Becoming a parent is intimidating when planned for and overwhelming when unexpected. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, you may be thinking parenting is not an option for you. You could be right, but you won’t know for sure until you have thoroughly explored it. We can help you explore your parenting option in a non-judgmental, safe environment so you can make an informed choice that is right for you.
Things to Consider Before Deciding to Parent
According to the CDC, nearly half of all pregnancies are not planned. You may not have been planning to be pregnant right now, but don’t rule out parenting just yet. There are many factors to consider.
So, take a deep breath. Exhale. Now, give yourself credit for exploring what you need to know to make informed decisions regarding your pregnancy. The resources available to you will greatly impact the decisions you make. So, let’s take a quick resource assessment by asking yourself the following questions*:
- How will I support myself and my child?
If you work, you may still qualify for assistance with the cost of child care. If you are going to school, you may be able to work part-time or qualify for public assistance. Do you have parents or other family members who could help?
- Where will I live?
If you live with your family, have an honest discussion about how the addition of your baby will change your relationships to help clarify everyone’s expectations. Other housing options may include getting an apartment, living with a friend or relative, living in a group home with other mothers, or finding subsidized housing. As you can see, there are lots of options available!
- How will being a parent affect my time?
Like any new mother, you will not have the same amount of time for yourself or other activities that you did before your baby was born. If you are planning to parent, talk honestly with family and friends about how they may be willing to help you find time for yourself after the baby arrives.
- How can I know what’s the best decision for me?
The best decision is an informed decision. Knowing your options and what they will mean for you is the best way to decide what will be best. Getting information costs you nothing, but it can help you be assured that you have made an informed choice.
- What resources are available to help me?
Your pregnancy counselor or a local pregnancy care center can help and pregnancy counselors often know what local resources are available.
- How do I get support from my child’s father?
Your child’s father has a responsibility to help you support your child. Many states will help you collect child support. Check with your pregnancy counselor.
- Is my child’s father going to be involved?
The involvement of your child’s father depends on several factors, including your relationship with him now and whether he wants to be involved and if you want him to be involved. This is a conversation you will need to have with him to assess his level of engagement and involvement.
- What rights does my child’s father have?
Fathers have clearly established legal rights, which depend on the laws in your state. If you make an adoption plan, he may have certain rights to be notified and to express his wishes. If you decide to parent, he has a duty to support your child and has a right to visit your child.
- What role will my extended family play?
It is important to talk with your extended family both before and after your baby is born to ensure that your expectations are the same. It’s up to you and your extended family to determine just what role they will play in the life you establish for you and your child.
- Can I choose adoption later if I decide I can’t parent?
Yes. You may reconsider adoption after you have been parenting
* The above ten questions provided by Bethany Christian Services Copyright © 2019
We understand that honestly answering these questions can feel overwhelming. But you are not alone! There are professional pregnancy counselors available to you 24/7 via OptionLine. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to them via chat, phone, text or email.
How Can NextRightChoice Help Me if I Choose to Parent?
We offer resources for anyone facing an unexpected pregnancy. No matter your situation, we are here to support and help you along your pregnancy journey.
If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, your next right choice may be to contact us today!