The day I found out I was pregnant was probably the scariest day of my life. Those two pink lines put me in a state of panic! I had no idea what to do. But I couldn’t just stand there like a deer in headlights. All of a sudden, I had to make a ton of life-altering decisions that would affect me and a child! Just like you, I didn’t know where to start. So let’s start from the beginning when facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Step 1

Go to your medical provider or other agency where they can do a more accurate pregnancy test. I took three from the 99¢ Only Store, and they all turned up with two, bright pink bars, but I still went to my doctor’s office to have one done. No need to cause alarm if it’s just a fluke.

Step 2

Decide how and when to tell important people in your life (such as the father, your parents, etc.), then get it over with. It’s not always going to lead to yelling and high emotions, but if you think anyone will react that way, plan accordingly, and then get it over with so you can move on. Please don’t try to do this on your own and keep it a secret. Having a support system is key when having a child under any circumstances, and you will not need the extra backlash of them finding out later.

Step 3

Consider your all your options. Yes, all of them. As much as I’d love to say adoption is always the perfect answer, it’s not. So think about the pros and cons about parents, placing, etc. Do any necessary research to make an informed decision.

Step 4

Put your decision into motion. If you choose to parent, make sure you’re financially ready for the responsibility, and you can pretty much stop here. If you have decided to place your child, don’t make things overly complicated; contact an adoption professional, like this one, to get started on a plan.

Step 5

Make lists of things you want and don’t want for your child. This will help you to narrow down your options when looking for a family for your child. Chances are, if you have too many demands, you won’t have many options. So do your best to prioritize what qualities are truly important; be realistic and open minded to those things less important to you.

Step 6

After you have a plan and you’ve chosen a family, get to know your child’s parents (and siblings, if there are any). Especially if you’re hoping for an open adoption, it’ll be to everyone’s benefit to be comfortable with one another and to have that reassurance that they are right for your child.

Needless to say, this is a very rough step by step set of instructions, but it should get you going in the right direction. Specifically, for those considering adoption, keep in mind that everyone’s circumstances are different and all placements are different. If you find the right adoption advocate, everything should be tailored to you and your needs. Exhaust every credible resource you can and utilize your support system to its fullest. Facing an unplanned pregnancy is a tough road to travel, but you can do it. Just try to always keep your child’s best interest in mind.

Considering adoption? Choose a family to adopt your child. Visit Parent Profiles on or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. 

Lindsey Olsen is a birth mother who placed her son in 2012. She is also a parent to a beautiful little girl, and wife to (who she thinks is) the most amazing man in the world. Her favorite things are her faith, her family, and her country.