If you're pregnant and you've explored the option of parenting and adoption but you're still unsure what works best for you and your unborn child, then it might be time to look into the other options that you have available, such as guardianship, legal custody arrangements, kinship care and abortion.
If you've already decided that you wish to continue your pregnancy but you're unsure about parenting and you've already decided adoption isn't an option that works best for you, then you may want to consider one of the few legal options available, such as guardianship. In both, you retain your rights as the parent, however you assign similar rights to a third party, such as a family member or friend, which allows them to make parenting decision for the child, such as seek medical care, enroll them in school and sign them up for extracurricular activities, such as sports. Guardianship should never be considered a long term solution and should only be used in cases where you need short term care for your child while you work out your personal situation which will allow you to become the full time parent and caregiver to your child. [more]
Another option is legal custody. You can assign legal custody to the other parent, a family member or even a friend while you prepare yourself to become the full time caregiver for your child. The difference between legal custody and guardianship is that often, you must go to court and petition to regain custody. Unlike guardianship, this is a more long term solution, however like guardianship, you still retain your parental rights and you have some say in the day to day raising of the child. [more]
If the above to options seem like they might be more long-term than what you have in mind, you might consider a kinship care arrangements with a family member or close family friend. Asking for help from family and friends is often one of the first things we do when we find we're in a position where need help. Asking family and friends during this difficult time is no different. Often family members are eager and willing to help for a few weeks while you get on your feet. Typically, kinship care is something that is done between families and often doesn't involve any legal paperwork. However, keep in mind, utilizing your friends and family in this way can be difficult and it should almost always be limited to a predefined time period agreed upon in advance. Children deserve devoted parents and studies show the lack of permanency in the above situations can result attachment related disorders, personality disorders and other mental health related issues. It's always a good idea to make long term plans for you and your child and avoid the disruption of family life as much as possible. [more]
Finally, if you've researched all of the options which include you carrying your baby to term and you've decided that they are not in the best interest of you or your child, then you may wish to seek an abortion. The laws on obtaining an abortion have become more and more complicated in recent years. While federal law does allow for women to choose abortion in all 50 states, some states have laws that are more specific. Research what the law says in your state before making your decision. If the laws in your state allow for you to obtain an abortion, then you'll likely want to speak to your gynecologist to learn more about what the procedure entails before making your decision. On a very basic level, an abortion is the complete and total termination of your pregnancy by removing the fetus from your uterus using one of several different methods. As with any medical procedure, there can be complications, which can include infertility. [more]
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.