Unplanned Pregnancy Choices

By on May 13, 2021
pregnancy

Over the course of women’s lives, most experience the prospect of being unexpectedly pregnant. No matter the woman’s current employment and personal relationship status, this is usually labeled as a “scare.” While men are definitely involved in some way within the context of the situation, men have difficulty understanding the way that pregnancy alters women’s lives. Once pregnant, a woman’s life never returns to how it was pre-pregnancy regardless of whether that child remains in her life or not. This is part of the reason that unplanned pregnancy resources should be readily available to all women.

Immediate Decisions

One of the earliest decisions a woman has to make when she discovers she’s unexpectedly pregnant is whether or not she will carry the fetus to term. Regardless of the outcome of that decision, each woman needs access to facts about procedures, laws, and the consequences facing her depending on what she chooses. Most women face judgment from a variety of sources no matter what their choice. Clinics and doctor’s offices are frequently the only places a woman can find dispassionate truths. Many women struggle emotionally with their decision. Resources such as counseling and support groups are helpful in sorting out women’s true feelings from those driven by an influx of hormones.

Plan of Action

If a woman chooses to carry the baby to term, she is faced with a variety of other choices. Will, she put the baby up for adoption? If so, what is the procedure for that? Adoption laws vary from state to state. For example, in New Jersey, a child placed for non-private adoption has to enter the foster care system first and be placed in a foster home before the adoptive parents can take custody of that child. Home visits by social workers specializing in child placement are mandated by law. That social worker has to report to the court on the fitness of both the prospective adoptive parents and their home before the child can be placed with them.

In the event a woman decides to keep the baby and raise it herself, that opens up other issues. Does she plan on proving paternity through testing? Will she choose to test the child in utero or after the baby is born? What kind of co-parenting arrangement does she envision? Then there are the choices of the child’s father. Does he want to be involved in the baby’s life and upbringing? What kind of financial responsibility will each parent take? These and many other questions will need to be answered. An attorney versed in custody can help navigate these issues.

Her Body’s Fluctuations

Amid all the chaos of these life-changing decisions, a woman also has to navigate the transformation of her body when she becomes pregnant. Most women are aware of things like pregnancy cravings and morning sickness before becoming pregnant. Morning sickness isn’t always confined to mornings, though. How long it affects a woman and the intensity of the illness can vary, too.  

When women have access to the resources they need surrounding their pregnancies, their stress levels can be greatly reduced.

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Unplanned Pregnancy Choices