If you get pregnant by accident, you’ll need to decide what to do. There are three options: you go ahead with the pregnancy, you have the baby but give it up for adoption, or you have the pregnancy terminated (an abortion).
Whatever you decide, you need to think carefully. Talk to someone you trust. Someone who can give you advice and support, preferably an adult – your mother, an aunt, a friend, your partner or your doctor. Someone who won’t judge you for your choices. In the end, you’re the one who has to make the final decision.
What are you going to do?
- Keep the Baby
You could decide to carry on with the pregnancy and raise the child. This means thinking about the future: if you’re not married or in a stable relationship, will you be able to cope? How will it affect your life? Your education? Will you have enough support – from the baby’s father, or your family? Will you have enough money to live on? If you have a partner, what does he think? Does he want to keep the child? How many children do you have already? Is it safe to have another? Is the foetus healthy?
And the most important question: do you want this pregnancy?
- Give the baby up for adoption
You could also have the baby adopted. Again, you need to think carefully. You don’t know how you will feel after you’ve given birth when the time comes to hand over your baby to someone else. 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. Or maybe you know someone who would love to raise a child. It could be someone in your family. Whatever you decide, it’s important to be clear about what you want from the adoption. For example, would you like to be able to see the child in the future?
If you’re still very young and you live with your family, it helps if you can be honest with your parents. They may want to raise the child themselves. If not, perhaps they can help you decide what to do. If it’s difficult to tell them, perhaps another family member could help you break the news.
- End the pregnancy (abortion)
The third option is to have an abortion. 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 your body and your future, so in the end you have to decide for yourself.
First, ask yourself the question: do I want this baby? If the answer is a resounding yes or no, then maybe you already know what your decision should be. 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? Would it feel right or wrong? Does ending a pregnancy fit with my religious beliefs? Should those beliefs inform my decision? Does the father want the child? Can I have a safe abortion in my country?
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.