It’s always best to talk your decision through with someone you trust. The surer you are of your decision, the better you will feel afterwards. Make sure you are the one who makes the decision at the end of the day, and do not settle for anything less. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a decision you don’t feel comfortable with.
You could decide to keep the baby. This means thinking about the future: what will you have to put into place to ensure you can take care of a dependant? Do you have a plan and a social support system for instance from the baby’s father, or from family? What are the short, mid to long-term implications to your life and plans? What about your education and career? Will you have enough support – from the baby’s father, or your family? Will you have enough resources to live on? If you have a partner, what do they think? Do they want to keep the child? How many children do you have already? Is it safe to have another? Is the foetus healthy? Are you healthy?
And the most important question: do you want this child?
- Give the baby up for adoption
You could also have the baby adopted. Again, you need to think carefully considering all your options. And how will you find someone to adopt your child?
You could contact an official adoption agency and have your child safely and legally adopted through the state. They will then take you through the process and what happens in adoption cases. They will ask you to sign a consent form and arrange a suitable plan of how you can get the baby to them once it is born. In most instances adoption centers can make arrangements for you to leave the baby at the hospital where they will collect it.
If you’re still very young and you live with your family, it helps if you can be honest with your parents. As a minor, you may be limited on some of the options you want to consider. They may want to help raise the child or if not, perhaps they can help you decide what to do. If it’s difficult to tell them, perhaps another family member or family friend who could help you break the news.
Under no circumstances should you just abandon a child. Doing this is illegal and it is always better to leave a child with a church, hospital or adoption agency so the child can be taken care of.
- End the Pregnancy (abortion)
The third option is to have an abortion. Like the others, this is not an easy decision to make, and you may need some time to think it over. But don’t let anyone choose for you. This is about you, your body and your choices, so in the end you have to decide for yourself.
First, ask yourself the question: do I want this baby? If you are not sure, think about a few more questions: can I support a child right now? Would I feel comfortable ending the pregnancy? Is it safe? Should my religious beliefs inform my decision? Does the father want the child? Is it legal to access a safe abortion in my country? What are my options? Is there a medical service provider who can take you through your options?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. You should decide what feels right for you. If you’re really struggling, try talking through your options with someone you trust.