Unplanned pregnancy options
You are not alone
If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, first of all, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. According to the CDC, 49% of women experienced an unplanned pregnancy in 2006. It is normal to be scared to be pregnant if this was not something you were planning, but know that a lot of other women have been in your shoes and that you have options.
You have options
There are three primary unplanned pregnancy options: adoption, parenting, and abortion. Only you know what is right for you, as every woman and her unique situation is different. What we suggest is to help you decide is:
- Read through information on each of the three unplanned pregnancy options below to be fully informed.
- Talk to women who’ve been in your shoes before and chosen different options. After talking to them, you may get a better sense of which one is right for you.
If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you can also choose to parent your child. If you would like to explore parenting, but are overwhelmed by the potential costs of pregnancy and a baby, there are many government non-profit resources for women who are pregnant and need help making ends meet. Every state in the United States has programs to give financial, medical and other services important for a healthy pregnancy. We also suggest you talk to other women who’ve had an unplanned pregnancy and decided to parent and/or read blog posts and stories from these women to get advice and to see if this option is right for you.
Health Care Resources:
- Medicaid: If you are not able to afford medical care, you may be eligible for Medicaid. If you are eligible, Medicaid would pay your health care providers for your medical costs. Check out your state Medicaid program website to see what free or low cost health care is available for you and for your child.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): If you earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford private insurance for your child, CHIP coverage provides eligible children with coverage for a full range of health services including regular checkups, immunizations, prescription drugs, lab tests, X-rays, hospital visits and more. Learn more about CHIP in your state.
- Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC): If you are worried about being able to afford nutritious food for you and your baby during and after pregnancy, WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition counseling, and referrals to health and other social services to participants at no charge. WIC serves low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk. Check out the WIC website for your state.
- Food Banks: Food banks offer free and low-cost food. See a list of of food banks by state.
- Food Stamps: Food stamps provide low-income families an option for buying the food they need for good health. You can apply for benefits by completing a State application form. Check out the food stamp programs in each state.
Financial or Child Supply Resources:
- Child Welfare: Your state Child Welfare Agency (may be called another name depending on the state, e.g., also called the Department of Human Services) can help you with pregnancy, parenting, foster care, and adoption. The professionals in these offices can be very helpful to a birth mother or birth father. See here for a list the State Child Welfare website for every state and provides you with a link to their website.
- National Diaper Bank Network: Diapers can be expensive and usually are not covered by food stamps, WIC or welfare benefits. National Diaper Bank Network offers free diapers through its network of local facilities. See here for more details on NDBN’s network.
- National Parent Helpline: Emotional support hotline run by Parents Anonymous, for parents and caregivers of children and youth of all ages. 1-855-427-2736.
- Single Mothers by Choice: If you are considering parenting as a single mother, Single Mothers by Choice offers virtual and in-person support and information for single women who are considering, or have chosen to be single mothers.
One option for an unplanned pregnancy is adoption. In an adoption, you would give birth to your baby and then place your baby with a family looking to adopt. In some cases, the family would be a couple, in other cases it could be a single person. You would choose from a pool of waiting adopting families and get to decide which family is right for your baby. You would get to see and then email with and talk to the ones you are most interested in, before making your final decision.
Before the adoption, you and the adopting family would also determine the level of openness of the adoption. For example, you might decide that you want frequent visits, or that you might want less frequent visits but frequent photos via email, or that you might not want any contact with your child. You get to decide what you want, and then you can find a family that is comfortable with your desired level of openness.
With adoption, you have the ability to help build a family. Many families are looking to grow their family through adoption due to infertility or other reasons, and you can help them do that.
To learn more about adoption:
- Review our expectant parent services and how we can help if you are pregnant and considering adoption
- Request a Birth Mother Buddy and be paired with a woman who has placed her child for adoption in the past and has offered to be a mentor for other women experiencing unplanned pregnancies
- Check out our Birth Mother Forum to see questions and answers from a group of supportive women who are either birth mothers or who are considering placing a child for adoption. This forum is a great resource for unexpected pregnancy advice. Feel free to ask whatever questions are on your mind to the group, either with your own name or anonymously.
For full transparency, Binti is an adoption organization. However, we know that adoption is not the right choice for everyone and it’s important to us that any woman that chooses adoption be fully informed about all of her unplanned pregnancy options and only chooses adoption if it’s the right choice for her.
To learn more about adoption, read our Expectant Parent’s Guide to Adoption, which goes in detail into the step-by-step process of placing a child for adoption and includes advice from birth mothers who have placed their child for adoption.
A third option for an unplanned pregnancy is to terminate the pregnancy. If you are an expectant parent and already know that abortion is not an option for you, you can feel free to skip this section. As with the other two options, we suggest that you talk to other women who’ve faced an unplanned pregnancy to get advice and hear their stories.
- Project Voice: Project Voice helps women share their abortion experiences.
- The Abortion Diary: This online diary shares video recordings of women who’ve had an abortion.
- Silent No More: Testimonials from women who regretted their decision to terminate the pregnancy.
- Exhale Pro Voice: Exhale Pro Voice offers free support and counseling for women who’ve just had an abortion.
- National Abortion Federation: NAF has resources and a hotline for women who need someone to talk to.
- Planned Parenthood provides information on how to terminate a pregnancy and also has a network of abortion clinic locations around the country.
- Abortion Clinics Online: lists abortion clinics around the country.
- National Network of Abortion Funds: The Network can help women who need financial support and provide information about using Medicaid or insurance.
Binti is an adoption organization and is not funded by any abortion organizations. However. we do our best to provide objective resources because we want to support expectant mothers, without judgment, no matter what they decide is best for them.