When facing an unplanned pregnancy, expectant parents may get advice and input from many people in their lives. Some of this input may include the word “keeping” their baby. Although the word “keep” is used to refer to parenting, we desire for expectant parents to be able to think much more long-term. You can “keep” a rock on your shelf, but parents don’t simply “keep” their children in this way. Understanding the difference in “keeping” a baby and the active role of parenting, which includes providing long-term care throughout a child’s life is imperative to making the most stable plan for both the expectant parents’ and the child’s life. Providing food, clothing, shelter, transportation, love, discipline, medical coverage, education, and parental guidance are a few of the areas that should be considered in providing stability for a child.
However, expectant parents facing unplanned pregnancies who do not feel equipped to take on these parenting roles due to current life circumstances are not without hope. There are resources available to help prepare for parenting long-term, and there is the life-giving option to place their child with an adoptive family who has prepared for, prayed for, and longed for a child for whom they can take on the parenting role. Making an adoption plan for a child’s life is a selfless act of love and sacrifice by birth parents who want to ensure they are providing long-term stability for their child for a lifetime.
Here are some practical questions a parent can ask when considering long-term care for a child:
- Where would you and your child live, and what are the pros and cons for both you and your child in this living arrangement?
- If you plan to go to school or work, who will be caring for your child during the time you are at work or school?
- How will you financially provide for the physical needs of your child such as diapers, clothes, formula, and food?
- If the people who are currently telling you that they can help, become unable to help, what are possible back-up plans?
- What are the benefits of having an active father in your child’s life and in your life? Does your situation with the birth father provide these benefits?
- What are your hopes and dreams for your child? What kind of childhood do you want your child to have? What do you want your home to feel like for your child?
- What are your personal goals over the next five years in schooling and work, and how do you plan to achieve these goals?
- How will you handle dating, if that time comes?
- How do you think parenting will affect you mentally and emotionally?
- What are the pros and cons of a child being raised by a single parent?
- What are the pros and cons of adoption?
- What benefits do you think an adoptive mom and dad provide?
Ultimately, expectant parents are the ones making this parenting choice. If choosing adoption will allow the expectant parents to give their baby the life they want for him or her, the decision may be difficult, but they will know they did what was best for both themselves and for their child’s life. If choosing parenting as the best option, it is important to be connected to a support system and resources that can help give your child the emotional and relational health that he or she needs, in addition to meeting physical needs. Whether choosing to parent or to make an adoption plan, you will experience many beautiful and difficult moments. Adoption is not an easy choice; it is a choice of love and sacrifice beyond what most people could ever know. However, expectant parents who choose adoption can feel confident in knowing that they are providing their child with a lifetime of stability and love. Good parents make a plan for how their child will be cared for long-term physically and emotionally, which can be accomplished by understanding and responsibly taking on the active parenting role or choosing an adoptive family for your child.
Lifeline counselors are here to listen to your fears, your concerns, and your desires for your future and the future of your baby. Our counselors will help you understand your options and equip you to make the best possible choice. We want you to find peace and comfort in a plan that is right for you during this uncertain time. Contact us today to set up a time to speak with a counselor who can help you on this journey.