Unplanned pregnancies are very common and the fact that the pregnancy is unplanned doesn't always mean it's unwanted — in many cases, the woman is happy and looks forward to parenting her baby. Regardless, in most cases, the news comes as a shock. Abortion options, when the mother does not wish to keep the baby, include foster care and adoption.
Choosing what one believes is the best course of action can be difficult and confusing. Talking to family and friends can be helpful, but it's important that the woman makes her own decision without pressure from others affecting her judgment. Issues a woman needs to consider before deciding on a course of action, can include:
- Her moral and ethical values
- Her relationship with the baby's father
- Religious beliefs
- Her health and age
- The needs of her existing children (if any)
- Her career
- Her finances
- Life goals
- Her feelings about parenthood, abortion, and adoption
- The option of professional counseling
Discussing options with an unbiased, independent, trained counselor, can be helpful. A good counselor can often provide up-to-date information on the different pregnancy options and enable the woman to make an informed decision.
Options to abortion include:
- Foster care
Becoming a parent is natural and can be rewarding and challenging. Prenatal care is extremely important for the health of the woman and her unborn baby. Contrary to popular misconceptions, parenting is not a skill we are born with, it must be learned and relearned as the child grows. Government and local community support services are available to help parents through every stage of the child's life.
Foster care is when a child is temporarily placed with another family (often with relatives or carefully screened foster parents) while the biological parent(s) work towards resuming care. In a foster care situation, the birth mother can have regular contact with her child.
In adoption, the adoptive parents become the baby's legal parents, which affects the baby's name, birth certificate and inheritance rights.