When facing an unplanned pregnancy, there are many choices you can make for you and your baby. However, as an expectant mother, it can be hard to know which choice is the right one. You want what is best for your baby, but also what makes the most sense for you at this time.
Are you considering whether to raise your child or to make an adoption plan? Before you make this significant choice, it is important to take some time to think about whether or not raising a child is truly realistic for you at this time. What will having a baby mean for you, both now and down the road?
Adoptions With Love has created this infographic to help guide you through this important decision. We ask you to take the time to reflect on your current situation and on your future. Try to also think about your baby’s future. Now consider the following:
• Your Financial Situation: The costs of raising a child today are higher than ever before. Parents can expect to spend nearly $250,000 on one child throughout the first 18 years of his or her life. From food to housing, daycare to education, diapers to medical insurance, the expenses are endless. Before choosing to parent your child, review your budget and make a plan. Be honest with yourself. Are you able to support all of your child’s needs at this time? Will you be able to support your child in the future?
• Your Family Situation: Take a look at the people around you. You may have a loving family who is willing to help you every step of the way. You may have supportive friends who are willing to help you through this pregnancy and after the baby is born. The father of your child may be right by your side and will help raise the child. Still, 80 percent of single-parent families in the United States are headed by women and many are raising two or more children. As you consider your options, ask yourself who will really be there, who will really help you, and if need be, are you able to parent this baby alone?
• Your Future: As a new mother, you may be left putting your education or career on hold. Over 54 percent of single mothers today have to delay their enrollment into college, and 1 in 4 are unemployed. Are you able to balance your professional life with a baby?
Parenthood means planning ahead. It means understanding what may come your way, and how you can make it work for you and your child. If you believe you can love, care for, and fulfill all of the needs of your child at this time, then you may be ready to parent your baby. If you decide you are not prepared to raise a child at this time, remember that you still have other options.
Complete our Reality Check-list to help guide you in making this courageous decision between parenting and adoption, or read our Guide to Unplanned Pregnancy for additional advice and support. If you would like to talk more about your options, or for further guidance, please call us toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. We are here to help you.