When facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may find yourself considering the options of parenting and adoption. Depending on where you are at in your life, either option may be the right choice for you and your unborn child, but it is important to consider some different factors when making your decision.
Am I able to provide a safe, nurturing home for 18+ years?
One of the most important things to consider when deciding whether to parent a child is whether or not you have the ability to provide a safe nurturing home that puts a roof over the child’s head, consistent food and water on the table, a bed to sleep in, access to education, and other essential necessities. At some points in life, it is hard enough to ensure you have access to these things for yourself. By choosing to parent, you are signing an invisible social contract that you will do whatever necessary to make a safe home for this child where they can flourish and grow into a young adult.
Am I in a place of emotional and mental maturity to put another person before myself?
Parenting a child is not an easy task. There are a lot of sacrifices including sleep, finances, and personal desires. A person needs to decide if they are in a place to make sacrifices of a mental and emotional nature for that child for the rest of his/her life.
Do I have a network to help me to raise this child/or in case of emergency?
The saying “it takes a village” holds a lot of truth when it comes to raising a child. It can be very important to have a network of individuals you trust to step in when you need a break, need a babysitter, or have an emergency. These people can be family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. but it is a smart idea to have a village if possible when choosing to parent a child.
Am I okay with my child being parented differently than I would parent myself?
Much of a person’s parenting style comes from lived and learned experience, which varies among individuals. When placing your child for adoption, the person who accepts the task of raising your child will have had a different experience in life than you, which will affect the choices they make as a parent. They may not possess the same cultural background or understanding as you, or may have different feelings on how to participate in religion or the amount of “screen time” a child should have. In placing your child for adoption, you have to accept that these things are no longer your choice to make, and trust that those that are parenting your child have similar views and/or respect your wishes.
Am I okay with having my child grow up away from me, and possibly see it through the avenues of open adoption?
When considering an adoption plan, one must ask themselves if they are okay with having the child grow up away from them. One has to question if they are mentally and emotionally okay with not experiencing their child’s firsts first hand and allowing someone in a different place in their life to take the reins of parenting. If wishing for an 0pen adoption, you have to be prepared for the good and the bad feelings that can come with seeing your child’s triumphs and falls, and having a place on the sidelines of it. (Take a personal note from me: I have found an adoption being open worth every feeling!)
Am I okay if the adoption was to be closed and I no longer had contact?
This is one of the hardest questions I think any expectant or birth parent can ask of themselves. It is admitting that you don’t have control of what the future holds, but trusting that the adoptive parents of your child will honor you and your child’s birth story. While some states have open adoption agreements, many do not. When making an adoption plan in a state that doesn’t, one has to consider this as a possibility.
The most important thing to consider when assessing your options of parenting and adoption is that you are the one in control of your adoption plan and who has the ability to make the best decision for you and your baby. You may feel that time isn’t on your side, but do not fret. Take the time to consider all options and resources and find a trusted individual or professional to speak to. Good luck and know that you are not alone.