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.
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 and material assistance, teaching on baby care, going to appointments with you and linking with relevant services – alongside practical care and support.
This option allows you to continue with your pregnancy while supporting you in tackling the practical difficulties and life problems that would otherwise have forced you to terminate a pregnancy feeling you have no other choice.
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 a special guardianship, private fostering or kinship care basis.
There are adoption and fostering 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.
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 through a private fostering arrangement. 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.
Fostering provides a child with a family home during periods of difficulty or when they cannot live at home with their own parents and can be long or short term. A ‘kinship’ options exists for those who have family or friends who are willing to help give support.
The adoption option means your child will be placed with a family who will be his/her new legal parents. Adoption is arranged through adoption agencies and once an adoption order is completed it cannot be undone.
Adoption is an option for those facing an unexpected or crisis pregnancy who believe they cannot raise the child themselves. The adoption process would not begin until after your child is born and there may a chance that you can arrange to meet or communicate with the adoptive family.
Making the decision to put your baby up for adoption is a very difficult one and you should make sure you have all the information you need and speak to professional and social services before deciding to do what is best for you and your child.
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.