that is more than enough reason to explore your other options. Whatever your reasons are and whatever stage of life you are in, you do not have to parent before you are ready, and you always have other options.
If you are still unsure about which option is best for you and your child, do not hesitate to reach out to an adoption specialist. When you contact an adoption agency, you are not obligated to pursue adoption in any way, and a specialist will talk you through all of your options free of charge. For more information, call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete this form to request free information online. If you are ready, you can also begin browsing waiting adoptive families here.