According to The Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. That adds up to about three million pregnancies. So, if you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant and you weren’t planning on it, you’re not alone. Some women who find themselves in this position look into adoption by Googling, “giving my baby up for adoption” or “putting a baby up for adoption.”
You and your partner may not have been trying to get pregnant. Birth control measures may have failed. Your casual relationship or one-night stand may have gone further than you meant. Whatever the reason, some people may be joyous upon learning that they are unexpectedly expecting. Some people may already have the number of children they want. Others still may simply not be ready to be parents.
Keep reading for information on how to know if you’re ready to be a parent and your options if you are not.
Am I Ready for a Baby?
So, the pregnancy test you picked up at the pharmacy was positive, and you confirmed the results with your doctor. You’re pregnant. The problem is you didn’t plan to be.
You’re faced with a huge decision. Are you ready to be a mother? Having a baby will undoubtedly change your life. When that bundle of joy takes his first breath, you’ll move into a brand-new role—an unpaid, 24/7/365 one that only begins to let up after 18 years. If this makes you stop and think, you’ll want to seriously consider your answer to the life-changing question: “Am I ready for a baby?”
Discovering that you’re pregnant can be a shock. You know that having a baby requires many changes in your life. If you aren’t ready to make these changes, you may not be prepared for a baby. As a result, you may need to consider other options.
How do you know if you’re ready? Having a baby is a life-changing event. There are questions you can ask yourself to determine your readiness. It’s important for you to answer those questions honestly.
Babies require attention. They need hands-on care 24/7, especially at the beginning. New parents must give up quite a bit to take on this responsibility. A sacrifice of time, sleep, and energy goes almost without saying.
Are you ready to give up a good night’s sleep? Are you prepared to give up your relaxed weekends? Are you ready to care for your baby even when you’re not feeling well?
Even as children grow older and you get more sleep, they still require lots of time and energy. There are various hobbies they will get into, school events, birthday parties, and play dates—the list goes on and on.
Stress and Pressure
If you are already under a lot of stress, having a baby will add to it. Not only are they a time commitment but also a financial and emotional commitment.
There are numerous expenses when you have a child. The cost of formula, diapers, clothes, and more can climb into the thousands. If you are already under a lot of financial stress, you will need to think seriously about how you’ll afford all the things a baby needs. There’s not very much downtime either. Some parents report not even being able to go to the bathroom or take a shower on their own. If you are a person who requires a lot of quiet time, you may not be cut out for life with a little one.
Society tends to place a lot of pressure on couples to have children. And your parents may be pushing you to give them a grandchild. But this is not a reason to have a baby. If you’re pregnant and being pressured to keep your baby, you need to take a step back and evaluate your situation.
If one of you is ready for a baby and the other isn’t, that could spell trouble. All the work for caring for the child may fall to one parent, which can create resentment. You and your partner need to be on the same page and willing to share the load.
You may feel that having a baby will make you and your significant other a family. However, there are no guarantees. Some people may find that a baby does bring them closer. However, if it all gets to be too much, one partner may opt out, leaving one behind to raise the child alone. Hayley, a young woman who made an adoption plan for her son through Lifetime, shares that this was the case for her. “My boyfriend up and disappeared when I told him I was pregnant. I knew my parents weren’t going to help me out, so I started thinking seriously about giving my baby up for adoption,” Hayley says.
Not Ready?—You Need Options
If you’ve considered all the factors and decided that you’re not ready to be a parent, there is another option for you. Adoption will assure you you’re placing your baby with a loving, financially stable family. So, you will know they can give your child all the things you want for them.
“What About Giving My Baby Up for Adoption?”
If you realize you aren’t ready to be a parent, you can choose adoption for your baby. Modern adoption isn’t at all considered “giving your baby up for adoption.” It’s a loving, thoughtful way to ensure your child grows up with all the opportunities you want for them. When you choose adoption, you have chosen to make a new life for your baby — and for yourself! And Lifetime Adoption is here to walk with you throughout the process.
Lifetime Adoption has many adoptive couples ready to love your sweet baby. If you choose an open adoption, you will not only select the adoptive family but get to know them. You’ll have the privilege of seeing your child grow up and have a long-term relationship with them.
Right now, as a pregnant woman, you might need help. We at Lifetime Adoption know this is a confusing, scary time for you. You may be tempted to make an impulsive decision without weighing all your options. Please contact us for help to make the best choice for you and your child. We promise to help you without judgment or criticism.
Lifetime Adoption can help you sort through the various emotions you might be facing right now. Our adoption coordinators have decades of experience helping pregnant women. They’ll have information to help you make the best choice for you and your child. When most women first start to look into adoption, they ask how the adoption process works, and want information on how to put a baby up for adoption. Lifetime’s caring Adoption Coordinators are here to walk you through each step of the process.
Many women choosing adoption find it helpful to speak with a counselor. Lifetime Adoption offers counseling from an independent counselor and/or peer counseling. You might face a bunch of emotions you weren’t expecting, and it can really help to speak with somebody. Talking with a woman who’s made an adoption plan before and “been there, done that” can help you learn what to expect.
Take all the time you need to consider your situation because you’re the only one who can determine whether you’re ready to have a baby. And deciding you’re not ready is totally valid.
We believe that adoption gives you the chance to provide everything you want for your child. It’s a decision that gives you, as a birth mother, the best life for yourself and your child.
You know what’s best for your baby, and you are the only one who can make this decision. Deciding between parenting and adoption is one of the first things you can do for your baby.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be expensive, and so can the cost of raising that baby. It’s because of this that many women choose adoption. Through adoption, you know that the parents you’ve chosen will take care of your baby emotionally, physically, and financially.
To learn more about adoption and get your questions answered, call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.