What to do? What to do? The question echoes in your head.
Women with an unexpected pregnancy often feel anxious, afraid and indecisive. You are facing one of the biggest decisions of your life and of your child’s life. You are not alone. Many women in your situation have been confronted with the same emotions. Like them, it may help you to take a deep breath and decide what you want for YOUR life before you choose YOUR CHILD’S destiny.
Take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions when contemplating keeping the baby:
Are you ready to be a mother? You will be making a 24-hour-a-day/18-year commitment to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to the life you’re bringing into the world.
Do you know the identity of the father? You may need to conduct a paternity test to identify the father if he challenges the requirement to pay child support.
Is the father supportive? Raising a child is a big responsibility. Parents should approach major decisions as “we” rather than as two individuals. If you and the father do not live together, will you share custody and the related financial and emotional responsibilities of raising a child?
Do you have other children or plans for a future family to consider? Are you providing a loving home for the children you already have? Every baby deserves to be a happy addition to the family.
Have you completed your education? Traditionally, less education means less income. It is difficult, though not impossible, to attend school, hold a job and raise a baby.
What is the direction of your career path? Do you have a support network to help you juggle a job and a baby? Women who interrupt their careers to raise children often have reduced opportunities for advancement and promotions.
Are you financially stable? You’ll need to provide food, clothing and a home for your baby. You’ll also need to pay for diapers, day care, transportation and doctor visits. The estimated cost to raise a child to age 18 can be almost $245,000.
Are you ready to change your lifestyle? Do you live for nightlife or enjoy travel? Do you like doing things that kids enjoy? How do your friends react to children? Consider how you handle everything from stress or illness to housekeeping or homework.
Are you healthy? A good diet, rest and exercise are required to build the stamina needed to raise a child. You will have many sleepless nights. Does your health history indicate any challenges?
If you have an unexpected pregnancy and are trying to decide whether keeping the baby is right for you, let us help. Contact the compassionate social workers at Legacy Adoption Services at (817) 899-5000 to determine whether you are ready for parenthood.