Pregnant And Divorced? Here Are Your Options And Choices
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By Erica Silva, Guest Author - February 15, 2017

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For most women, being pregnant is an exciting time in life. But if you are divorced, then a pregnancy could be a nerve-wracking experience. However, looking at the bright side, you have several options available to you. Here’s what you can do.

1. Get a checkup:

Being pregnant, you need to get adequate medical care. Visit your health care provider; this will be your first step in planning the next few months and gaining control of the situation. Receiving early pre-natal care will reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. Also, being fully informed about your medical state will help to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

2. De-stress:

Divorce can make you susceptible to negative psychological and physical effects. Women who are divorced are at more risk of a heart attack compared to married women. Also, the emotional dilemma associated with divorce leads to higher levels of stress hormones which in turn lead to other chronic illnesses.

This coupled with the added stress of pregnancy can leave lasting effects on women and the fetus. Even though the uncertainties accompanying divorce and pregnancy will scare you, in the beginning; it is imperative to remain calm and composed. Not only will this keep you and the baby safe but also protect you from taking irrational decisions.

3. Make a choice:

There are three options available to you:

A. Give birth and become a parent.

B. Place your child for adoption.

C. Terminate the pregnancy

Option A:

Give birth and become a parent:

If you decide to complete the pregnancy and raise your child, there are certain things you need to consider. Bringing a child into this world requires commitment and resources. It is important to make sure that you can provide a loving and safe environment for the child, despite being divorced.

Not only does this require financial stability but also the emotional capacity to deal with the ups and downs of raising a child. Consider your situation and feelings about parenting a child alone. It will help to list all the advantages and disadvantages of taking this option.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • As a divorcee, can I raise the child alone?
  • Can I make the child feel loved and wanted?
  • Would it be better to have a child another time?
  • Can I make my decision or is someone pressurizing me?
  • Will my family and friends support my decision?

Once you have carefully assessed the decision to become a parent, it is time to start preparing for the child’s arrival. Being responsible for another life will require certain lifestyle changes. This includes putting your educational and professional goals on hold – at least for a while. Children require round the clock attention, so having an adequate support mechanism will make parenting a lot easier.

Even though, this option may seem challenging, raising a child is a heartwarming and life-affirming experience. Becoming a parent helps you to grow as an individual and witnessing your child’s accomplishments is a great reward for all the hard work.

Option B:

Place your child for adoption:

Raising a child is difficult in the best of times, but if you are divorced, then it could be even more challenging. By choosing adoption, you can secure the future of your child by placing them with a loving family.

All legal rights and responsibilities will be transferred to the adoptive parents. Adoption can seem like a lengthy and complex process, but doing sufficient research and examining all the procedures in detail will allow you to make informed decisions.

Placing your child for adoption is a selfless act of compassion that requires emotional commitment and determination. Realizing that you are not ready to become a parent will save your child from a potentially harmful upbringing.

As the birth mother, you are not responsible for any of the costs associated with adoption. You can take back your decision of placing your child for adoption at any point during the pregnancy. However, once the adoption is finalized, it is a legally binding and irrevocable decision. There are three kinds of adoptions available to you. In each case, you will have the chance to select the adoptive parents in each case.

Open adoption: You share identifying information with the adoptive parents and meet them in person. You will have the opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship with the child and be a part of their life. This kind of adoption is most prevalent nowadays.

Closed adoption: There is no exchange of identifying information. You will not meet the adoptive parent and will have no contact with the child after the placement process is complete. This kind of adoption allows you to remain anonymous and helps you reach a sense of closure.

Semi-open adoption: A mix between open and closed adoption. You can have non-identifying contact with the adoptive parents but only via the agency that facilitates the adoption. Receiving regular updates on the child’s well-being will help you manage any feelings of grief and loss that you may experience later on.

Finding a reliable adoption agency is critical in ensuring that the adoption plan works in the best interest of your child. Moreover, the agency will provide you with the necessary assistance and counseling during your pregnancy and after the placement. Since adoption requires you to give birth, it is essential to start pre-natal care early on to ensure a healthy delivery.

Option C:

Terminate the pregnancy:

For many divorced women, giving birth is simply not an option. The only way to terminate the pregnancy is by having an abortion. This is an extremely difficult decision to make and is subject to criticism. However, abortion is sometimes the only chance divorced women have at safeguarding their future and that of their families.

There are two types of abortions.

Medical Abortion makes use of medicines to end the pregnancy. This type of abortion is performed in the early stages of pregnancy, usually up to 10 weeks.

Surgical Abortion is where a vacuum aspirator is used to remove the contents of the uterus. This type of abortion is performed during the first trimester (up to 12 weeks), after which a more complexed surgical procedure is undertaken to terminate the pregnancy.

Overall, abortions are considered to be a safe procedure and do not affect your ability to have children in the future. However, the risk of complications increases the longer your pregnancy continues. Women who undergo abortion can experience negative emotions in the long run, so it is important to consider all other options first.

Conclusion

Divorce and pregnancy are both equally challenging circumstances faced by women. Whether you are in the middle of a divorce proceeding or the divorce has been finalized, unplanned pregnancy is something you can get through with some effort and courage. Each pregnancy is unique, and before jumping to any conclusions, it is best to look at all your options thoroughly.  

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