If you’ve found this blog post, you’re likely pregnant, the pregnancy wasn’t planned, and you might be asking yourself “Should I keep my baby?” We’ve worked with many women over the years who have considered adoption. For some women, adoption is the right choice, while other women will choose to parent. This article addresses some of the things you should consider if you’re pregnant and asking yourself if you should parent your baby.
Is someone pressuring you?
Adoption isn’t the right choice for everyone. If your parents, the baby’s father, or another adoption professional is pressuring you to put your baby up for adoption, their influence can mask your true feelings. It is important to take the time to be honest with yourself about what you want for your future. Family members and friends will move on from your adoption experience or even forget with time. Your feelings will likely be quite different – the adoption will become part of your identity and part of who you are. It’s critical to your well-being that you make the choice freely, that you consider what’s best for you and what’s best for your child.
Are you embarrassed about your situation?
If you’re asking yourself “should I keep my baby?” you may not want to tell anyone you’re pregnant. Maybe you’re hoping to keep the pregnancy a secret and that you won’t have to tell your parents or the baby’s father. Maybe you were planning to parent with the baby’s father and then your relationship fell apart, and now you’re facing single parenting (this is what happened to me!). You may have been considering putting your baby up for adoption and you’re afraid that you will be judged, that someone will try to tell you what to do, or that there must be something wrong with you to even consider this option. At some point you will have to deal with these things, and it’s much better to deal with them now because people may surprise you! Many family and friends are supportive of adoption when they know a birth mother has made a thoughtful choice out of love. They may even offer other options and solutions and could help you answer the question “should I keep my baby?”
Are you in a financial crisis?
Financial difficulties are frequently temporary, and there are many state and federal aid sources available to women who are pregnant. If you are thinking about putting a baby up for adoption because you’re afraid of how you will cope financially, you should make sure to research all resources available to you first. Many women choose adoption because they are already parenting other children and know that they cannot afford to care for another one. Adoption isn’t the right choice for everyone, and if you are doing simply because of money issues right now, it may not be right for you. If you’re wondering “should I keep my baby?” because you’ve considered your current and long-term financial situation and you are confident it is in your and your child’s best interest to put your baby up for adoption, then adoption might be the right choice for you.
Are you hoping to co-parent with the adopting parents?
It’s important to be real about the decision to put your baby up for adoption. Some open adoptions involve lots of family contact and visits, allowing you to watch the baby grow. I know adopting parents that have the birth mother babysit from time to time, though this is more the exception than the rule. The legal process of adoption involves terminating your parental rights and establishing the adopting parents’ parental rights. This means that the adopting parents make all decisions about their adopted child’s care, education, etc. The adopting parents can move wherever they want with their adopted child. Many adoptions include post-contact agreements that you and the adopting parents will always stay in touch, and that you will get the photos, letters, and visits with your baby that you want. But you will not be helping to parent the child. If this is what you’re hoping for and you’re still asking yourself “should I keep my baby?” then the answer is likely YES!
( Read more about how we can help answer your questions about adoption)