Maybe at another time in your life, you would welcome the news. Right now you feel as if your life is over. Or so it seems. You have major decisions to make. Don't let anyone pressure into a hasty decision. You need to learn about your choices. Here we will explore your options. There are no easy answers but you can overcome any obstacles. Maybe abortion seems like an easy way to "end it all." But it's not that easy. All that abortion ends is the new life growing inside you. Could you live with that for the rest of your life.
Parenting can be a pretty overwhelming thought when you first discover you are pregnant. Oftentimes, it is easy to see where you lack support, finances, and experience. However, there are many social service organisations, government and private, which can stand in the gap in many of these areas.
While staying at home is nearly always best for you, it may not be an option at this present time. It is best to find yourself a place to live as quickly as possible. Contact Life or Cura who have mother and baby homes and can provide you for a place to live. Once the baby is born you can find a more permanent residence. It is important to find out all your benefits and grant entitlements: child benefit and Single Parent allowances from the Department of Social Welfare. If you do not have a Medical Card, you should contact your local Health Centre and apply for one, as many single pregnant women with insufficient income are eligible. Single mothers can claim the Lone Parents Allowance from the Department of Social Welfare. If the father of the baby is unwilling to provide maintenance, you can apply to the Court for an Order of Payment.
If you are receiving assistance, you may be eligible for programmes which help with job training, tuition and child care. Otherwise, you might rely on educational grants and loans while working to cover living expenses and child care. Single parenting often means altering your goals and plans. But with determination and job training, you can achieve greater security for yourself and your baby.
Most schools and colleges will encourage you to continue your education. Some schools offer night classes, loans, child care and even transportation. You may decide to take a semester off while you adjust to single parenting, but you can still reach your educational goals.
Parenting may limit your social life. When you choose to parent, your child's needs will demand most of your attention. Some people you date may not want to take second place to a child. Others will not mind that you are parenting. Before getting into a serious relationship, consider the effect on your child. Try to balance freedom and responsibility. Allow yourself some "fun time" in your schedule, or you may begin to resent your child. An absent father may be hard for a child to understand. Explain that because of complicated circumstances, he is unable to be part of your family. You need to talk as positively about the birthfather as you can without being dishonest. Even if you don't like him, he is still special to your child.
If single parenting becomes too difficult and you decide to consider adoption, you are not a bad parent. It takes courage to realise that by yourself you cannot provide all that your child needs. But separating from a child with whom you have bonded can be difficult. A trusted and wise counsellor can help you and your child through this process. Look for an agency that can help you make an adoption plan you can live with.
Becoming a mother is an amazing journey. You can't predict exactly how it will go, but if you prepare yourself and make thoughtful choices, you'll end up in a good place. Courage and confidence go hand-in-hand. When you feel confident in your decisions, it's not hard to muster up courage to explore new things.
Adoption... the very word often gets a negative reaction. Adoption has been such a silent alternative that often women and their families do not even think about it in the crisis of a pregnancy. But research has shown that if adoption is simply mentioned as an alternative, the number of times it is chosen increases dramatically. Research has also shown that the earlier in pregnancy that adoption is mentioned, the more likely it is to be the option chosen If you feel that you are not ready to raise a child, adoption is a real and loving option. It may be difficult to imagine releasing for adoption the child you've loved enough to give life and nurture for nine months.
In reality, adoption is a much more positive experience compared to its presentation in the media. Take a look at some of the very important benefits adoption can offer you:
Adoption is a legal procedure which places a child with adoptive parents who raise the child as a member of their own family. It is important to talk to a social worker about it early in the pregnancy. After the baby is born you will be asked to sign a consent form. Sometime after the baby is placed, the adoptive parents will apply for an Adoption Order. After that you will be asked to sign the final consent to the Adoption Order.
Know that the Adoption Board of Ireland will choose the best parents for your child and that you have a done a great service for a childless couple and given your baby the gift of life.
Adoption Board, Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2 T: (01) 6715888
Cúnamh, CPRSI House, 30 South Anne Street, Dublin 2 T: (01) 6779664
PACT (Protestant Adoption Society), Support and Counselling Service for Single Parents
15 Belgrave Road, Dublin 6 T: 1850 673 333
Adoptee Life (www.thankful.org) We simply want to thank our birth parents for choosing adoption, demonstrating a love we will never forget. Our lives with our families have been full of love and support, and we choose to let our appreciation be made public in support of past and future adoptions.
Myth: The birth mother will regret her decision for the rest of her life. Some believe that adoption is so painful that most women regret the choice all their lives, or that a birth mother who chooses adoption will have serious emotional problems, or that adoption is a more traumatic experience for a woman than abortion.
Reality: For the birth parent facing an unplanned pregnancy, making an adoption plan can be a very positive resolution. With support and counselling, most birth mothers who choose adoption based on the best interests of their children and themselves are able to grieve and proceed with the healing process in a positive manner. When the adoption experience is handled properly, most birth mothers feel good about their decision years later.
Myth: Birth mothers are uncaring and soon forget about their babies. Some believe that a birth mother who cares about her child would not think of adoption, or that adoption is an irresponsible solution, or that pregnant women who choose adoption take the easy way out, or that a birth mother will eventually forget about the child she placed in adoption.
Reality: Birth parents make loving parenting decisions when they plan adoptions. Birth parents who make adoption plans are choosing an option which allows them to fulfill their parenting responsibilities. Adoption is a way to ensure their child's long-term needs are met in the best possible way. In order to do this, they must put their child's needs above their own, a sign of maturity, responsibility and selflessness. Adoption is by no means taking the easy way out. It is a difficult decision and young women need to be supported in this decision.
Myth: Adoption damages the child. Some believe that adoption damages the child, or that adopted children are not well-adjusted, or have mental health problems, or are damaged by the experience, or will grow up to have serious psychological problems, or feel bitter or rejected.
Reality: Adopted children do well in life. A recent study interviewed over 700 teenagers who had been adopted as infants. The study, the largest ever of adopted teens and their families, looked at various indicators of well-being.
Perhaps getting pregnant was a mistake, but abortion can be a bigger one. You know now that the best solution will respect your rights and the rights of the new life growing within you. When faced with an unplanned pregnancy,
Abortion seems like the easiest option
Promises to turn the clock back
Takes the pressures of difficult circumstances
Seems to be a quick solution
When you are in an urgent and difficult situation, abortion seems like the best thing to do. But most people know very little about it. It is important for you to have all the information so that you can decide for yourself. When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, many women feel as if their head is telling them one thing and their heart another. How far are you feeling this 'split'? Abortion is not an easy thing to do. It may appear an attractive option but many women find they simply exchange one set of problems for another.
You don't have to make this decision alone. There are caring people who can help you understand your choices, and pick the one that works best for you. They offer friendship, understanding and complete confidentiality.
Many women who have had abortions are shattered when they later learn the truth about how developed their baby was. Most pregnancies aren't detected until the sixth week. By then your baby's heart has been beating for over 2 weeks, brain waves can be read and the nervous system has been complete for about 2 weeks. Your child is already moving, although you probably won't feel it for a few months more. By the 7the week, the foundations for all the working parts of the body are in place. Internal organs are present and working. The rapidly developing baby is becoming extremely sensitive to sound, pressure, heat light and pain. All that is needed now is nourishment and time to grow. A tiny human being is growing inside you. Your body is designed to shelter and protect this new life until her or she is old enough to be born.
Are you prepared to handle the long-term physical and emotional effects of abortion? Abortion is a painful, physical violation of a normal healthy process. Abortion most often is "a blind procedure. The doctor does not see what he is doing." This was admitted by a former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson of New York City. And it definitely is not safe. In Abortion Practice, Warren Hern, MD, Lippincott 1990, Hern states
"there are few surgical procedures given so little attention and so underrated in its potential hazards as abortion… it is a commonly held view that complications are inevitable."
In fact, there are over 100 physical and psychological complications of abortion. Every abortion carries a risk of immediate complications such as blood clots, puncturing of vital organs (womb, bladder, bowel), infection and even death. Long term complications include damage to the lining of the uterus. This can lead to infertility. In more than 375 studies dealing with psychological impact of abortion, all show that at least a minority of women (generally 10% to 20%) have one or more negative reactions of abortion. Common reactions include: guilt, shame, anxiety, helplessness, grief, remorse and depression.
Knowing that you ended your child's life without giving her a chance can be a devastating emotional burden. Don't allow yourself to be pushed into a decision that you may regret for the rest of your life.
"Every woman has a trauma at destroying a pregnancy… This is part of her own life. When she destroys a pregnancy, she is destroying herself."
Dr. Julius Fogel, Psychiatrist/ Obstetrician who has performed over 20,000 abortions
The goal was 'every child a wanted child'; it should also have been 'every abortion a wanted abortion', but the two sides of the phony debate were never to meet."
Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman
"The more abortion has become entrenched, the more difficult it has become for women to resist the pressure to avail themselves of it."
Melinda Tankard Resit, author of Giving Sorrow Words
"...it's hopeless expecting that neutrality will occur at [an] abortion clinic."
Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1997 - 1999