Unexpected or unplanned pregnancy happens. If you find yourself in that situation, you have several options before you. All of them are as valid and morally upstanding as the others. Abortion is one option, and a common one at that. According to the CDC, in 2018 the abortion rate was 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years. At the same time, not all women feel that abortion is the best option for them. In that case, you may want to consider options other than abortion.
There are many alternatives to abortion that will give you the support you deserve. Every case will be different, and you must decide what your best option is. Let’s explore five alternative options to abortion.
1. Get Meaningful Support
You may feel isolated and unable to care for a baby. Rather than close yourself off even more, you can gather support instead. A trusted friend or family member is always a great place to turn to. You can also reach out to the baby’s father if he is still in your life.
It’s no surprise that when a woman feels like they have a meaningful support system, they are better equipped to raise a baby.
2. Let a Family Member Raise the Child
If you have a family member willing to take care of the child, even on a temporary basis, this is an option that may work for you.
You can either have your family member adopt the baby or grant temporary guardianship. If you opt for the latter, you can take on parenting when you are in a place where you can give your child the care it needs. This is an ideal situation for those women who want to be mothers but aren’t currently able to be.
Having a family member raise the child gives the birth mother the ability to keep in close contact with the child as it grows, without using the foster care system.
There are many legal and emotional factors involved with adoption.
Many women fear that an adoptive family will not provide the proper care for their child. This worry understandably results in hesitancy when considering adoption. Also, the thought of “putting up your child for adoption” sounds harsh, as if you don’t care for the baby. Usually, neither of these things is true.
You can also choose to go through the adoption process with an adoption agency or an attorney. Keep in mind that as you go through the process, you can always opt to have contact with the family before you give birth and after. Or, you can decide to completely sever contact with the family and the baby after you give birth.
Considering adoption as an alternative to abortion may be emotionally difficult, but if you want to give the fetus a life, it is worth considering.
Interested in learning more about the adoption system? Read Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency: A Comprehensive Guide to Promoting Understanding and Healing in Adoption, Foster Care, Kinship Families and Third Party Reproduction.
4. Temporary Foster Care
If you want to raise your child but don’t think you can support him or her at the present moment, temporary foster care could be a good option. This is especially the case if you don’t have a family member who can raise the baby for now.
One thing to keep in mind is that the foster care system has many inconsistencies. Make sure you do your research before placing your child in the system.
Considering foster care for your unborn child? Read The Story Of Foster Care.
5. Raise the Baby Yourself
You might decide you want to keep the child. Before you put anything in ink, sit down and decide if you want to be a parent and if this is a path you want to take. Having a baby, especially an unexpected one, is terrifying, but motherhood can be a rewarding experience.
If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant but aren’t sure abortion is the right choice for you, consider these five options other than abortion. Whatever you choose will be the best for you at this moment, and you should not feel any shame or regret. Best of luck!