You and I know that an unplanned, unexpected, and/or unwanted pregnancy can happen. In fact, about half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned and/or unwanted. I know that figure may sound high, but it is indeed true for about 50% of all women in the U.S. who experience pregnancy. The pregnancy may be due to bad timing, ineffective or not used birth control, rape, or a variety of other reasons.
(If you want some quick help, and want to find out more about the help we provide, click on the link “Ways We Can Help You” or “Adoption Information and Help for Birth Mothers and Pregnant Women” and/or and the link “Adoption Help”.)
Either way, a woman, maybe YOU, faced with an unplanned pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy is faced with making one of the critical decisions in your life and the life of the child you are carrying. The choice of an abortion or choosing an alternative to abortion is a decision filled with love, commitment, responsibility and maybe doubt, fear, guilt and a whole range of other emotions.
As a Ph.D. Psychologist working with literally thousands of birth mothers over the past 40+ years, the great majority say that they would carry the baby to term and raise the child under different circumstances and/or with the support of loved ones. Most say their pregnancy is an unplanned pregnancy and/or an unwanted pregnancy and they wish they were not pregnant at this time in their life. (This is such a common thing that I have created a special page just for those who search for unplanned pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy.) And for those that were considering abortion, most felt that, given the circumstances they were in, they did not know of abortion alternatives, but hoped that I could help them find an alternative to abortion so an abortion would not be needed.
The initial thoughts of what to do with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy are yours. You and I both know that the way your parents raised you, your life experiences, belief system, loved one, friends and family, and the laws of the state you live in, will all have an impact on you; however, the initial decision and final decision regarding abortion choices or an alternative to abortion will be your responsibility.
Recognize that there is no one choice for an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy that is right or wrong for everyone.
I am not trying to sway you toward one abortion option or one particular alternative to abortion. While abortion, rather than an abortion alternative, is often the option most talked about, the fact that you are on this page suggests that you are looking into an alternative to abortion. Accordingly, I hope that understanding more about the pros and cons of abortion and an alternative to abortion discussed below will help you in deciding what to do.
While abortion is often seen as the “quick fix” it comes with its own set of issues and problems. An abortion can, and typically does, affect each woman differently…but it does affect every woman, both physically and emotionally, who proceeds and has an abortion.
It can cost a lot of money, and even if it does not, there is the issue of finding the place and person to perform the abortion and the “time factor” of how far along the pregnancy has progressed. Then there are concerns about the possibility of a variety of medical complications and post-abortion emotional and psychological side effects following an abortion. Typically these emotional and psychological side effects are more common than the physical side effects. As a doctor of Psychology I know that the most common emotional side effects include both short term and long term anger, guilt anxiety, shame, a sense of loneliness, a feeling of isolation, insomnia or nightmares and depression. While these are the most common emotional side effects, you may or may not experience any or all of these.
While I have helped women who ultimately decided to proceed with an abortion, the fact that you are on this page suggests you are more interested in abortion alternatives than abortion itself. So…keep reading.
First things first as you consider abortion choices and abortion alternatives
First, if you have not already done so, confirm your pregnancy. Take a home pregnancy test and have it confirmed by a health care professional or contact a crisis pregnancy center. Also visit the website PregnancyandChildren.com for help with this.
If you are indeed pregnant, continue to take the best possible care of yourself and your baby. If possible, begin and maintain prenatal care with a health care provider. As much as possible, eat healthy food, drink lots of water, get regular exercise, and stay away from things like alcohol, drugs and smoking. Visiting the website PregnancyandChildren.com can provide you with a lot of information and resources on how to care for yourself and your baby.
Now, as to Alternatives to Abortion
To oversimplify, the only real alternative to abortion is either parenting or adoption. While both of these are an abortion alternative, both obviously require giving birth to the baby.
Each abortion alternative, parenting or adoption, in turn has several options. These abortion options are discussed below:
- Raising your baby as a single parent or letting the birth father raise the child as a single parent.
- Raising the child along with the birth father and/or your family
- Placing with a family member or friend
- Placing the baby in the state foster care system
- Placing the child for adoption with just the right adopting family
Each of the above are discussed below:
1) Raising your baby as a single parent---Single parenting has become so common an alternative to abortion that hardly anyone raises an eyebrow about it. There are many resources to help a single parent and you can find many of those on this website or the website PregnancyandChildren.com. However, raising a child even with a strong support system and with a partner is a challenge and you need to be prepared financially, physically, and emotionally.
2) Co-parenting with the baby’s biological father---If you are in a committed relationship with the baby’s father or at least in a positive relationship with him, sharing parenting can be a workable and positive alternative to abortion. However, remember that co-parenting with the father means that you will be connected with the biological father for as long as you and the child are alive.
3) Placing with a family member or friend---this can be a temporary or permanent choice. In order for this to happen, for the protection of you and your baby, it may be necessary to get the advice and help from an attorney. At first glance, this may appear to be a good abortion alternative. However, you need to make sure the person(s) raising your child has the same beliefs and outlooks as you, otherwise it is very common for conflicts to arise later and this can hurt you, the child and the friend or family member.
4) Placing the baby in the state foster care system---While this is an option that is open to you, most birth parents have strong negative feelings about the foster care system. The foster care system in every state tries hard to take care of children in its custody, but all too often the foster care system is overloaded and underfunded. However, while the system and staff can be overloaded, there are foster/adoptive families who are approved and able to care for your child. If you place your child in the state foster care system, this placement is not necessarily permanent. You should contact your state foster care system directly for additional information.
5) Placing the child for adoption with just the right adopting family---In the first paragraph of this page I stated that approximately 50% of all pregnancies are an unplanned pregnancy and/or unwanted pregnancy. While the majority of this 50% decide to parent themselves or with the father or their family, an ever increasing number decide to develop an adoption plan as the alternative to abortion. This is typically done through a licensed adoption agency that is able to place the child with a loving family who is able to provide all that the birth mother wants for her child.
More about ADOPTION
The process of adoption is where you develop an adoption plan and permanently choose someone else to raise and parent your child. While you can choose, or help choose, the adopting family, you cannot proceed with an adoption without working with an adoption agency or a private attorney. I am biased and believe the safest way for you to go is to work with a fully licensed and not-for-profit agency like our (AdoptionServices.org) or some other not-for-profit adoption agency.
Personally, my “calling in life”, and my heart and energy, have focused on helping birth mothers and their born or unborn children through the alternative to abortion of adoption. It is why I started my unique non-profit fully licensed adoption agency (AdoptionServices.org) over 40 years ago and why I plan never to retire but to keep helping those in need of my help.
My staff and I will carefully listen to you and understand your situation, needs, and desires. We can help explain the process to you, help you work through the problems and through your emotions both before, during and after the adoption. We will treat you with the dignity and respect you want and deserve. We will never judge you or your situation and will answer all of your questions and give you support no matter what you choose to do and whether or not you choose to work with us.
I have been able to help birth mothers, birth fathers, and adopting families for over 40 years.
All of our adopting families are very, very carefully screened and evaluated. Then, depending on the agency you work with, you should have a choice of an open adoption or a closed adoption, or anything in-between. And you should have the choice of being as active as you want in selecting the family, in determining what kind of relationship you want with the child and the adopting family and in controlling many of the details affecting your child’s future.
I am proud to say that in the approximately 900 adoptions we have completed over the years, we have never had a child abused, abandoned or neglected. And our satisfaction rating by birth parents and adopting families is excellent (see our Testimonial page.).
To find out more about the help we provide, click on the link “Adoption Information and Help for Birth Mothers and Pregnant Women” and/or “Ways We Can Help You” and the link “Adoption Help”.
I hope this page and the information above has been helpful to you.
If you decide to let us help you with an adoption plan, you will always receive the highest level of caring, personal and professional attention and there is never any charge to you at any time for our help. We can help you no matter where you live and whether you are pregnant or have already delivered your baby.
We are available 7-days a week and there is never any obligation on your part whether you are pregnant and considering placing a child for adoption or are looking for information to help you raise your child.
You will be able to choose an open or closed adoption, can help choose/approve the adopting family, meet the family or not, make sure that foster care is not involved, choose whether or not to receive pictures and updates and be assured that all of your legally allowable medical and other adoption related expenses are covered. Most importantly, you will know that your child will be placed in the perfect, safe and loving home where he or she will get all the love and attention they need and deserve. We will help you from beginning to end and be available to you for as long as it takes.