20, Pregnant and I don’t want the baby. What’s next?
Unexpected pregnancies can pop up for anyone. Protection can fail, back-up plans can fail and accidents can happen without our knowledge. Unwanted pregnancies at any age are upsetting and stressful, but the younger you are, the harder it may be to know what to do. If you are 20, pregnant and don’t want the baby, and also know that you do not want to terminate your pregnancy, choosing adoption may be the best option for you to consider.
All decisions involving unwanted pregnancies are hard, but with adoption there are loads of resources and support for birth mothers — no matter what age you are.
Understand Your Rights
Birth mothers have all of the control. From choosing adoptive parents to the type of adoption, and everything in between, you are the one deciding what adoption plan is best for you and your baby. This is your decision and even though you are 20, pregnant and don’t want the baby, we know you still want to provide the best life for him or her while making the best decision for yourself too.
Though the adoptive parents may have an idea in mind of what type of adoption they want, ultimately, many are open to whatever the birth mother has in mind. You are able to choose from open, semi open, and closed adoptions. In many states, birth mothers are able to apply for government-funded financial support. Adoptive parents may also want to help contribute to pregnancy-related medical bills, like ultrasounds and doctors visits.
Finding an Adoption Agency
You’ve decided to put your baby up for adoption. What’s next? Finding the right adoption agency for you is an important factor in your adoption journey. At twenty and pregnant, you may want an adoption agency that has more experience helping younger birth mothers or one that can direct you towards support groups for young birth mothers. Figuring out what you want from the adoption agency before doing research is a beneficial step, so you’re not wasting time on agencies that don’t offer what you’re looking for.
Adoption Choices of New York, for example, has a birth mother blog with tons of informative articles for birth mothers so you can stay informed on topics pertaining to you throughout your adoption journey. Adoption agencies are a source of information and should make you feel supported, welcomed and important! If you feel off about a specific agency during the beginning process or just don’t feel a connection don’t be afraid to move on to the next. Adoption agencies are extremely important to you and your child’s adoption journey.
Start Your Adoption Plan
Adoption plans are exactly what they sound like. A plan! You are able to lay out each and every step of your adoption path from where you want your child to live to what hospital you’ll be giving birth at. There are multiple key components in adoption plans and that can become overwhelming. This is where your adoption professional will step in and lend a helping hand. They’ll guide you through the important decisions like if you want open or closed adoption, a family with no kids or an adoptive couple that live close. There are a lot of decisions to be made so it’s a good idea to start as early as possible.
If you’re stressed about fleshing out all the details, you can talk to your adoption professional and focus on narrowing down what is most important to you. What type of family do you want the adoptive couple to have? Does religion matter? Do you want them to live in a suburb or somewhere in a city? If you have any specific ideas for what you want your child’s life to look like, write them down! You can bring these ideas to your adoption professional and sort out what else needs to be decided.
Looking for Adoptive Parents
The most important part of your adoption process is looking for and choosing adoptive parents. At twenty, pregnant and choosing adoption, you may not fully know what you’re looking for in adoptive parents. Starting with the basics may spark more ideas or details about what you want. Do you prefer a more care-free attitude towards parenting or do you want a stricter environment? Does one parent stay home or do they both work? Does it matter where they live? Do you want your child to attend private schools? Do both parents need a religious background or do you not want either to practice religion at all?
Once you’ve established a skeletal outline of what you’re looking for in adoptive parents, you can go into the finer details until you feel you’ve fleshed out all the important parts. Then, you can start to decide how you want to go about interviewing adoptive parents. Some birth mothers interview multiple couples or individuals at a time, while others spend more time looking for one or two couples or individuals to decide between.
Adoptive parents put together books of photos and information about themselves for birth mothers to look at. These adoptive parent profile books are meant to give you a sense of who they are as a couple or individual, their values and hobbies, and a visual depiction of their lives and family. Of course, you can’t fully know people just by words and photos, which is where interviews come in. Either on the phone, Skype, or in person. It all depends on what you’re comfortable with.
Support Groups for After Placement
Your pregnancy wasn’t planned and you firmly knew you did not want the baby, so why find support for afterwards? You are still a mother and, despite not wanting to raise a baby, there is still a bond between you and your child. It will range per individual, but there are still feelings that should be discussed and understood for your own mental health. Finding support afterwards will help you move forward in your life.
If you’ve decided on an open or semi-open adoption, support can aid the understanding of your feelings and where they fall into place regarding the boundaries agreed upon by the adoptive parents and yourself. Talking it through with other birth mothers is a helpful way to understand what you are feeling and make connections with other women who have been through the same thing.
Ultimately, choosing adoption is a selfless act. Being 20, pregnant and not wanting the baby does not mean you’re selfish or abandoning your baby. Life takes turns we can’t control. By choosing adoption, you’re creating a wonderful new life for three people. Your child, their adoptive parents, and you.
Meet the Author: Amanda Rodgers is an experienced, versatile writer, well-versed in blog posts, SEO and keywords. She is also a self-motivated freelance professional with experience in writing a myriad of subjects, such as women’s rights and LGBT issues. In everything she does, she brings her client’s ideas to fruition while not only keeping their individual voice intact, but also adhering to their values and overall mission.
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