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What are the Different Pregnancy Options?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2018
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Pregnancy options are the different choices a pregnant woman has about the disposition of a fetus or baby before or after it is born. These are most likely considered when a pregnancy is unplanned and complicates life plans. Each option is an individual choice, which may be partly restricted or legislated by regional laws. The three basic choices are abortion, adoption, or keeping the baby. Within each choice, there may be different ways to proceed.

One of the pregnancy options for an unwanted pregnancy or one that poses physical risk to the mother is to elect for termination. Very early in a pregnancy, termination can be achieved with certain medications or with surgery, and methods available differ as to region. Each area mandates how long abortion remains an option. There are strong feelings on abortion and these feelings, with whatever laws are in place, can determine the degree to which mothers find abortion an appropriate solution.

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Many women choose not to abort but cannot raise a child, and they elect to surrender children for adoption after they’re born. There may be many pregnancy options when it comes to adoption, or relatively few. Some parents need to surrender children to care of the state, and others may be able to arrange private adoptions with a selected couple or with a specific agency. Today, more flexibility exists in defining type of adoption, and some birth moms retain a degree of contact with the children they do not raise through open adoption strategies. Adoption may require paternal consent in addition to maternal consent, which means some women need to consult birth fathers before they can legally surrender custody of children.

Women choosing adoption should know in advance that pre-arranged adoptions don’t always guarantee placement of a child, who might instead land in foster care or a group home. There may be options for women to resume custody if they surrender a child who will not receive the individual attention of a parent. Regional laws in this area should be thoroughly researched before any papers are signed.

The last of the pregnancy options is deciding to keep and raise a child. This is a difficult choice to make too, because most women considering their options aren’t presently prepared to be parents. There are many moms who do a great job when suddenly faced with parenthood or the prospect of a new child, but other mothers don’t share these success stories. Sometimes it isn’t possible in present circumstances to do well with a child and the better choice is to place that child with a loving family. Choosing to hold onto the baby is a lifetime decision and could be good for or bad for the child and the parent.

Women considering pregnancy options are best served by getting an impartial counselor who can present each option fairly. This matter takes some time to think about, and several discussions with a pregnancy counselor are warranted before a final decision is made. Note that determinations to surrender or keep a child may be made at the last minute, but decisions on whether to have an abortion may need to be made in the first or early second trimester, or this option is not legally available at any time.

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