If you are pregnant
Finding out that you are pregnant unexpectedly can be an anxious and confusing time, especially if you are faced with circumstances that seem challenging or scary. The first, most effective thing you can do at this point is not to panic.... take a deep breath...and know that there are options available to you... and people available for support.
There are many different feelings and thoughts which may arise when you find out you are pregnant. These can include:
Shock and disbelief
Feeling too young to be a parent
Scared to tell your boyfriend/partner and your parents that you are pregnant
Not having a job or enough money to support yourself and a child
Being single and feeling unsupported
Worried about what your friends/peers may say
Feeling pressure from your partner, a friend or a family member to make a particular decision
If you can identify with any of these points, it is important to remember you are not alone in your thoughts or feelings. It is essential to take your time and explore all options, become fully informed and not rush into a decision which may appear like a ‘quick fix.’ You have time to work out what you really want!
This is totally your decision to make - It is your life and the life of your unborn child. Do not allow others to pressure you into making a rushed decision or one you may regret.
What are my options?
You have 3 options regarding the outcome of your pregnancy:
continue with your pregnancy and parent the child
continue with your pregnancy and place your child up for adoption
end your pregnancy through termination.
Each of these options has its challenges and short and long term difficulties. Unfortunately each decision is not without consequences. It is important to get all the information you need to make an informed decision, as you will have to live with this decision for the rest of your life. Knowing how and where to access support will also help you with making and dealing with your decision.
1.Continue your pregnancy and parent the child.
Choosing to be a parent is a big decision and people often don’t feel fully prepared for it, especially teenagers. However, most people find the rewards of parenting far outweigh the challenges.
There are many ways in which you can be assisted with parenting your child, whether alone or with a partner. Identifying what your needs may be, practically and emotionally, is the first step in determining how they might be met.
It is important to understand the financial assistance for which you may be eligible as well as other supportive services particular to your community that may be available. These could include ante natal classes, new mums’ support groups, and pregnancy support services. The pregnancy support service closest to you will be able to put you in touch with your local community support.
2. Continue your pregnancy and place the child for adoption
There are hundreds of people waiting to adopt children in Australia but very few children are placed for adoption. In 2004-2005, 585 babies were adopted by families in Australia. 434 of these adoptions were of children from overseas, 86 by ‘known’ people – ie within families - and only 65 were babies relinquished for adoption outside their own family.
Adoption is quite a different prospect from what it was years ago, with many people now choosing an open arrangement whereby they are able to keep in touch with adoptive parents, have access to information about their child and in some cases even see their child after adoption.
For adoption information in your state please view the adoption section.
3. End your pregnancy through termination
Abortion is a decision made by many women in Australia every year. Unfortunately a growing number of these women now say that this decision was made ‘because they felt they had no other choice’. There are also large numbers of women who feel their decision was not a fully informed one and that they wish they had had more information about how abortion would /could impact them.
It is important that you feel in control of such a major decision and do not allow anyone to push you into making a choice you may not truly want. We have a variety of resources and fact sheets available to help you be fully informed on what an abortion decision will mean for your life and that of your child.
We also have a ‘Questions to Ask’ Fact Sheet on the website that gives you a list of important questions to ask an abortion provider before you consent to any procedure.