Are you facing an unexpected pregnancy? Not sure where to turn for help or what you should do now? I am here to help you answer your question of what to do with an unexpected pregnancy. I would like to assure you that you are not alone. Many women face unexpected pregnancies. As a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, you have three options. You can choose to terminate the pregnancy, place the child for adoption, or parent. Throughout this article, I am going to share with you the three options you have and things you need to know if you choose that route. 

What are my options?

Abortion: Is this the right decision for me and my baby?

You may be thinking to yourself, “I am not ready to parent this child.” Whether you are single, in a relationship, or married, parenting a child is not an easy task. If you have found yourself pregnant unexpectedly, you may not be prepared to parent (or parent more children if you are already parenting). One of theoptions that you can choose if you don’t know what to do with an unexpected pregnancy is to get an abortion. Before you choose to get an abortion, it is important that you ask yourself some important questions to determine if it is the right option for you. The questions you should ask yourself are: “Would I consider adoption?” “Do I have strong personal or religious beliefs about abortion?” or “Am I being pressured to have an abortion?” If you are able to answer yes, then abortion is probably not the best option for you. Why? Well, you should not get an abortion if you would consider adoption, you should not get an abortion if you have strong beliefs about it, and you should not get an abortion just because you are feeling pressured. You may also ask yourself, “Would having an abortion change my life in either a good way or a bad way?” and “What kind of support would I need if I decide to get an abortion?”  Whether choosing abortion, adoption, or to parent, you should make your decision carefully. These decisions are life-altering decisions and they take time. Take time to really think through your options. Make a list of pros and cons. Seek out a professional to help you with your decision. 

Adoption: Is this the best option?`

You may be unsure of what to do, but you know you have options. Maybe you thought about abortion and decided that was not the best option for you. You have chosen to give life to your baby, but you are not sure you are ready to parent a child. It may look like your only choice left is to place your baby for adoption, but is this really the best option for you? Consider asking yourself these questions: “Am I currently in a good financial, social, and emotional position to provide for my child’s needs?” and “Do I have a stable job?” If you can answer no to these questions, choosing to place your child for adoption is probably the best option for you and your baby especially if you are not ready to parent a child now and for the next 18 years. You may also ask yourself, “Where can my child go while I am working?” and “Am I planning to continue my education?”  Parenting a child full time is not an easy thing to do. It can be very hard and expensive for anyone. Placing your child for adoption may be the best decision for you to make regarding what to do with an unexpected pregnancy. By placing your child for adoption, you are giving them a chance to grow up in a healthy and happy home with parents who love and care for them. There are many hopeful adoptive parents who are financially, socially, and emotionally able to parent a child. The decision to place your child for adoption is not an easy one to make. If you are still unsure, seek out support from professionals who can walk you through the process and help you choose the best option for you and your child. 

Parenting: Am I ready to parent?

Perhaps you have considered abortion and adoption, but neither of those options seems to be right for you. Maybe you are also unsure you are ready to parent. When deciding whether to parent your child, take some time to think about and answer these questions: “Do I want to start a family now?”“Am I ready to be a full-time parent and take full responsibility for my child?” “Do I have a stable job and income?” “What kind of support do I have from friends and family?” “Can I raise my child in a happy, healthy, safe, and loving environment?” “Do I currently have someone to help me parent?” If you are able to answer yes to most of these questions, then you are probably ready to parent a child. Deciding to parent is a big decision that is very personal. Whether or not you decide to parent, it is best that you seek counsel from those around you and professionals to help you with the decision-making process. No matter what decision you make, you need the support of those around you. 

Do Your Research: Things You Should Know 

Are you trying to decide what to do with an unexpected pregnancy? You have three options to choose from: terminate the pregnancy, place your baby for adoption, or parent your child. Before you make your decision, you need to do your research. To decide what to do with an unexpected pregnancy, here are things you should know about abortion, adoption, and parenting. 


Types of Abortion 

Are you considering an abortion? You are probably curious about the different types of abortion availabl to you. There are two main types of abortion: medication abortion and in-clinic abortion. Medication abortion involves a pill that you take to end your pregnancy. The pill works to make your uterus expel the pregnancy tissue similar to an early miscarriage. With an in-clinic abortion, a doctor or nurse uses medical instruments to remove the fetus from the uterus. The in-clinic abortion is 99 percent effective while the medication abortion works between 87 to 98 percent of the time depending on how many weeks you are. The in-clinic procedure takes about 10 minutes and the medication abortion takes up to 24 hours as you have to take two pills. With both types, it is likely that you will have a follow-up visit or phone call. You will also have to visit the health center prior to the abortion. 


It is a misconception that abortions are cheap. In fact, they can be very expensive. Abortions are estimated to cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars. It is possible that your health insurance will not cover the cost of the abortion. The cost of the abortion depends on whether you choose to have an in-clinic abortion or take the pill. It also depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy. It can be more expensive the farther along you are. 


As with all things medical, there are risks to having an abortion. While abortion is considered a generally safe procedure, you may experience some side effects. Some general side effects include abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Serious complications can occur and occur in about one out of 100 early-term abortions and one out of 50 late-term abortions. Complications include heavy bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, damage to internal organs, and even death. While there are medical risks associated with abortion, there are also emotional and psychological impacts of abortion. Emotional and psychological impacts include eating disorders, guilt, relationship problems, depression, flashbacks of abortion, suicidal thoughts, sexual dysfunction, alcohol and drug abuse, and spiritual conflict. 



Types of Adoption 

Just like abortion, there are different types of adoption. The two main types of adoption are open adoption and closed adoption. As the birth mother, you have the option to choose which adoption plan you want for your baby based on whether you want to have contact with the child and adoptive family. If you wish to remain in contact with the child, you can choose to have an open adoption plan, but if you wish to keep your information private, then you will choose to have a closed adoption plan. Right now, you do not need to make this decision. This is a major decision for you that will take time to think about. Seek out counseling support for assistance with this decision if you choose to place your baby for adoption. There are professionals that can share with you about each adoption plan and help you make your decision. It’s okay to choose one and then change your mind later. You have the right to change your mind. 


While adoption costs money for those who are wishing to adopt, for the potential birth mother, placing your child for adoption is completely free. One of the perks to placing your child for adoption is the potential for the adoptive family to support you financially throughout the pregnancy and birth of the child. This means that they will pay for doctor’s visits, transportation, food, and the hospital stay to help support you and the baby during the pregnancy. Financial assistance for expectant mothers differs from state to state. Check with your adoption agency to learn more about the costs and what you can expect from the process.  

Risks and Benefits

Placing your child for adoption is a big decision for you and your child. It should not be taken lightly. As you make your decision as to what to do with an unexpected pregnancy, you should weigh the pros and cons of adoption. Benefits of placing your child for adoption include choosing the adoptive family for your child, choosing the adoption plan that’s right for you, and ensuring your child grows up in a safe and healthy environment. Some risks associated with adoption include potentially having no contact with your child and feelings of guilt post-placement. (Check out your adoption agency’s post-placement program to find support.) Take the time to weigh these risks and benefits and seek out a professional to walk you through the adoption process. 


Single-parenting vs. Dual-parenting

If you choose to parent your child, you have two options. You can choose to be a single-parent or you can choose to parent with your partner. If you choose to single-parent your child, you must remember that you are the sole provider of your family, you are the sole decision-maker, you are going to be busy, and it will be difficult to find time for yourself. Remember that single-parenting is not a bad thing. There are also positives to single-parenting. If you choose to dual-parent, you must remember you are going to share responsibilities with your partner, you won’t be the sole provider, you might be able to find more time for yourself, and your child is going to feel loved and supported. With either choice, there are positives and negatives. Whatever you decide must be the choice that is best for you and your child. 


Children are expensive. If you choose to parent your child, you have to remember all of the expenses and take that into consideration. In order to afford everything your child needs, you need to have a steady job and a stable income. Expenses that you will occur as a parent include, but are not limited to: diapers, formula, food, clothes, medical expenses, expenses for extracurricular activities, school supplies, furniture, and toys. Taking care of children can be expensive, but if you choose to parent your child, you can receive help with these expenses. Reach out to local organizations to see if they have any funding programs to help you with things like diapers and food. 

Risks and Benefits

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As with adoption and abortion, there are risks and benefits to parenting. It’s common for women to experience postpartum depression after giving birth. Be sure you have a support system in place to help you through the hard times. While there are cons to parenting, there are many benefits. Raising children is a rewarding experience. Children help you feel a strong purpose in life. Nothing compares to the unconditional love of a child. There will be smiles and laughter and you have someone to pass on your knowledge to. Whatever reason you choose to parent, you can find the best in any situation. 

Now What?

After considering your options, you have come to a decision. Now that you have made your decision, whatever it is, you need to find support. Support can come in the form of family, friends, and professionals. Reach out to adoption agencies around you to help walk you through your decision. There are many professionals out there that are willing to talk to you about your decision and help you take that next step. 

For more information on adoption, see these articles:

Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.