What are my options if I have an unplanned pregnancy?
If you are pregnant you have 3 options:
- Continue with the pregnancy and become a parent
- Continue with the pregnancy and arrange a plan for adoption
- Terminate (end) the pregnancy (abortion)
All of these options have pros and cons, and there is no “right" or "wrong" answer. You’ll need to think about a lot of things before you decide what option is best for you.
It might be helpful to begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- Are you ready to become a parent? Do you think that you are emotionally ready? Are you in good health?
- How will becoming a parent affect your ability to finish highschool or college?
- Can you reach your school and career goals while raising a child?
- Can you support a child? Do you have a job, health benefits, and a stable place to live?
- What are your beliefs (and your family’s beliefs) about having a child?
- What are your (and your family’s) beliefs about having an abortion?
- Will you have the help and support of your parent(s) or guardian(s), siblings, and friends?
- Do you have housing? Can you live at home, or do you need shelter?
- Will your partner be involved? How much? Will he be able to help support you and your baby?
- Would you be able to handle all the responsibilities as a single parent?
How do I make a decision that I can live with?
It's important to talk with a trusted adult and make a decision as early as possible. You may know right away what you want to do, or you may need time to figure it out. Often the decision comes from within. Although difficult, and often stressful, the final decision is up to you.
Deciding whether to continue the pregnancy, choose adoption, or have an abortion can be a life changing choice that comes with all sorts of feelings. Most girls find that talking to a counselor helps to accept their decision and cope with their feelings. The earlier you get help, the easier it will be for you to deal with your emotions. You should understand ALL of your options and know the risks and benefits involved before making a decision.
Surround yourself with people who love and care about you, and try to limit your stress. It probably feels overwhelming right now, but with time, you'll feel comfortable with your decision and be able to move forward and plan for your future.
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