Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider parenting your child:
- How will I support myself and my child?
If you work, you may still qualify for assistance with the cost of child care. If you are going to school, you may be able to work parttime or qualify for public assistance.
- Where will I live?
If you live with your family, an honest discussion about how the addition of your baby will change your relationships can help clarify everyone’s expectations. Other housing options may include getting an apartment, living with a friend or relative, living in a group home with other mothers, or finding subsidized housing.
- How will being a parent affect my time?
Like any new mother, you will not have the same amount of time for yourself that you did before your baby was born. If you are planning to parent, talk honestly with family and friends about how they may be willing to help you find some time for yourself.
- How can I know what’s the best decision for me?
The best decision is an informed decision. Knowing your options and what they will mean for you and your child is the best way to decide what will be best for both of you. Getting information costs you nothing, but it can help you be assured that you have made an informed choice.
- What resources are available to help me?
Your pregnancy counselor or a local pregnancy care center can help. Pregnancy counselors often know what local resources are available.
- How do I get support from my child’s father?
Your child’s father has a responsibility to help you support your child. Many states will help you collect child support. Check with your pregnancy counselor.
- Is my child’s father going to be involved?
The involvement of your child’s father depends on several factors, including your relationship with him now and whether he wants to be involved. He may want to be involved—whether you want him to or not— or he may choose not to be involved—no matter how much you want him to be.
- What rights does my child’s father have?
Fathers have clearly established legal rights, which depend on the laws in your state. If you make an adoption plan, he may have certain rights to be notified and to express his wishes. If you decide to parent, he has a duty to support your child and has a right to visit your child.
- What role will my extended family play?
It is important to talk with your extended family both before and after your baby is born to ensure that your expectations are the same. It will be up to you and your extended family to determine just what role they will play in the life you have established for you and your child.
- Can I choose adoption later if I decide I can’t parent?
Yes. You may reconsider adoption after you have been parenting.