An unexpected pregnancy can feel scary and overwhelming, especially as a teenager. You are young, you are still developing into an adult, and you have not yet had a chance to live your life independently. You may not feel ready to become a parent. You may not wish to terminate your pregnancy, either. If you are feeling overwhelmed and underprepared, take a deep breath. There is a third option out there: Adoption.
If you are a teen who is pregnant, you may be feeling all alone. You may not have any friends who are pregnant. You may not even know any other teens who are pregnant or who have given birth. It is important to know that you are not alone. In the U.S., there are over 550,000 teen pregnancies each year. In fact, one in four young women get pregnant before their 20th birthday. The vast majority of teen pregnancies are unplanned.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy as a teen means that you did not choose to get pregnant. You do, however, have a choice now. You have the power to make a loving adoption plan for your unborn child. For many young women, this is one of the most difficult decisions to face. It can, however, be turned into a positive choice for both you and your baby long-term.
The first thing teens should do when considering adoption is contact a credible, trustworthy adoption agency. Adoptions With Love works with expectant/birth mothers all over the country. Our caring counselors have been helping young women just like you for more than 34 years. Our unplanned pregnancy and adoption services are completely free, and include assistance with:
- Counseling – before and long after adoption
- Financial Assistance – Should you need it, Adoptions With Love can help out with rent, utilities, maternity clothes, and phone bills
- Medical Care – If you do not already have a doctor or midwife, Adoptions With Love can help you find one and cover pregnancy and birth-related medical expenses
- Legal Assistance – The entire adoption process is covered by Adoptions With Love, who works with experienced and knowledgeable adoption attorneys to make sure your rights are protected, and the adoption goes through smoothly
- Designing an adoption plan – This is your decision, and based on what you feel is best for you and your baby.
As you consider making an adoption plan, you should know that placing your child for adoption does not mean “goodbye forever.” You have the power to choose your child’s adoptive parents. You may also decide to keep in contact with the adoptive family. This is what is known as an “open adoption.”
What is Open Adoption?
An open adoption is an adoption plan that entails ongoing communication between the birth mother and the child’s adoptive family. That form of communication may vary among families. Some birth mothers decide they would like to receive email updates with photos of their child a few times a year. Some keep in contact through phone calls, texts, emails, and video chats. Some adoptive families become bonded with their child’s birth mother and plan in-person visits once or twice a year. Your adoption agency can help you determine the right type of open adoption plan that suits your needs and makes you feel most comfortable.
At Adoptions With Love, all hopeful adoptive families agree to at least a semi-open adoption, meaning there is some communication, even if it is just letters and photos sent to Adoptions With Love and forwarded to the birth mother.
Most adoptions today are open. In fact, only 5 percent of adoptions today are closed – meaning there is no communication with the birth mother once the adoption is finalized. Some women choose to make a closed adoption plan, and that is okay, too. If you feel that a closed adoption would be easier on you emotionally, Adoptions With Love will support your decision. We also keep updated photos and letters on file, if you decide to open the adoption up later.
Making an adoption plan can be a wonderful, positive choice for your child. When you make an adoption plan with a dependable, private adoption agency like Adoptions With Love, you can rest assured that your child is going into a safe, stable, and loving home. Not only will you decide who these parents will be (if you wish to do so), you will also know that they have been thoroughly screened and interviewed in an intense home study process. This process includes background checks, the collection of personal information, multiple interviews, and visits to the adoptive family’s home, to ensure they are ready to raise a baby. Making an adoption plan is a plan for your child to have a future that is bright, and full of love and opportunity.
Planning for Your Future
As you plan to place your child for adoption, you can also plan for your own future. Once you have given birth, and you are back at home, the support from your adoption agency will continue. Adoptions With Love sees our expectant/birth mothers as family, and we do not forget about our family. We check up with you, and continue counseling services as you recover from the birth and move through the emotions of the adoption process.
With the support of your adoption counselor, you may also choose to focus on your plans for the future. Perhaps you would like to finish – or begin – a high school or college degree program. Pregnancy is the leading reason why teen girls drop out of school. In fact, 30 percent of adolescent girls who drop out of high school give pregnancy or parenthood as the primary reason. Among those who parent a baby before age 18, only 40 percent finish high school later in life. Less than 2 percent of teen moms finish college before age 30. An estimated 61 percent of young women who have children in college do not complete their degree. Their dropout rate is 65 percent higher than students who do not have children. If you have goals for college and your career, parenthood may put that on hold. This is a deeply personal decision, and something to consider as you think about your options.
If you would like to learn more about teen pregnancy and adoption, contact Adoptions With Love today. We can help guide you through the adoption journey. You can call us any time of day, any day of week at 1-800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read our free eBook: A Guide to Teen Pregnancy.