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Jennifer came to Options Clinic uncertain of her pregnancy decision. She was recently divorced from her husband, had a fling with a friend, and now suspected she might be pregnant. The potential father had left the state, and she had no intention of telling him about the pregnancy. Despite the complicated scenario, Jennifer had some very definite ideas about what she wanted to do.

“I knew I didn’t want to parent, and I always thought abortion was wrong. My friends and family encouraged me not to abort.”

Jennifer discussed her pregnancy options with her advocate at Options Clinic, Emily, who answered her questions about adoption. Emily encouraged Jennifer to think through all her options and not rush into a hasty decision. And Jennifer didn’t. With parenting not an option for her situation, she had only two choices. While she couldn’t be the parent the baby needed, she could make the brave choice to give the baby a loving family.

Jennifer came back for her sonogram appointment with her mind made up:  with the full backing of her support system, she had decided to place for adoption. She already had an appointment to meet with an adoption agency to discuss her plans and felt very confident that she was making the best decision for the baby and herself given her circumstances.

The sonogram revealed that she was seven weeks pregnant, and Options Clinic kept in contact with Jennifer throughout her pregnancy. The caseworker at the adoption agency supported her while she was pregnant, and Jennifer remained confident in her decision to place for adoption. She knew her road wouldn’t be easy, but it would give her baby a life with parents that wanted a baby more than anything but couldn’t have one without help.

Jennifer decided on an open adoption plan and selected a couple she was very excited about, calling them “the most precious people ever.” She referred to the baby as “their baby” and “their newborn,” and couldn’t wait to see the journey they were about to embark on.

Later that year, she delivered a baby boy and placed him in the arms of his adoptive parents. Seeing the love in the new parents’ eyes as they looked at their newborn son made every step of her journey worth it.

Two years later, Jennifer came back to Options Clinic for a pregnancy test. She and her husband were back together, and this baby was his. She continued to keep in contact with her biological son and his adoptive parents, and still felt she made the best decision for herself and the baby. Though her first baby was not her husband’s, he supported her decision to carry the pregnancy and make an adoption plan. Jennifer attended classes and received support at Grace House Pregnancy Center during her second pregnancy.

Around 45% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned leaving many women struggling to prepare for a baby they weren’t quite ready for.1 Grace House provides classes like Preparing for Baby, Baby’s First Year, How to Dad, Breastfeeding, and Infant CPR, allowing parents-to-be to learn while also providing them an opportunity to earn credits to use in the Boutique, which offers maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby equipment, diapers, and formula.2

Only 5% of adoptions in the U.S. are closed adoptions, so Jennifer’s experience with getting to know prospective parents is not unusual, although the birth mother can choose the level of contact she is comfortable with.3 67% of privately adopted children have pre-adoption agreements.4

And since birth parents agree to the amount of contact with the adoptive family, they won’t need to worry about how their adopted child is doing. According to the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents, most adopted children—85%—are in excellent or very good health.5 Information like this and her familiarity with the adoptive parents gave Jennifer peace of mind and confidence that she had made the best decision for herself and her baby.

It gave them both bright futures.

Sources

  1. Guttmacher Institute
  2. Grace House Ministries
  3. American Adoptions
  4. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  5. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

*Names were changed to protect the privacy of the former client.

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