If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be thinking about your options. Are you ready to become a parent? Do you wish to have an abortion? Is adoption the right path for you? When faced with this difficult situation, it is easy to compare the three choices: parenting, termination, and adoption. It is important, however, to acknowledge that adoption is not an alternative to abortion.
Adoption offers many benefits for an expectant/birth parent. It enables a birth mother to place her child in a safe and loving home, when she is not ready to parent a baby. The choice to make an adoption plan can be made at any stage of pregnancy, and even after birth. For the many birth parents who have made an adoption plan for their child (or children), it was simply the right choice. However, adoption is not the right path for everyone, and it is certainly not an alternative to abortion. This is a completely separate decision. The choice is yours to make.
No one can make this decision for you, and the right adoption agency will never judge you for whatever choice you make for yourself. However, an adoption agency can educate you on all of your options—pressure- and cost-free.
Abortion Access in the United States
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the country erupted in rallies and protests on the issue. Abortion has always been a controversial topic in the U.S., with advocates and opponents continually debating this hot-button topic from both sides of the aisle. The overturning of Roe, however, set many abortion law changes into place. States with so-called “trigger bans” immediately placed heavy restrictions upon – or altogether banned – the right to a safe and legal abortion.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and not ready to become a parent, you may choose abortion or adoption. Here, we will break down these options and the considerations for each.
Abortion as an Option
As you face this unplanned pregnancy, you may be considering abortion. In the medical world, abortion means to end a pregnancy before the baby is born. This can happen naturally during what many would call a “miscarriage,” or it can be voluntarily chosen by the pregnant person (or recommended by a medical professional, depending on the risks and health status of the fetus and/or mother.)
Abortions are typically conducted within the first or second trimester of gestation. Trained medical professionals can perform surgical abortions in a healthcare facility or prescribe an abortion pill that the pregnant person may take at home. The latter is only a choice within the first ten weeks of pregnancy, and laws do vary by state. Both in-clinical and pill methods are considered safe.
No one should pressure you into choosing an abortion. If you want more information regarding safe abortions, contact your doctor or your local Planned Parenthood.
Adoption as an Option
If you do not feel that abortion is the right choice for you, but you are not yet ready to parent, you may be thinking about adoption. This is a common consideration. Every year, 14,000 people facing pregnancy consider adoption.
Adoption is no longer the taboo, secretive choice it was many years ago. Most children today know they are adopted and have what is known as an “open adoption.”
Open adoption can look different for every family, but it means that there is ongoing communication between birth and adoptive parents. The form and frequency of contact – such as emails, phone calls, in-person visits, etc. – may vary among families and are usually determined by the expectant/birth mother. The open adoption plan gives many birth parents peace of mind in their decision, knowing they can see their child develop and grow over the years.
Another important choice that comes with “giving your baby up for adoption” is having the power to choose your child’s adoptive family. At Adoptions With Love, expectant/birth parents can select the adoptive parents for their baby, and even meet with them in person before making their final decision. Adoption is not “giving up” your baby; you are making a loving and courageous plan for your child’s future.
Adoption is not the right choice for everyone. If you are considering this path, but you are unsure about your decision, that is okay. At Adoptions With Love, no one is ever pressured into making an adoption plan. You will never face any criticism or judgment with your decision. Our compassionate social workers can spend time discussing your options, listening to your needs and concerns, and answering any questions you may have. We are here to educate you and support you in whatever decision you make.
Adoption versus Abortion
Abortion and adoption are two options that sometimes get compared. This, however, should not be the case. It is an unfair assumption to believe that a pregnant person considering abortion would – or should – consider adoption. These two decisions are completely unrelated, and adoption is not an alternative to abortion.
If an expectant parent is considering abortion, they may be in a completely different place than someone considering adoption. There may be a wide range of reasons at play. Choosing an abortion may be influenced by health-related risks involved with pregnancy. There may be patient trauma, or physical, mental, or emotional limitations. We do not know what we do not know, and therefore cannot assume an expectant parent should also be considering adoption.
Someone considering adoption is typically spending a lot of time thinking about their child’s needs and future. If a person chooses to place their baby for adoption, they are considering carrying their pregnancy to term, giving birth, and placing their child with an adoptive family, who will raise the child and be their parents.
Many people also consider adoption when abortion is no longer an option for them. Abortions are often banned after 24 or 28 weeks of gestation. For women who do not wish to become a parent, but whose pregnancies have reached the late second or third trimester, adoption is a recommended option.
At Adoptions With Love, most women come to us in their last trimester. However, many women come to us earlier in their pregnancies, unsure of what to do. For these women, we counsel them about their different options, including parenthood and termination. We let them know that this is completely their choice. If they would like to learn about adoption, we provide them with information and guide them through the process. If they would like to learn about abortion, we teach them about this option, and may help them to a safe place where they can have their pregnancy terminated, if they decide that is the best choice. At Adoptions With Love, we support women’s choices. As an adoption agency, we are here to provide education, refer women to healthcare services, and ensure they have the resources they need along the way.
If you are weighing your pregnancy options, do not hesitate to reach out to Adoptions With Love. Our conversations with expectant/birth mothers are confidential and pressure-free. This is your choice, and we will respect any choice that you make.
You may also hear from AWL’s Executive Director, Amy Cohen, as she talks about abortion and adoption as options for expectant mothers. Listen to the podcast here.