Research your options

Once you know you're pregnant, you should decide how you want to handle the pregnancy. Sit down and have a mature conversation with the father and other people who are helping you. Discuss the pros and cons of each method. Ultimately, the decision is up to you, and you should not feel pressured by any one person. However, deciding what to do is a big decision and it will help to be able to talk it out. Know that you have one of five options:

  • Abortion: This is not available in all situations. Do your research and find a reputable practitioner. Even if you don't want a baby, this can be a traumatic experience. Get someone to come with you for emotional support.
  • Adoption: If you do not feel ready for a child but do not consider abortion an option, you may choose to place your baby with another family. Make sure you find a reputable and ethical agency that provides counseling before and after placement. Remember that in order to place your child for adoption you must receive permission from the child's father as well.
  • Single Parenting: You can choose to keep the baby and raise him or her. This will definitely be difficult, but it is certainly possible. If you plan to do this, get a parent or friend to help you to make the baby's room ready, look into parenting classes, and decide whether or not you will continue going to school.
  • Marriage: You can marry the father of your baby and raise the child together. However, do not feel you have to marry him. Being raised in an unloving and/or resentful marriage can be just as harmful to your child's emotional development as any of the other options.
  • Joint parenting: You and the father may decide to raise the child together without getting married. Try to come up with a system that meets both of your needs, as well as the baby's.

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