Unplanned Pregnancy in Texas?
Even with the heartbeat bill, you have choices!
What is the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law?
On September 1, 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law, Texas’s controversial “fetal heartbeat” bill. This law prohibits abortions in Texas after a fetal heartbeat can be detected – which is usually about 6 weeks into pregnancy. For many women, that’s about two weeks after a missed period, and most often before a women discovers an unplanned pregnancy. This law will greatly reduce the number of women who are eligible to get an abortion, and provides strict penalties for medical professionals that do not comply with the law.
What do I do if I am more than 6 weeks pregnant?
At this time the only choices for a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy beyond 6 weeks in the state of Texas, are parenting or adoption.
Parenting: Raising a child on your own, with a partner, or with the support of your family. Becoming a parent means committing to emotional, physical and financial responsibility for your child. This may feel overwhelming, but there are organizations that can help provide the resources you need to provide for your child’s needs. Consider these questions when considering parenting:
1. Am I ready to be a parent?
This is always the first question a woman should ask herself if she’s experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and wondering, “Should I give my baby up for adoption?” How do you feel about becoming a parent? Will you be able to continue with your education or career if you have a child? Can you afford to raise a child right now? Do you want to be a mom right now? If you are questioning your readiness for pregnancy and parenting, you are already ahead of the game. Becoming a parent is serious business. It should be taken seriously.
2. Am I financial prepared to support a child?
Financial instability is often one of the main reasons women facing an unplanned pregnancy are unsure if they are ready to parent or if they are ready to add another baby to their family. It’s understandable; kids are expensive.
If you believe that raising this baby will be a financial struggle for you, your child, or perhaps even for your other children, adoption will ensure your child has the financial stability and endless opportunities every mother wants for her child.
3. Do I have a support system?
Many women wondering, “Is adoption right for me?” choose this path because they know they will ultimately be raising their child alone. It is absolutely possible to be a wonderful parent as a single mother, and there is no shame whatsoever in this. It’s also true, though, that some times you’re going to need help. Consider whether the father of your child will be a reliable source of support. If not, can you expect any of your close family members or friends to step up when you need help?
4. Do I have time to raise a child?
When you have a lot of things happening in your life, like finishing high school or college, raising your children, or beginning or continuing your career, it’s common to wonder: “Do I really have time for a child (or another child) right now?” Adding a baby into your busy life will take time and attention away from those other goals and responsibilities. You will need to consider whether you can balance life as a new mother with these other responsibilities and interests.
Adoption: Placing your child permanently with an adoptive family to be raised by them. Most adoptions today are open adoptions, which means you can build a relationship with the adoptive family as well as your child. Unlike adoptions from the past, modern adoption are a healthy, loving, rewarding experience. You will be able to choose the adoptive family – who is thoroughly screened, create an adoption plan, birth plan, type of adoption, and even receive assistance throughout the pregnancy and adoption process. Here are a few reasons you might consider adoption:
I'm not ready to be a parent.
Some women choose to give a baby up for adoption because they aren’t ready to become parents or don’t want to become parents. Having information about adoption can be helpful for women who feel unprepared for motherhood because adoption is an option that allows some women to continue pursuing goals in life that are unrelated to parenting a child. With the right kind of planning and professional support, some women who feel unprepared for motherhood may find placing a baby for adoption is the right choice.
I can’t have a baby right now.
Some women who dream of becoming mothers find themselves thinking about giving a baby up for adoption. Every pregnancy is different, and the circumstances women experience in life influence how they make decisions surrounding adoption. When a woman decides that she isn’t ready to have a baby at a certain point in her life, adoption can empower her to decide who raises her child and what kind of relationship she has with her child as they grow older.
I don’t want another baby.
You might be surprised to learn that many birth mothers are already parenting other children in healthy, stable families. Just because you are already a mother does not mean you have to raise another child. For some women who feel this way, adoption allows them to choose the kind of family they want their baby to grow up with and to continue to have contact with their child as he or she grows up.
I can’t afford to raise a baby.
Most parents facing an unexpected pregnancy experience financial concerns- women considering placing a baby for adoption are not the only ones! While worries about money shouldn’t be the only reason a woman chooses adoption for her baby, adoption is one way a woman can ensure her baby is raised in a financially stable environment.
I’m afraid my baby is going to wind up in foster care.
Sometimes, women considering adoption are concerned that certain circumstances in their lives might result in the baby being placed in foster care after he or she is born. This might be due to past involvement with a child welfare system or to a current challenge in her life. For women concerned about this, adoption can prevent the baby from entering foster care.
I can’t raise a baby with special needs.
Some women choose adoption after discovering their baby has special medical, emotional or physical needs she cannot meet. In these special situations, extra care is taken to help the birth mother choose an adoptive family that is capable of meeting whatever needs her baby has now and in the future. There are thousands of families across the region who are waiting to adopt babies with various special needs, and many success stories from women who’ve chosen adoption after experiencing this feeling.
I can’t provide what a baby needs.
Feelings surrounding a lack of resources are not limited to money- some women feel like they don’t have the emotional support, family support or time to raise a baby at this time in their lives. Women who feel this way may choose adoption for their baby because it allows them to choose a family who has the resources they would like to provide to a child, and to having ongoing contact with the child as he or she grows.
I am too young to have a baby.
We help many teen moms considering adoption plans. We encourage teen moms to consider the support systems they have in place that might help them parent a baby before they move forward with making an adoption plan. Some young moms decide that adoption is the right choice because with the right planning and professional support, it allows them to grow into stable adults while pursuing their goals.
I’m too old to have a baby.
You might be surprised to learn that many birth mothers are over the age of 40 when they begin making an adoption plan for their baby. Sometimes, women who find themselves facing challenging pregnancy decisions during middle-age are also dealing with other complex issues like parenting other children, financial constraints and the feelings of “starting over” with a new baby late in life. Adoption might allow women experiencing these feelings to control things like who raises their baby and the kind of contact they have with their child as he or she grows up.
I want my baby to be raised by a family that is different than mine.
Sometimes, a woman chooses adoption because she wants her baby to be raised by a family that is different than hers. Whether this means the adoptive family practices a different religion, is a married couple, is a single parent, lives in a suburb, or more financially stable, there are many reasons a birth mother might feel this way. Adoption allows a woman to choose the family that will raise her baby, and to continue contact with her child as they grow older.
I was raped and I don’t want to raise the baby.
In some cases, a woman who has experienced abuse or sexual assault decides to place a baby for adoption. In these situations, it is critical that she receives sensitive, professional counseling to process the trauma of her assault and to make a decision regarding her pregnancy. While the decision to place a baby for adoption after sexual assault are is never simple, women who make this choice are not alone, and counselors who assist women along the way are trained in being compassionate, professional sources of support.
I want my baby to have opportunities I didn’t have.
Many women who choose adoption for their baby express this feeling. For many birthmothers, being given the opportunity to choose the family that raises their baby can be an empowering experience during an emotional and stressful time. Women who want their child to have opportunities they didn’t experience may find choosing an adoptive family with certain values, educational resources, housing or financial resources is a positive part of the adoption experience.
Unexpected pregnancies happen, and when they do, it’s completely normal to feel a rush of different emotions – some of which you may not be able to give a name to. You may feel stressed, panicked, or shocked, among other emotions. We want you to know that this experience does not have to be a negative one.
The new Texas Heartbeat Bill feels unfair and impossible when a woman is faced with an unplanned pregnancy. And while there is no easy route – you still have choices! Parenting and adoption each come with their pros and cons; each difficult choices in their own way. Given the new heartbeat bill and strict laws for terminating your pregnancy, only you can decide if parenting or adoption is the right choice for you.
You have options when you’re faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and one of the best ones is adoption. By placing your baby up for adoption, you’re giving a loving couple the chance to give a child a wonderful life. Offering assistance and adoption services to women and families throughout Texas, we would be happy to discuss adoption options with you. Your call is always confidential. And you are not under any obligation to choose adoption when you contact us.
If you don’t feel that you are ready or able to raise a child, your pregnancy may have you feeling afraid or anxious. You don’t have to go through this alone. Our Texas adoption specialists are available to listen and can help you explore both parenting and adoption. Call us or text us now at 888-307-3340
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Available when you need us – phone, text, video, or social.
We have adoption counselors available state-wide ready to help you today.
Counseling Office (by appointment only)
Adoption Choices of Texas in Houston
1846 Snake River Road, Ste. B,
Katy, TX 77449
Call or Text at 888-307-3340
Adoption Choices of Texas in Austin
2021 Guadalupe St, Ste 260
Austin, TX 78705
Austin : 512-201-4400 (call or text)
Adoption Choices of Texas in Dallas
5005 W. Royal Ln., Suite 291
Irving, TX 75063
Call or Text at 888-307-3340
Adoption Choices of Texas in San Antonio
9901 W Interstate 10, Ste 800
San Antonio, TX 78230
San Antonio: 210-787-3900 (call or text)