If you’ve found yourself unexpectedly pregnant and you’re not prepared to parent a baby, you may be wondering whether you should choose abortion, parenting, or adoption. You’re not alone. Many women who have been in your situation have felt the same feelings you’re having right now. They’ve felt the pressure of having to make a life-changing decision. No matter what you choose, things will never go back to exactly how they were, but you do have the power to make the best of an undesirable situation. Only you can choose what’s right for you, but there are some pros and cons you may want to consider as you try to choose what path you want to take.
In a parallel world, maybe you consider your options and decide adoption is the best of all the options. Maybe you’ve met with a counselor and talked about the possibilities. You’ve found a family independently or worked with an adoption agency, and you’ve found your child’s future parents. You’ve spent time getting to know them, have grown close, and have decided together how much contact you’d like your child to have with you as he or she grows. You’re able to envision what your child’s life will be like. After his or her birth, you sign away your parental rights, and you make two people, who may not have ever been able to become parents without you, a mom and a dad. Of course there are pros and cons to this decision, but let’s do the cons first because adoption isn’t all positive.
- There may be days when you regret your decision or grieve the loss of parenting your child and having him or her near you every day.
- People will know you got pregnant.
- You will have to experience an entire pregnancy and all the pain and changes that come along with it, without the end result of parenting your child.
- You may have some ongoing connection to the birth father if he also chooses to stay in your child’s life, but you may have none at all; it all depends on your situation.
- There will be an actual child whom you will watch grow up, and someday (depending on how open your relationship is) you will probably field questions from that child about why you made your decision. There is no way of knowing, in the end, whether your child will be angry or grateful.
- You have created a life, and you’ve given that life a shot at experiencing life.
- You are putting a child’s needs above your own.
- You may grieve your loss, but you won’t be grieving death or the decision to end a life.
- You have time to choose what’s best for you and your child.
- You get to create or add to a family for people who may not have otherwise been able to become parents.
- There will be an actual child whom you will watch grow up, and someday (depending on how open your relationship is), you will probably field questions from that child about why you made your decision. You’ll get to explain how hard it was, how much you love him or her, what that level of sacrifice felt like, and how glad you are that you gave him or her a chance at living a full life.
There is no judgment here on what you will decide. Only you know what is best for you and your baby. What I do know is that even if it seems like a curse right now, getting pregnant is a privilege. I should know; I was never able to get pregnant or carry a child. I became a mom through adoption because two women weighed their options, just like you’re doing right now, and decided they could make all the sacrifices in the world to give their children the same chance they got—to learn, to grow, to make mistakes, to experience heartache, to learn what unconditional love is…to live. So, yes, I’m biased. I can’t lie and say I’m not. No matter what you choose—parenting, abortion, or adoption—hardships and victories come along with it. Your life will carry on no matter what you choose, and only you are capable of knowing what sacrifices you’re willing to make. Weigh your options, make a pros-and-cons list of your own, and have faith in yourself. You are so much stronger than you think you are.
Written by Melissa Giarrosso