What Options Do I Have in an Unexpected Pregnancy?

An unexpected pregnancy can turn your life around. Learn what your options are when you find yourself facing an unexpected pregnancy.

Getting unexpectedly pregnant is a scary, confusing time—trust me, I’ve been there—it’s overwhelming both physically and emotionally. However, for the sake of both you and your baby, you have to pull it together. You have some big choices to make. But what are those choices?

First off, understand that there is no ‘easy way out’ of an unexpected pregnancy. No choice that you make will come without consequences. It is going to be difficult for both your mind and your body no matter what. Please understand that you haven’t ruined your life, you’ve just changed it. Your life will never be the same, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be wonderful. By having that in mind, there are only three options:  abortion, parenting, or adoption.  

Abortion is a very common response to an unexpected pregnancy. Many women who do not feel that they will be a successful parent, or who don’t wish to carry a pregnancy to term, choose abortion. Abortion is a hot button issue in today’s social climate, and everyone has their own personal opinion about the morality of abortion. Some women feel that abortion is a fairly easy choice and have few emotional complications after the procedure. However, many women do struggle with their decision and feel regret down the road. Ultimately, this is a very personal choice that only you can make.

If you don’t feel prepared to be a parent, but you don’t want to have an abortion, adoption may be a good choice for you. As with all choices, there are pros and cons. Placing a child for adoption is a huge loss that creates a lot of grief, we cannot deny it. However, adoption is quite different than it used to be. An expectant mother can choose the family she will place the child with, and if both parties agree, the child can continue to have contact with the birth mother throughout life. Open adoptions don’t offset the grief entirely, but they can provide a lot of healing. Placing your child for adoption could mean that your baby will be raised by parents who are able to provide a very stable life for your child.

If neither of these options sounds appealing to you, your last option is to parent. Parenting can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Just because you didn’t plan your pregnancy, doesn’t mean that you won’t be a great mother, or that parenting isn’t right for you. For many women, raising a child is their greatest happiness. On the other hand, single parenting can be tough. There are a few common issues that come up. Finding affordable childcare while you work to provide for yourself and your child can be difficult. Balancing the roles of a parent and sole breadwinner isn’t easy. There are often issues with the father—sharing custody is hard, especially if you don’t have a positive relationship with him.

Each of these options come with different challenges. There is not a one size fits all answer to what a woman should do when she faces an unexpected pregnancy. In the end, only you can decide what is right for you. It is a hard choice, but you can do it. Trust your gut; you’ll know what to do.