If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, your first thought might be “I can’t afford this baby.”  

Finances play a large role in the decision of a woman’s pregnancy. A lot of women don’t feel ready to take on the financial weight of providing for a child.  

You have some big decisions ahead of you. Thankfully you have several options and steps to help you make the best decision for you and your pregnancy. 

What to do when you are pregnant and can’t afford it? 

STEP 1: It’s okay to freak out. 

Let’s be honest. This is not the plan. 

You may have had a picture of what you thought your family would look like. And maybe you imagined yourself to be in a more financially secure place before having children.  

When your plans change from what you expect, there is a grieving process that occurs.  Any time your dreams or plans change unexpectedly, it’s okay to grieve what you thought your life would look like. When you recognize your grief, it helps you understand better how to approach your next steps. 

STEP 2: Examine what is possible 

Did you know that 57% of women have an unintended pregnancy? According to a recent survey, 42% of parents admitted that they weren’t financially prepared to have a child. You are certainly not alone. But what are some practical questions to ask yourself? 

Start by examining your current situation and what bringing a child into your life might look like. Do you have friends and family who are supportive? Would friends and family be willing to help with childcare and finances from time to time?  

Examine what is possible

This experience will certainly be a challenge with a lot of unknowns. How have you overcome challenges and unknowns in the past? How have you coped with grief in your life? Have life’s detours ever become part of a greater story in your life? 

Your unexpected pregnancy is a game-changer, but it doesn’t mean your goals and dreams are gone forever. It often means that your goals will be put on hold and your dreams may need to look different for a little bit. But you can still achieve your dreams, it just might take longer than you thought it would. Detours still can end up in the same destination.  

Pregnancy and parenthood will require you to think outside of the box. It takes creativity and resourcefulness to work with financial barriers.  Maybe it’s more possible than you may initially think it is. 

STEP 3: Talk to people you trust 

You don’t have to make such a big decision alone but often you can feel very alone. Your partner or your family may not respond in the most supportive way. They may also grieve the plans they had for you and themselves as well.  

It takes a village to raise a baby, and sometimes the village is not necessarily who you would expect. 

Think of the people in your life who are your biggest supporters. Who is a good listener? Who knows what you value? Who knows how this decision will affect your mental health? Who do you go to for advice? If you find yourself facing single parenthood, you might even consider talking to a woman you know who’s gone through a similar situation and learn how she managed to make the most of it. You can learn more here.  

If you feel like you don’t have someone you can talk to, we are here to listen and advocate for you at Lifespring. You deserve a comfortable and confidential place to process your worries and explore all pregnancy and financial options without judgment. You can schedule a confidential appointment today. 

STEP 4: Discover alternative options to abortion

Many women seek out an abortion because they are not able to afford the baby or feel as if the baby would interfere with work, school, or life goals.

The cost of abortion may seem like a less expensive up-front cost short term, but the emotional cost of choosing an abortion is worth taking the time to really figure out what is best long term.

While we do not perform or refer for abortion at Lifespring, we will go over all of your pregnancy options, including abortion, and what to expect. You can learn more about how both the abortion pill and surgical abortion work here.

You have an important decision to make. But there is support for you. We want to help you process pregnancy options and the financial help availabe to you so you can make an educated decision.

1. Parenting with financial assistance 

Parenting can be a dauting thought. Especially when thinking about the financial situation you may be in. Thankfully, there are many organizations that offer financial help for pregnant women. These organizations offer things like medical bill assistance, healthcare, food, housing, clothing, education, and guidance in finding a stable job. There are also maternity homes in Virginia that provide free housing during your pregnancy and after while you get financially stable. 

Parenting with financial assistance

There are numerous programs that exist to help you in your unique circumstances. At LifeSpring, we offer free parenting resources and support.   

To talk through financial assistance options, make an appointment with our staff today. 

2. Adoption

Adoption is the transfer of parental rights and responsibilities from you to another person who wants to raise a child. Adoption in the state of Virignia offers financial assistance to help cover living expenses, medical bills, court costs, and more.   

There are three types of adoption agreements you can choose from.  

Open Adoption – An open adoption leaves the door open to build an ongoing relationship with your baby after adoption. You and the adoptive family agree on your interaction. It might look like exchanging letters or regular in-person visits.

Closed Adoption – A closed adoption means there is no contact between you, your baby, and the adoptive family after the adoption. This closes the door to the baby’s involvement in your life after pregnancy. 

Semi-Open Adoption – Semi-open adoption is a combination of open and closed adoption. It allows you to communicate with the adoptive parents to check in on your child’s life throughout the years while still living an independent life.  

If you think adoption might be the best option for you, we encourage you to talk to one of our client advocates to walk you through the details. 

You are not alone – reach out to our staff

If you would like to learn more about the financial pregnancy options available to you, contact us today.  All our services are offered to you at no cost with no insurance required.