Choosing the Best for Your Baby

“You’re pregnant!”

No matter what, these words pack an emotional wallop. For a married couple hoping for the blessing of children, the news that a baby is on the way is one of the most joyous, wondrous events that life has to offer.

However, if you’re unmarried, a pregnancy may well be some of the worst news you’ve ever received. You may be feeling shock, fear, dismay, guilt or embarrassment. You probably feel alone, scared and overwhelmed about the decisions you need to make.

In particular, at some point in the next few months, you will be deciding who will raise this precious new life. Will you release your baby to a loving adoptive family? Or will you raise him or her as a single mother? We hope to provide you the encouragement and initial facts you need to help you make a wise decision … the best decision for your baby … whatever that may be.

First of all, be assured that your baby is not an “accident.” Like it or not, all actions (whether our choices, or the choices of others) have “logical consequences.” And one of the natural consequences of sexual activity is pregnancy. Whether or not you think this is fair, you do have the power to take what life has handed you and bring good out of it.

Deciding whether to raise your baby as a single mother or make an adoption plan with a loving two-parent family can be a difficult one, full of churning emotions. Other people in your life may have strong opinions about what you should do — and you may find yourself changing your mind daily. In the end, however, you are the one who should decide who can do the best job of raising your baby.

It is difficult to get an accurate picture of adoption with all the trends and ideas in our society about single motherhood. In particular, when magazines and TV shows glamorize the growing numbers of actresses and other female entertainers having babies outside of marriage, it’s tempting to get the idea that single motherhood is just another acceptable “option” for life and parenthood.

Of course, the media fails to mention that raising a baby on a celebrity’s income is an entirely different situation from the poverty-level existence that most single mothers and their babies experience. Nor do you hear much of anything about how these “Hollywood babies” are turning out without fathers in the home … and the statistics about the effects of fatherlessness on children are anything but glamorous.

Keep in mind who’s most important here. The one truly helpless, innocent person in this situation is your baby. Your child needs you to act responsibly and unselfishly in this situation — which means not rushing into a quick decision based on current emotions, loneliness and sentimentality. The truth is that single mothers often wish they had chosen adoption after only a few months of caring for their child. Therefore, you’ll want to gather information on adoption vs. single motherhood and get input from people you respect (preferably, people who are already parents).

Before you make a decision, you owe it to your baby — and yourself! — to get all the facts about adoption.

Copyright © 2001 Focus on the Family.