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An unexpected pregnancy can bring on all sorts of feelings, and they can come at you pretty fast right after you make the discovery. But one thing you need to remember is that you have some time to consider your situation and figure out what to do. 

Before you make any decisions, you should realize that your options may not be as limited as you think. You may have heard that your only choices are to parent, get an abortion, or give the baby up for adoption. But your true choices are actually a bit more nuanced. Let’s explore some of the alternatives to abortion, and learn about the resources available to you in Coeur d’Alene that cannot only help you make the best choice for yourself, but assist you in carrying out whatever plan you decide on.

1. Co-Parenting: Raising Your Child as a Team

You may feel pretty alone when you find out that you are pregnant, but it’s important to remember that you are not. If the child’s father is someone you would consider having in the child’s life, it is possible for both of you to come to an agreement on how best to co-parent the child. If that is your choice, let him know about the multitude of support options available for men. And don’t be surprised if the father needs a little time to absorb the idea–feelings are coming at him pretty fast, as well. But you both have time to consider your options before taking any action.

2. Single-Parenting: Raising Your Child With Help from Open Arms Clinic in Coeur d’Alene

If the father does not want to be in the child’s life, or if you conclude that it is better that neither you or your child should have a relationship with the father, you may choose to raise the child as a single parent.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed with this option, and the feeling is understandable: single parenting can be very difficult. Bear in mind, however, that, despite perceptions, even two-parent households have a lot of outside help: relatives, caregivers, and friends often play an integral role in the raising of children. Open Arms clinic and other community resources are here to help you.

3. Closed Adoption

Parenting might not be the best option for you, and that’s completely okay. An alternative is to give your baby up for adoption. A closed adoption is an adoption in which you have no contact with the child or the adoptive family after you have given your baby to an adoption agency.

If this is what you choose, you can be sure the agency will find your baby a loving home. At any one time, there are over a million couples in the nation who are seeking to adopt an infant, and babies are usually placed with a family before they are even one month old. The adoptive family can choose to tell the child about the adoption later on in life, when they believe the time is right. If you are thinking about adoption, Open Arms can provide you with further information, as well as offer adoption support.

4. Open Adoption

Another abortion alternative is an open adoption. Unlike a closed adoption, with an open adoption, although you give up your parental rights, you will stay in contact with the adoptive family. In many open adoptions, you can get to know the family while you are pregnant. You can even choose to have contact with the child after the child is born, depending upon the circumstances. With open adoptions, you may be able to arrange visits, receive updates on the child’s life, or even have regular communication. In many cases of open adoptions, birth mothers will wait until the child is an adult to become more involved in the child’s life.  

5. Legal Guardianship

If you are uncomfortable with completely giving up your parental rights but are not ready to be a parent, another possibility is to consider legal guardianship. Like adoption, legal guardianship will give your child a supportive family environment in which to grow up. The guardian will have the responsibility and authority to make certain decisions, such as about education and medical care. However legal guardianship allows you to maintain your parental rights, which you can reclaim at some point, subject to court approval. This option is helpful especially if you are very young, or if you need time to become financially stable before taking on your parenting responsibilities. Further, while a court order is needed in order to establish legal guardianship, in some cases, you may have a say in who can be named as a guardian, such as a close relative or family friend.

When you find yourself with an unplanned pregnancy, you don’t just have one or two choices before you. You have many choices, and you should get all the information you need, and take the time you need, to make the ones that are best for you, both short and long-term. What is more, you don’t have to walk this road alone. At Open Arms Real Choices Clinic, you will find people who will support you and provide you with resources and help that will make you feel good about moving forward. Contact us at Open Arms Real Choices Clinic for education, support, and no-cost services.

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