First, let me say how sorry I am that you are going through this experience. I truly do understand. Having an unplanned/unexpected pregnancy can sometimes be distressing with uncertainty; and possibly even more so in your tender teenage years.
I have made three different choices. I have chosen to abort, I have chosen to single parent, and I have chosen to relinquish my parental rights. Speaking from my own personal experience, all of these choices come with some sort of consequence. As for your choices, I don’t want to persuade you one way or the other but I will share some of what I have learned and give you some things to consider.
If you are considering having an abortion, I do support a woman’s choice to abort for whatever her reasons are. Women react differently to abortions, while going through the procedure and in the days and months following the procedure so I am not sure I could give you much more information that is not already available online. But you should do what you feel you need to do to move forward in your life.
As for the choice to parent or relinquish, there are many factors to consider. Here is a list of questions that you may want to answer to help with your choice and plan for the future:
- Is the father of your child supporting you?
- Is your family supporting you?
- Does the father want to help raise this child with you as a couple or as two single parents/co-parents?
- Is his family being supportive?
Having some sort of support system will benefit you (and your baby) greatly especially if you are still in school.
As for the adoption choice, if you feel you are unable to parent your child and are not being pressured or coerced by loved ones to make this choice, then review the various adoption plans closely and do what you feel in your heart is best. I do believe that some adoption choices are necessary. However, know that a richer/wealthier life for the child does not mean a better life for the child. This is what I hear from adult adoptees all the time. Love and security are the most important things a child needs. I chose an open adoption. For me, that has helped in many ways. Know that the emotional pain from relinquishing your parental rights can be overwhelming at times. It’s not impossible to heal but healing after your child leaves your womb and your arms can take a long time, sometimes a lifetime.
If you decide to parent your child, please honor that choice. Make your child your priority. A child should never feel like you gave up your life because you got pregnant. What I am trying to say is, don’t place shame or guilt on your child for showing up unexpectedly or that you had to give up your dreams so you could parent him/her. Nor should a child need to be unnaturally grateful that you decided to keep him and parent him. As I said previously, having a good support system is beneficial but many of us have done the single parenting thing alone without our partner or family. Nothing is impossible if you believe in what you are doing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for public/government assistance.
I truly hope that your loved ones are supporting you during this time. But more importantly, I hope you understand that this is your decision about your body, your baby, and your life. Do not allow anyone to tell you what is best for you.
I know you have a lot to consider. And I trust that you will make the best choice for you. Sending you much needed blessings and prayers, asking God to guide you in this choice, and wishing you all the best as you move forward in your life.