Since there is no magical door that allows you to step back in time, you may be looking for options when it comes to your unexpected pregnancy. If you are pregnant and abortion is not for you, what are some abortion alternatives? Little can be done about the pregnancy, but you can move forward in a few directions to set you on a positive path. Whether you chose to parent or place the baby for adoption, you have choices, and they are yours to make!

Step 1: Confirm your pregnancy. Take a pregnancy test and have it confirmed by a medical professional.

Step 2: Contact a crisis pregnancy center. A crisis pregnancy center will be able to provide you with unbiased counseling on your options and assist you with immediate and future needs. If your concern is housing, food, clothing, employment, or other needs, they often have resources or contact information to help you get the ball rolling. If you have decided you cannot parent your child, they often can point you in the direction of ethical adoption agencies.

Step 3: Begin medical care. Even if you are a minor or don’t have health insurance, you can seek medical treatment for you and your unborn child (state laws vary on minors). If you don’t already have an OB-GYN, the crisis pregnancy center should be able to assist you in finding a doctor in your area that accepts your insurance or has low-cost or free medical services for pregnant women.

Step 4: Seek help for any unresolved issues. There are many reasons a woman can face an unexpected pregnancy: failure of birth control, rape, timing, et cetera. If you find yourself in extreme poverty, an abusive relationship, addiction, or other circumstances that prevent you from having a healthy pregnancy or parenting in the future, help is out there for you—whether it is financial aid, housing assistance, women’s shelters, addiction recovery services, or a number of other things.

Step 5: Follow through. Continue working on your plan, and seek the assistance you need to be successful. Whether you have decided to parent the baby, get temporary assistance from family, or place the baby for adoption, you will have ongoing needs even after the child is born. Crisis centers, doctors, therapists, and agencies will know that the crisis doesn’t stop at birth.

Childbirth is truly the only alternative to abortion. Continuing your pregnancy can end in several ways. Whether you decide to parent, have temporary guardianship given to a friend or family member, or decide to place your child in an adoptive home, you do have choices. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people to help you through this life change, and you will be able to conquer the unplanned pregnancy with grace. Remember, the decision is yours. No one in your life should force you into parenting or adoption placement. Look at the big picture: Are your circumstances temporary or long-term? Will you be able to adequately provide for yourself and the child in a safe environment, and what steps can you take to ensure proper care? What resources are available to you? You do not have to allow your partner, parents, friends, or society to dictate the outcome of your pregnancy. Abortion alternatives are not a one-size-fits-all.

Read why a real birth mother chose adoption over abortion here.