If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, this might be the most stressful and confusing time in your life. For whatever reason, you know that you are not in a place to parent a child, so you have a seemingly impossible decision to make. Is abortion or adoption the right choice for you?
I was in this position one year ago. I made a mistake, and my birth control plan failed. My boyfriend and I were in a committed relationship, but we had not planned on having kids ’til much further down the road. The idea that my entire future could change after a single night left me feeling desperate and alone.
In my panic, I opted for the popular emergency contraception pill, Plan B. While I would not call this choice easy, I can say that it was convenient – over the counter at my local pharmacy. At the time I took the pill, I thought I was making the right choice. I made the decision quickly, without really considering any other options. I wish someone had prepared me for the physical and emotional aftermath of my decision. I wish I had taken the time to research all of my other options. My rash action made under extreme stress has left me with feelings of regret and wondering, “what if” even a year later.
You are the only one who can decide the right path after an unplanned pregnancy. But to find your way, you need to know about your options. What are the “abortion pill” and Plan B? How might adoption provide you with a different opportunity? The adoption professionals at Lifetime Adoption are here to guide you through your options so you can make an informed decision that is best for you. I want to share some info I wish I’d had.
The Abortion Pill and Plan B
The abortion pill (mifepristone and misoprostol) will terminate a pregnancy if taken within ten weeks of a woman’s last menstrual period. Unlike the abortion pill, Plan B (levonorgestrel) will not terminate a pregnancy. Plan B is a female hormone that causes changes to the cervix, making it harder for the egg to be fertilized and implant in the uterus. It is not 100% effective, and its effectiveness decreases the longer you wait after sex (within 72 hours). Healthcare professionals recommend that women visit their doctor within three weeks of using Plan B to confirm they are not pregnant and that the hormones have not caused any harmful side effects.
While Plan B is relatively safe for most women to use, there are both physical and emotional side effects. Plan B comes with warnings such as:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Breast tenderness
All of these side effects are listed in the literature for Plan B, but I did not realize how intensely they would impact me. It felt like having my period, a hangover, and bad stomach flu all rolled into one. My symptoms were severe enough to keep me home from work the next day. In addition to the physical repercussions, I felt a dark cloud of despair for the next 24 hours.
I’ve learned that many women report feelings of depression and regret after taking Plan B. Options like Plan B and the abortion pill are time-sensitive. Because of the time constrictions with these options, women make this decision under pressure, and possibly without enough information.
While the idea of Plan B might relieve anxiety about an unplanned pregnancy, our emotions are more complicated than that. Our bodies enter the fight or flight mode when we are under stress, so the decisions we make under these conditions may leave us feeling regretful. It is common for women to feel regret after taking Plan B or the abortion pill, even if they were sure about their decision at the time. The regret doesn’t go away, sadly.
What I Wish I Knew About Adoption
Abortions are becoming increasingly common. In the United States, there are significantly more abortions than there are infant adoptions.
Why are more women choosing abortion over adoption when faced with an unplanned pregnancy? One reason is the lack of information about adoption. Some women feel that carrying through with an unplanned pregnancy will be too expensive. They don’t realize that they can receive financial and emotional support throughout the entire adoption process. There is no cost to you.
They also fear that giving up their baby will hurt too much, and they will spend their lives wondering if their child is safe. They worry their child will grow up, resenting them for the choice they made. The reality is that there are more loving families looking to adopt than there are available infants, and the option of an open adoption plan will alleviate many of the birth mother’s fears.
If your heart is open to adoption as a path for your unplanned pregnancy, the adoption professionals at Lifetime Adoption can show you how adoption may lead to a fulfilling and loving future for you and your baby.
Here are five reasons why you might consider adoption over abortion:
1. Abortion is Permanent
Whether it is Plan B, the abortion pill, or any other abortion option, this choice is final. If you have any reservations about terminating your pregnancy, this is probably not the right choice for you.
The abortion pill can be taken up to 70 days (or 10 weeks) after conception. On day 1 of conception, the fertilized egg has every detail of how that baby will develop – eye color, height, sex, etc., by week 4 the heart is beating, brain waves can be detected at week 6, and by week 9 the baby’s organs are working, and the body is almost complete. From day one, your baby is growing in leaps and bounds. Your body is going through many hormonal changes as well, and it is important not to act rashly. This is when you need to take time to explore your options.
When you open yourself to adoption, you are rewarded with time to educate yourself so that you can make the best decisions for you and your baby. You have options about the type of adoption plan you pursue, and you even have the right to change your mind if you decide to parent your baby yourself. Adoption affords you the flexibility to explore your emotions and the time to make decisions with confidence. It’s a short time with lifelong benefits to many.
2. Open Adoptions Eliminate Fear of the Unknown
The thought of giving their baby to strangers and forever wondering is simply too much for some women to bear. Thankfully, this is no longer what adoption needs to look like. Today you can meet and build a relationship with the adoptive parents.
When you pursue an open adoption, you select the adoptive parents with support and guidance from your adoption professional. You may have the opportunity to get to know the adoptive parents and build a relationship before the baby even arrives.
After your baby’s birth, you decide how much contact you wish to have with your child and her adoptive parents. You may be content with periodic updates, or you may desire a closer relationship through consistent phone calls, texts, and visits if you decide.
Some adoptive parents live states away, others within driving distance. Either way, you can rest assured that your baby is safe and loved. Adoptive parents have extensive background checks done. Your baby will grow up knowing who you are, and the sacrifice you made for her.
3. Adoption Gives Purpose to an Unplanned Pregnancy
By choosing adoption, you are turning a difficult situation into a dream come true for a hopeful adoptive family. While you may not be at a point in your life where you can parent a child, your baby may be meant to fulfill another family. This blessing is the greatest gift you can offer couples hoping to adopt.
4. Adoption Gives You Control Over Your Life
An unplanned pregnancy may have you feeling like you are no longer in the driver’s seat. You had a plan for your life, but that plan has unexpectedly veered off course only temporarily.
Choosing adoption can help you regain some of that control. You can choose adoption at any point in your pregnancy, and even after your baby is born. In an open adoption, you select the adoptive family that will love and care for your baby. You make the plan for who will be with you when your baby is born, and how things will go at the hospital. You decide how much contact you will have with your child. You are not rushed to make these decisions, so you can feel confident that you are doing what is best for you and your baby. You can even speak to other birth mothers for support.
5. You’re Supported Throughout the Adoption Process
There are no easy choices when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Both abortion and adoption are complicated and emotional, but only adoption offers you financial and emotional support throughout the process.
Through Lifetime Adoption, birth mothers have access to counseling while pregnant, as well as after the baby is born. Birth mothers may also be able to receive some financial support. They do not need to worry about medical costs, and they may also receive assistance for living expenses such as rent, groceries, and transportation.
You Are Not Alone
Choosing a path for your unplanned pregnancy is a big decision. Unplanned pregnancy options like Plan B or the abortion pill may seem like a quick fix with the fewest repercussions, but my experience has taught me otherwise. I will always wonder if I would have made a different decision had I been given the time and resources to understand all of my options. I believe I would have chosen adoption.
This is not a decision you should make out of fear or because you feel pressured. You do have options, and you are not alone.