Have you become pregnant unexpectedly? Find out 5 potential courses of action, right here…
Experiencing an unexpected pregnancy is likely to be frightening and overwhelming, and it might be tricky to decide how to proceed. Whether you choose to keep the child and file for a wrongful birth lawsuit, choose adoption, or termination, the choice is yours. There’s certainly a lot to consider.
In this article, we hope to make this decision a little easier by telling you five of the potential options you might decide to pursue. Take a look…
1. Keeping the Baby
The first potential option for you to consider if you are faced with an unexpected pregnancy is to keep the baby. If you think you have the capacity to look after a new baby, including in an emotional and financial sense, as well as having space in your home, then it could certainly be a viable option.
If you don’t feel emotionally or financially ready, however, there is plenty of support available. For starters, child benefits are a potential safety net for some parents. What’s more, you could rely on help from family and friends too.
Another option, which is subject to situation, could be to make a wrongful birth claim against your health service. This is certainly subject to whether you’re eligible to make a claim, and would be based on:
- Whether you would have terminated the pregnancy had you known about certain issues;
- Or if a pregnancy termination from your health service was unsuccessful.
A claim like this would then help you to fund your new arrival, whether this be extra funds for your child’s needs, or basic funds for food, clothing, and more.
2. Putting the Child Up for Adoption
If you don’t feel as though you can be financially or emotionally responsible for a child, you can always consider adoption. Childline has a lot of great information on their site for what to do if you’re in this situation.
The Adoption Process
They first suggest that you need to speak to an adoption agency, as they can make all the arrangements for new parents. They can guide you through the process, and make sure you’re happy with the parents you’ll be adopting to.
It might also be wise to talk with friends and family, as well as any support groups you can find that can mentally prepare you for the process to come. This way, you can be sure that this is the route you’d like to take. You can then seek their emotional support throughout, if you need it.
If, after seeking this support, you are sure you’d like to go ahead, the adoption agency will take the next step. This is where the courts make the adoption final with a court order. This is a legal document giving the new parents legal rights and responsibilities over the child.
Things to Know About Adoption
Before anything goes ahead, in this regard, it’s important to be aware of a couple of pointers. These are:
- Your baby has to be at least 6 weeks old before a final decision is made.
- During this time, and before the adoption is settled, the baby will either be placed in foster care or with the parents-to-be.
- Once an adoption order is arranged by the court, it can’t be undone. Before this, you’ll still have the option to withdraw.
- The new parents will be thoroughly checked before they can adopt your child, to ensure they can provide the best care for them.
- In most cases, you will not be able to see your child after adoption; until they reach an age where they can potentially contact you themselves.
- You can receive regular updates – usually once a year – about your child’s progress, if you’d like.
3. Choosing Kinship Adoption
If you’d rather stay in your child’s life, but still don’t feel truly responsible for a baby, you could always consider kinship adoption. This is where a family member, either distant or close, adopts the child. Although this might sound like a great idea, there are some pros and cons to consider.
For starters, you can remain a firm placement within your child’s life, allowing you to potentially get to know them for future plans. In fact, in this scenario, you could even choose to take on parental responsibilities later on down the line far more readily.
What’s more, you will likely trust your family members, meaning you can be sure the baby is put in good hands.
You can’t forget, though, that this can have some downfalls in that the child may find these roles and boundaries confusing to them. This might, therefore, lead to a disruptive childhood, and potentially lots of family drama.
Also, the greater post-placement contact might act as a sad reminder to the biological parent of their decision. This can be rather tricky to deal with. Overall, it really depends on the specific situation, how close you are with your family members, and how involved you’d like to be in your child’s life.
4. Temporary Guardianship
Another potential option, which feeds on from the above, is temporary guardianship. This is where the child is placed in a temporary position until the parent decides they are ready to take on the role. This provides a more flexible option for someone who is unsure what action to take.
5. Termination of the Pregnancy
Finally, another potential option is to terminate the pregnancy. If you decide to head down this route, you would not be alone, as there were 207,384 abortions in England and Wales in 2019.
The NHS site says that abortions in the UK “can only be carried out under the care of an NHS hospital or a licensed clinic, and are usually available free of charge on the NHS.”
The best course of action is to seek the advice from your GP who can tell you your options. If your GP has any personal objections to abortion, they will be obliged to refer you to someone else.
There is the option to pay for an abortion privately, and costs can vary. Generally, though, an abortion will be carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy, and afterwards under very limited circumstances, based on the physical health of mother and baby.
Ultimately, it can be a very traumatic experience, so seeking the correct mental support via your GP is also advised by the NHS.
Ready to Make Plans for Your Unexpected Pregnancy?
As you can see, there are numerous choices for you if you are expecting a child unexpectedly. We hope this article has provided you with some ideas as to how to proceed.
Good luck with your decision.