Facing an unexpected pregnancy? It’s totally normal to feel disjointed, panicked, in shock or concerned about your situation. You don’t need to go through this alone. Below are some of the options available to you.
If you would like help with exploring one or more of the options above, see our pregnancy counselling and support section here, where there are listings of organisations that specialise in working with pregnant women who are exploring their options during pregnancy.
1. Raise your baby, with support
There are a number of organisations that can provide the guidance and support to help you raise your baby. This could include pregnancy support, financial assistance, teaching on baby care, going to appointments with you and linking with relevant services – alongside practical care and support.
This option works well if you have lots of support from family and/or friends.
2. Informal Care – before and/or after the birth
Not in a position to raise your baby alone? Informal care involves external support from a host family who can care for your baby on whatever basis you choose (short or long-term), until your circumstances have changed.
You could also stay with the host family throughout your pregnancy – either as a home-stay or in a neighbouring flat. Your host family would help you with pregnancy support and link you up with a mid-wife.
After your baby is born, you may continue to stay with your host family in a neighboring flat. There are a number of organisations that can help you develop the relationship you want to have with your baby, providing support and guidance as you move through this new phase of life.
3. Permanent Placement (Caregiving)
Place your child with a family of your choice, who would take responsibility for the day-to-day care of your child in a stable, loving home. As the birth mum, you still maintain responsibility for the major decision-making surrounding your child’s future, allowing you to develop a close relationship with your child.
Permanent placement is suggested for situations where it is not be possible for you to raise your baby yourself, but still wish to be directly involved in your child’s life. Once your circumstances change, it is still possible for your child to go back to you.
4. Open Adoption
Where a family of your choice takes responsibility for the day-to-dare care and decisions in your child’s life, but both you and the adoptive family know the identity of each other.
Some birth mothers simply wish to know the adoptive parents identity in order to be secure about their child’s future, while others wish to regularily visit and write to their child. All contact is worked out between you and your child’s adoptive parents. As the birth mother, you are able to develop whatever relationship with your child that you want.
Abortion is the termination of pregnancy via a surgical or medical procedure.
It may seem like abortion will wipe away this situation and you can just move on – but it’s not that simple. A termination results in no possibility of you or anyone else having a relationship with your child – and for many women, it is a life-changing event with significant physical, emotional and spiritual consequences.
Many women who struggle with past abortions say that they wish they had been told all of the facts about abortion and its risks.