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What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy

Updated on March 18, 2018
VVanNess profile image

Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.

What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy
What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy | Source

Did you know that during the holidays more babies are dropped off at police stations, left at fire stations, found abandoned in dumpsters, and are given up for adoption?

I'm not sure why the holidays are such a big time for giving up babies. I guess it's possible that women are seeking solace for their loneliness and heartache during the holidays, are giving their boyfriends huge gifts for Christmas and are getting one of their own, are curling up with their love ones to stay warm, or are finding the pressures of family and motherhood just too much at this already stressful time of year.

Women find themselves pregnant for all sorts of reasons at a time in their lives when they don’t feel like they can handle an infant. It’s understandable that not all women feel like they can be mothers, and want to give their children the best chance at a successful future.

Unfortunately, many scared girls don’t know what to do when they find that they are pregnant and sometimes do drastic things to “fix” their situations.

Not all babies end up making it into the arms of someone that will love and take care of them. Many end up dying before they even have a chance, at the hands of a doctor, at the hands of the mother or other adult, or having been abandoned, many times in a dumpster.

Getting pregnant can be very scary, but there are tons of wonderful options for those that that are frightened or confused at the prospect of a new baby.

So what do you do when you find yourself with an unwanted and unexpected pregnancy?

I wrote this article during the holidays because it seems like this question is so prevalent at this time of the year.

I wanted to give distressed, and possibly worried, mothers all over the world the information that they might need in order to make the right decisions for themselves and the future of their children.

So what are your options?

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Keep the Baby

Of course this is always an option. You have 9 months to make the right decision for you and your child. You may be really scared at first, you might be worried about your future, about the baby’s future, or about your ability to afford a child.

You may be thinking about the father of the baby, what he’ll say, what he’ll think, and if you’re still rather young, you might even be worried about your family. We’ll address this at the end.

Giving up your baby is a humongous decision. It’s not to be made lightly.

Give yourself some time, talk to someone who understands and can help to answer your questions, and make an informed decision before doing anything rash.

There are plenty of support systems available to you, if you do not already have one within your family, that can help with medical assistance, prenatal care, housing, food, utilities, etc. if you are worried about being able to provide for him or her.

You are never alone.

What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy
What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy | Source

Give the Baby Up for Adoption

If keeping the baby is simply not an option for you, you can always choose to give your baby to an adoption agency that will find a loving family for your child for you.

Some of them will even let you pick and choose your baby’s new family yourself.

There are so many different forms of adoption. The main ones are open and closed adoptions.

In an open adoption, not only might you get the chance to meet your baby’s new family before handing him over, but you have the option of retaining a relationship with your baby. Depending on the new family and their comfort level, you could exchange pictures, letters, share holidays, and even visit him throughout his life.

In a closed adoption, it’s just as it sounds, you are handing your child over to a family you will never know, that will never know you. This option protects everyone involved. Your child gets to grow up in a regular family like any other child. The only reason he will ever know of his adoption is if the family chooses to tell him.

In this case, regardless of your decision, and whether you went with an open or closed adoption, you still have 72 hours after your little one has been born to make a final decision.

If you would like to be able to return to life as if this never happened, this is the best way to do so.

Your child will grow up with a family that is able to care for her and will love her, and you can know that you made a good decision.

Abort the Baby

I know this seems like the easiest options, but I would never recommend this decision to anyone. However, it is obviously your decision.

I should warn you about the consequences of this decision though before you make it, as they are far and wide in physical damage to you, mental damage, and even emotional damage that will last you a lifetime.

First of all, many women that go this route are never able to have children again. I will spare you the details of this procedure as you can find them on many a website. You should visit one of these and see for yourself before making this choice.

The damage done to a woman’s body during an abortion, much less to that of the child, is so destructive that many have led to hysterectomies and sometimes even death.

Each year, almost half of all pregnancies among American women are unintended. About half of these unplanned pregnancies, 1.3 million each year, are ended by abortion.

When this happens, most women experience a profound sense of loss and grief. As with any major change or decision involving loss, a crisis later in life usually leads to a temporary resurfacing of sad feelings surrounding the abortion.

Unlike pregnancies that end unexpectedly for couples desperately wanting a child, there is a profound guilt that accompanies most abortions.

An abortion is a pregnancy ended because of a choice that the mother made to end her child’s life. There is no greater sense of loss or overwhelming guilt than what follows this choice.

The emotional and mental damage that accompanies this decision is one that is carried around for the rest of your life. Please take this decision very seriously as there are so many others you could consider.

What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy
What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy | Source

Hand Your Little One Over to a Professional

If you are scared, feel alone, don’t know what to do, and would like someone else to handle it for you, this is the easiest route for you.

No questions, no forms to fill out, no inconveniences, and no difficulties.

New laws in the United States have made it possible for unwanted newborns and/or infants to be dropped off at various locations, known as safe havens, no questions asked, and without the threat of prosecution.

Every state allows for an unwanted, unharmed baby to be relinquished to an employee on duty at a licensed hospital. Other good places include police stations, fire stations, churches, medical centers, adoption agencies, welfare agencies, or even to an EMT or 911 responder.

If you are checking the laws related to dropping off an infant, they will obviously want you to hand the baby to someone qualified, possibly even medical trained.

However, mothers dropping off their infants are usually not reading first before making this decision. Many an employee has opened a door to find an infant abandoned at the front stoop.

This way the mother doesn’t have to be seen, and doesn’t have to answer any questions. Please consider the safety of the child if you decide to do this, as it really is best, if possible, to put your baby in the arms of someone who works there.

But either way, at any of these places your child will be found and cared for.

Find a Family That Would Love Your Little One

Finally, here is another option that you may find appealing. Every year there are approximately 18.5 million couples in the United States that want children but cannot for one reason or another.

There are also about 12.8 million unmarried women in the US that wish to have a child even without a husband.

Unfortunately, not even half of these families are able to afford the extravagant costs of adopting a child, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t up for any other option.

Agency and private adoptions can range from $10,000 to $50,000 and more depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors. (

Even the medical costs for trying to have a child on their own with the help of a doctor can be exorbitant, ranging from about $500 to $100,000 for usually very painful surgeries and procedures that aren’t guaranteed to be successful.

Many times these families look to fostering, surrogates, and any other option they can think of to become parents.

All of these people are out there, unbeknownst to you, that would gladly take your child into their homes and consider it one of their own if you just offered. You just have to find them.

Just scanning through the internet, there are spots where you can post your desires on just about every baby or parenting site on the web. Choose one, or choose several of them and post, and you’ll be finding families in no time.

There are even girls posting on Craigslist trying to find a loving family for their babies.

I know that my husband and I have been trying to start a family for a while now with no results. We would be delighted to find a woman that wanted a good family for her baby.

What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy
What to Do With an Unwanted or Unexpected Pregnancy | Source

But What About Your Family/Your Relationship?

If you have decided to carry your baby to term, whether you have decided to keep him or her or have made another decision, if you are still at home with your family, this might be a huge problem.

Many families, unlike all of those horrible movies you see on TV where the families disown their daughters, are concerned, understanding, and caring towards their children.

Although this may not have been your family’s first choice for your future, there is a very strong likelihood that they will want to keep you close and support you through any decision you have made.

However, you have to talk to them and give them a shot first to know how they’ll react.

If for some reason they don’t support your decision, there are so many wonderful places that will give you the support you need. Here in my town they have several Community Pregnancy Centers.

Not only do they offer free pregnancy tests, but they offer testing, medical help, prenatal support, food, utility help, and can even help you find a supportive place to stay.

At, they also provide all of the same support for women with unplanned pregnancies, including free medical assistance, free housing assistance (if necessary), prenatal care, a free cell phone, and even plenty of options to help you with your stress.

You can call them at 1-800-835-6360 or even text them at 1-801-450-0094. Check it out!

If you are pregnant and don’t know what to do, your options are endless.

Many girls choose to keep their babies and raise them with their families. Some have family members that pitch in to help and are willing to “adopt” the baby to keep it in the family.

Many women choose to go through an adoption agency to find their babies a home, and some even choose to simply leave their infant with a professional.

You can even simply find a loving family that would be delighted for the blessing of a baby in their home.

Whatever you end up deciding to do, make sure that you put a great deal of thought into it. Do your research, check out your options on the internet, ask questions, and make sure that you are making the best decision for you and your baby.

Not only do you want to feel good about your decision for your own peace of mind, but you want the confidence that goes with knowing you also made the best decision for your child.

For any questions, feel free to contact one of these hotlines:

American Pregnancy Helpline 1-866-942-6466

Option Line 1-800-712-HELP

Pregnancy Hotline 1-800-395-HELP

Pregnancy Help Online 1-800-923-6784

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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness


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