If you are pregnant and homeless, you may be unsure of what to do. What are your options? Where can you go for help? This is a difficult situation. You are concerned about your and your child’s future. When you do not have a stable home life, how can you offer one to a child?
There is a housing crisis in the U.S.; researchers estimate that one in five homeless women are pregnant at any given time. There is no shame in what you are facing, and there are resources available to help you. It is important to remember that you do have options and you can get the support you need.
Facing homelessness and an unplanned pregnancy is scary. Read this short guide to help you find supportive resources, make positive choices, and do what is best for your life.
What are my options if I am homeless and pregnant?
The first thought you may have had when you first learned of your pregnancy was: ‘What are my options?’ You have three choices to decide between:
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be considering abortion. The right to an abortion has changed in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022.
Depending on where you live, and how far along you are in pregnancy, abortion may still be an option for you. If you live in a state wherein abortion has been banned, you may still be able to travel to a different state or receive the abortion pill if you are less than 10 weeks pregnant. If you choose to travel for abortion to another state, you will need to consider the costs of getting there. There are organizations covering these travel costs.
Another consideration regarding abortion is the cost for the procedure itself. An abortion can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. It is particularly pricey when not using health insurance. Planned Parenthood can offer financial support to low-income individuals. Contact your local Planned Parenthood to learn more about this option.
Another choice you may be considering is adoption. Adoption can ensure your child is permanently placed in a loving, safe, and stable home. Expectant mothers can choose parents to raise their baby. They can receive financial support for uninsured medical costs. Adoption may not the right decision for everyone, but many women find adoption to be a rewarding, positive choice.
One of the most important points for expectant/birth mothers considering adoption is the concept of open adoption. Open adoption means there is communication between birth and adoptive families. This open communication often gives birth mothers peace of mind with their decision, knowing they are not saying goodbye forever. Many times, birth mothers forge a strong relationship with their child’s adoptive parents. Adopted children also reap the rewards of open adoption. They grow up knowing their adoption story, knowing their birth parent, and knowing they are loved by two families instead of one.
It is natural for expectant/birth mothers to consider parenting their child. Although you are pregnant and homeless, you may be thinking about this option. Keep in mind, however, that you will have more hurdles ahead than expectant parents in more stable places of their lives.
Raising a child is expensive. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $310,605. That is about $17,000 per year. When planning to raise a child, you must consider the everyday costs of living expenses, clothes, additional food, and childcare.
Before making the decision to parent, ask yourself: Can I provide my child with the kind of life they deserve? Can I meet my child’s basic needs—and beyond? Am I willing to utilize the programs available to homeless pregnant women? Can I work hard enough to bring myself – and my child – to a better place in time for their childhood?
There are children who are born to homeless parents who experience a separation for some period of their lives. These children are sometimes placed into the foster care system or informally with a trusted friend or relative to avoid child welfare services taking custody of their child. However, this can have a negative impact on a child’s well-being.
If you are willing (and able) to take the steps needed to bring yourself into a better situation, and you wish to parent your child, you can find resources to help you get started. There are programs that can offer those who are homeless and pregnant help, such as:
- The National Coalition for the Homeless
- Women’s, Infants and Children (WIC)
- Childcare Assistance Through the Office of Child Care
If I place my baby for adoption, will I still be homeless?
Choosing to place your baby for adoption is a thoughtful, selfless, and loving choice. During your pregnancy, you will want to work with a full-service adoption agency. This will ensure you have a range of services available to you, throughout the adoption process and beyond.
You will never be obligated to choose adoption for your baby, but pursuing adoption can offer you help and support during this challenging time in your life.
There are studies that show that people who are homeless and pregnant face significantly higher rates of health complications than those who are not homeless.
Your adoption professional may be able to help you secure housing that you can afford beyond adoption and will keep you and your unborn child safe. If you choose adoption, your adoption agency can help cover the security deposit and several months of rent as you get situated.
What services are available to women who are homeless and pregnant?
In addition to housing support, full-service adoption agencies can offer you legal, emotional, medical, and other financial support.
Some of the free services offered at Adoptions With Love, when you choose adoption:
- Custom-designed adoption plan. Whether you would like an open, semi-open, or closed adoption, you can get help creating a plan that best meets your needs.
- Financial assistance with utilities, phone, maternity clothing, and other necessities, as needed.
- Housing assistance. We can pay a deposit and several months of rent.
- Counseling services before and after the adoption.
- Medical care. We can help you find a doctor or midwife with whom you feel comfortable. All medical costs related to the pregnancy and birth are covered, as well.
- Legal assistance provided by experienced lawyers who specialize in adoption.
- Ongoing contact through pictures and letters from the adoptive family of your child over the years.
If you would like to learn more about making an adoption plan for your child, we can offer you support and guidance. We can discuss your options over the phone or meet with you in person, with no pressure, judgment, or bias.
You have a choice. Despite your circumstances of being homeless and pregnant, you are in charge of this pregnancy. Working with an adoption agency does not mean you need to choose adoption. We are here to offer the respect, education, and compassionate care you deserve.
Reach out to Adoptions With Love today. Call us any time of day, any day of the week at 800-722-7731 or contact us online.