Finding out you are unexpectantly pregnant can cause a flood of emotions. Some women are scared or anxious, while others are excited and nervous. Whatever your feelings, they are perfectly OK. That includes being confused about the best way to handle a pregnancy. For women who are not yet ready for the lifelong commitment of child-rearing, abortion is a pregnancy option they may consider. There are alternatives to abortion if you find yourself pregnant and unable to raise a child. Choosing adoption over abortion is another possibility.
What are the benefits of adoption?
Only you can decide which pregnancy option is right for you. There are benefits to adoption that are not possible with the abortion alternative. Some adoptions are “open,” which means you can be a part of your child’s life after birth. This is one of the biggest benefits of choosing adoption for your unexpected pregnancy. You can watch your child grow while forming a relationship with the adoptive family. It allows you a window into your child’s life while relying on others who are committed to raising him or her.
There also are several benefits to your child, including:
- Financial stability. Adoption in the United States is not cheap. Families who commit to the process are financially stable, which means your child will have greater opportunities in life.
- Increased opportunity. Most adoptive parents are college-educated, which means they support advanced learning opportunities for their children.
When to consider adoption over abortion
How do you know when to choose adoption over abortion? There are many reasons why women and their partners opt for adoption. One of the biggest contributing factors is the unpreparedness (or unwillingness) to become parents. Parenting is hard. Not everyone is suited to the task or feels ready to take on the responsibility. If this is how you feel, adoption is an alternative to parenthood.
Some women are lacking financial stability or the help of a committed partner. They know they cannot do it alone, and so they may consider adoption as a substitute to raising their baby alone.
Lacking a strong support system also can influence women toward adoption. This is especially true for women who do not have the help or cooperation of the baby’s father.
Sometimes women know they are unable to raise their child, but also know they are unwilling to have an abortion. For these women, adoption is ideal.
Types of adoption
If you are considering adoption, there are four different types of adoption plans. Birth mothers should make sure they fully understand how adoption works before agreeing to place their baby with an adoption agency. The staff at Care Net is trained to help you make sense of your choices and guide you to reputable adoption agencies should you choose this route for your pregnancy.
Here are the four types of adoption most agencies offer:
- Open adoptions, which we previously discussed, allow the adoptive family and birth mother to have an ongoing relationship. The extent and frequency of the relationship are determined by the adoptive family and agreed upon at the time adoption paperwork is signed by both parties. Open adoptions are the best option for the child and Care Net encourages you to consider this if it is an option with the adoption agency you choose.
- Semi-open adoptions are not available through every agency. When they are, they are an ideal way for the birth mother to meet the adoptive family and get to know them before the baby is born. With this option, ongoing contact with the adoptive family is not as common as it is with open adoptions.
- Semi-closed adoptions allow birth mothers to choose their baby’s adoptive parents. Adoption agencies provide the birth mother with profiles of prospective adoptive families and leave the final decision on whom to pick up to her. There is no contact between the birth mother and adoptive family.
- Closed adoptions provide confidentiality to birth mothers and adoptive families. In this scenario, adoption agencies serve as an intermediary between the two parties. The agency chooses the adoptive family based on its criteria. There is no contact between the birth mother and adoptive family.
Next steps in choosing adoption over abortion
If adoption is a pregnancy option you wish to consider, Care Net can help guide you through the process. We offer pre-adoption and post-adoption education services for birth mothers. Our supports are designed to help women:
- Navigate through the adoption process.
- Access a support advocate.
- Fully explore their thoughts and feelings about their pregnancy and pregnancy options.
Women who need ongoing support can find it with us. Contact us to learn more about adoption as a pregnancy option, or to receive assistance with the adoption process.