|Locating a health care provider to monitor your pregnancy is one of the most important first steps to take. Talking to other women who have given birth is one of the best ways to find a doctor. Many hospitals have help lines that can connect you with a physician.
Some other important questions to ask are as follows:
What kind of relationship do I want to have with my child’s father?
Many women get pregnant by men that are verbally or physically abusive. some believe that if they have their partner’s baby, the abuse will stop. Statistics show this is untrue. What often happens is that the abuse gets worse and, as your baby grows, he or she is also abused by your partner.
One thing to remember is that your baby’s father has legal responsibilities, including providing financial support for your child. In fact, a birthfather’s record of support may influence court decisions about custody and visitation rights. Most states have a child enforcement agency which will withhold money from his paycheck if he is unwilling to pay voluntarily.
Some birthfathers are unable to provide child support, so you probably need to plan how you will care for your baby without his help.
Where will I live?
Before you deliver your baby, look into your housing options. Try to find a stable, safe and affordable place to live. Babies need to feel secure and are negatively affected by multiple moves and changes in caregivers. Some possibilities include living with your parents or the father’s parents, aunts or uncles, cousins, brothers or sisters, or friends. You might also look into public, subsidized housing. Evaluate childcare options in each situation. If you are a student, ask if your school offers daycare. Contact the childcare licensing officials in your state to obtain a list of licensed childcare providers.
Can anyone help me get items for my baby?
Many community agencies offer assistance with food, diapers and formula. Local pregnancy resource centers often have parenting classes and essential baby items. Public assistance for medical, food and financial needs is also an option. Our staff is available to help you access these valuable resources.
What about my vocational goals?
Single parenting often means altering your goals and plans. However, obtaining an education or securing job training is often an essential element in achieving a better income and standard of living for you and your child.
If you are receiving public assistance, you may be eligible for programs which help with job training, tuition, and childcare. Grants, loans or scholarships may also be available to help defray the costs of attending an educational institution. Our staff can help you with this process.
What if my decision to parent doesn’t work out? Can I still choose adoption?
Most definitely! No child is ever to old to be adopted. However, separating from a child can be difficult. Therefore, it is important that you locate an experienced counselor to help you, your family and your child through this process. Look for an agency that can help you make a adoption plan you can live with.