When an unplanned pregnancy occurs, the first question often asked is, “What are you going to do?” This question typically implies the question, “Are you going to parent or are you going to terminate the pregnancy?” Why is adoption not implied in this scenario? What is it about adoption that makes it not a first choice when an unplanned pregnancy occurs? This question has a lot to do with the process of adoption and the unknowns that come with adoption.
Adoption is not often suggested as a response to unplanned pregnancy for three reasons:
1. Adoption means going through an entire pregnancy.
Unplanned pregnancies more often than not are also unwanted pregnancies. The issue here is not only the idea of parenting a child, but the turmoil that might result from going through a pregnancy. The mother would have to tell her family and friends about the pregnancy. She would have to go through all of the ins and outs of a pregnancy, including the medical inconveniences that might affect employment. Those that she would have to tell may have opinions on the topic that are unwanted. The mother may also not want the father to know she is pregnant. In essence, adoption would mean giving up nine months of her life and is not fathomable to some as a realistic option.
2. The idea of adoption can be heartbreaking.
Even if a pregnancy is not planned, the idea of placing a child once a mother has carried her for nine months can be heartbreaking. Many cannot fathom experiencing that bond, going through birth, and placing that child. Many do not suggest adoption because they cannot understand the ins and outs of adoption and the options for openness in adoption. Adoption can be heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. However, suggesting adoption as an option takes understanding the options adoption allows.
3. Many people simply do not know enough about adoption.
Adoption has become more accepted throughout the years, however there are still many misconceptions about adoption. People are often scared of the unknowns in adoption. People do not suggest the adoption option because they often do not know anyone who has made that choice. Many have only seen adoption portrayed in the media, which is often in a tragic manner. Parenting is something we see every day. Abortion is a very straightforward result and is an option with consequences that are “out of sight, out of mind.” Adoption would be more often suggested if the population were more educated on all that adoption can be.
Written by Lita Jordan
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.
For continued guidance regarding your unexpected pregnancy, visit Adoption.com.