You didn’t plan on getting pregnant, but here you are. Abortion doesn’t feel right to you morally, spiritually or emotionally, but at the same time, you can’t imagine how else you can deal with this huge challenge and still lead the life you want for yourself or for your baby. The first step is understanding the options available to you.
Adoption means transferring the parental rights and responsibilities for your baby to another person or couple who want to raise a child. In this way, you’re able to bring your baby into the world, and then allow another family to raise your baby in a loving, supportive home.
Adoption agreements are typically set up in one of three ways. As the birth mother, you get to decide which one is right for you and your baby.
An open adoption leaves the door open to an ongoing relationship with your baby after the adoption. You and your baby’s adoptive family will agree to the right level of contact, which can range from occasional letter or gift exchanges to regular in-person visits.
A closed adoption means no contact between you and your baby or between you and the adoptive family after the adoption. While this can be difficult for some birth mothers, others appreciate the closure it provides, freeing them to return to their lives, while knowing their babies are well cared for.
A semi-open adoption is an increasingly popular alternative. In a semi-open adoption, the birth mother and adoptive family are free to communicate back and forth anonymously through a third-party via letters, emails or calls. This allows you to know how your child is progressing through the years, while still enabling you to live your life independently.
While you may think you know what parenting is, you may not realize it can take many forms. With a variety of parenting models, you may find one that allows you to play a prominent role in the development and upbringing of your child, while still offering the freedom you need to lead your best life.
In the absence of a committed relationship with a stable and supportive partner, many women accept the challenge to parent their babies on their own. And while this can certainly be a lot to take on, don’t underestimate your ability to be a successful single parent. With the right people and resources around you, you’re likely more mom-ready than you think and it can be the most rewarding experience of your life.
Parenting with the dedicated help of another person is a wonderful thing. Ideally, this would be your baby’s father. Whether you’re together as a couple or not, if your baby’s father is reliable, honorable and willing to commit to helping provide a secure, healthy upbringing for your baby, it’s a worthwhile goal to pursue. Co-parenting, whether done in the same home or across multiple homes, can help give you the time and space you need to continue pursuing your goals beyond being a mom. The key to co-parenting is ensuring both parents always have your baby’s best interests at heart.
Sometimes, lifestyle choices or unpredictable behaviors make a baby’s father too risky to be a parent. That doesn’t mean you have to parent alone. Community parenting allows you to bring in other loved ones to play parental roles in your child’s life. Your parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, or even a trusted friend, could make great co-parents for your baby.
If you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and unsure what path is best for you and your baby, it can be helpful to talk with a pregnancy options counselor. Your pregnancy options counselor can be an outstanding resource for practical advice, emotional support and connections to valuable health and financial services.
In Gainesville, Sira offers free pregnancy options counseling, with no insurance required. To schedule your free, confidential counseling session, contact Sira today at 352-377-4947.