Despite all their talk about "choice," those at abortion centers who counsel women on their options often act as if abortion is a woman’s only realistic alternative. This simply isn’t so.

Throughout the United States, there are approximately 4,000 crisis pregnancy centers (also known as pregnancy resource centers) staffed by volunteers ready to provide real help to women facing unplanned or untimely pregnancies. In addition to providing pregnancy tests and counseling, these centers often offer a full range of services, helping women obtain housing, maternity and baby clothes, baby equipment, pre- and post-natal medical care, legal assistance and financial support, information about adoption, and even advice on how a woman in school can continue her education. Offering real and tangible assistance, these centers have helped millions of women to realize that they didn’t have to choose between their own lives and the lives of their unborn babies.

Unlike their counterparts at the local abortion center, the volunteer counselors at your Crisis Pregnancy Center do not have a vested financial interest in the ultimate decision you make. Their concern and commitment are genuine, so you can count on them to stick by you through the tense and sometimes difficult months ahead.

If you picked up this pamphlet at your local Crisis Pregnancy Center, you already have some idea of the quality of people who work there. But if not, you can look in the Yellow Pages under the heading "Abortion Alternatives," or call, toll-free, 1 (800) 848-LOVE, any time, day or night, to find the nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center in your area. You’ll find someone who genuinely cares about what happens to you and your unborn baby.

Consider Adoption

Pregnant and not sure what to do? Consider Adoption as an Alternative.

Many women won’t consider adoption because of misconceptions. They see adoption as giving away the child they carried for nine months, never to know what happened to their baby afterwards. But adoption is a very loving choice. Loving your child enough to give him life, you then can give her the gift of a family. Adoption isn't like it used to be. A common misconception included the view that if a woman saw her child it would be harder on her to give him up. In many cases not seeing her child proved harder on the mother because questions went unanswered and wasn't given the chance to say hello to her child before much less good bye.

Three types of adoption are available to you today. Each is designed with your best interest in mind. In all cases you have the option to spend as much time with your child as you want while you are in the hospital.

  1. The first type of adoption is called an Open Adoption Plan. This type of adoption will not only allow you to choose the family who will raise your child, but you will be able to meet and get to know the family. An Open Adoption Plan also allows on-going visits with your child, and he will know from the beginning that you are his birth parent.
  2. The second type of adoption available is the Semi-Private Adoption. This allows you to choose a family from written non-identifying information provided by the adoption agency. You would keep in contact with the family through letter and photos but they would be exchanged through the adoption agency or a third party.
  3. The third type of adoption is the Confidential Adoption Plan. This plan allows you to have no contact with your child or the adoptive family if that is your desire. You would request that the agency choose an adoptive family for your child. Other than a medical history there would be no contact between you and the adoptive family and no updates with letters and photos.

If you would like more detailed information about adoption in general or one of the three types of adoptions in particular you should contact your nearest adoption agency or pregnancy resource center. By making the call you are not making any commitment, and no one will pressure you at any time. What they will offer is additional information, guidance, and support if you so desire. All services through an adoption agency, including the adoption, are at no cost to you.

Making an adoption plan can be a win win situation. Your child is given the gift of life and the gift of a family and security. You are free to continue with your education, career, or life plans. Being pregnant is not a terminal situation, you will get past this. It may temporarily slow down your goals but making an adoption plan will help you get back on track with the confidence and knowledge that you brought new life into the world and fulfilled someone’s dream of having a family.

Looking for Marriage Information?

Marriage is a viable option for a couple who finds themselves pregnant.

If you are still involved with the father of your baby and have no plans to end the relationship, why not consider marriage? Being married gives you greater economic and social stability and support than if you were single.

Two people strive to support this family instead of one. Your child has the stability of two parents and two people working to raise this her on a full-time basis. Once you’re married you are more likely to work for your relationship and through your problems as well.

Studies do not show that a marriage begun because of pregnancy is more likely to end in divorce - but studies do show that a man is more likely to stay involved in his child’s life if he was a full-time father, married to the mother, even if only for a short time.

Many resources are available to married couples that may not be accessible to a single woman living with her boyfriend. Agencies exist that can help you explore the marriage option and see if you are spiritually, emotionally, and financially ready for marriage. They can also help you through other struggles you are having. You have as much as eight months before your child arrives. Plenty of time to explore your options and make a plan for the future. By visiting a local pregnancy resource center you and your baby’s father can learn about all available resources.

Even in the best of circumstances, when a couple is happily married, the news of a pregnancy can be scary. A lot of questions and concerns like “Are we ready for a child? Can we afford this child? This isn’t the right time,” may be flooding your brain. These are normal concerns do not mean you shouldn’t have the baby. It simply means you’re walking new terrain that you need to learn about and explore. Working together as a couple makes the whole process a lot easier.

Talk to each other about the possibility of marriage. You may need to initiate the conversation by showing your boyfriend this website.

Looking for Single-Parenting Information?

The thought of being a single parent may be overwhelming, but remember you have time before your baby is born to make a plan.

There are many resources available to you. A good place to start would be a visit to your local pregnancy care center.

The volunteers there can give you important information about medical care, housing, food, child support, day care, employment, as well as legal and financial assistance. They will guide you through the process and support you for as long as you need them. They will not try to make your decision for you. Most pregnancy care centers offer free maternity clothes, baby clothes, and diapers.

One of the hardest aspects of single parenting is the feeling of isolation and loneliness. If you are not receiving emotional support from your family or the baby’s father, you should really seek out where your support is.

In the best of circumstances parenting is difficult. Initially your plans may need to be postponed but don’t give up on your dreams. You can have it all, it may just take a little longer to achieve.

Questions you will need to answer...

  • Whose support can I count on
  • Where will I liveHow will I support myself and my child
  • What about child support
  • What about material assistance
  • What about child care

Talk to each other about the possibility of marriage. You may need to initiate the conversation by showing your boyfriend this website.

P.O. Box 13
Belcamp, MD 21017