Anyone can experience an unplanned pregnancy. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. No one is immune. No two stories are alike. They have entirely different plots and characters. Here are the stories of eight women I know who have faced an unplanned pregnancy.
Carly was raised by a religious, upper-class family. She was in her early twenties when she became pregnant by her then boyfriend. When he found out she was pregnant, he left. Carly moved back in with her parents and made a plan to single parent her daughter. However, her carefully laid plan was disrupted in a beautiful way. When she was four months pregnant, she met her husband, Jake. He fell in love with her and married her before she had her daughter. Now, he raises Carly’s child as his own alongside their two other children.
Emily was your typical girl next door. She grew up riding her bike to the park to play with her friends, just like everyone else. She fell in love with Sam, a boy in her homeroom class when she was sixteen. All of a sudden she wasn’t like everyone else—she was pregnant. She and her boyfriend were very young, but they chose to parent their son. Emily and her little boy live with her parents so her mother can help her with childcare while she finishes high school. Sam visits often and helps financially as best he can.
Lauren was thirty five and in the midst of a divorce when she found out she was pregnant with her fourth child. She had no friends or family to turn to, so she was on her own. She works long hours to provide for her children, and it’s hard. She has to rely on assistance from the state, and her children spend more time in daycare than she would like. But they keep her going, and being their mother is her greatest joy.
Rachel was an intern at a law office in her late twenties when she met the father of her now child. She believed that he cared about her, but she didn’t know him as well as she thought. When she told him he was pregnant, he pressured her to abort. When she went to her family for help, they pressured her to abort as well. So she went through with it, but to this day, she wonders what her life would be like if she had chosen to go through with the pregnancy and whether she made the decision to abort because she wanted to, or because others wanted her to.
Amanda was a resident at a hospital when she and her husband found out she was pregnant. He was a busy lawyer, and they agreed that now was not the right time for them to have a child. They went to the clinic together and terminated the pregnancy. Amanda went back to work two days later and is now a surgeon.
Nicole was in high school when she found out she was pregnant. When she told her parents, they marched her to an adoption agency. Without asking her what she wanted to do, they made an adoption plan for her. She didn’t think it was the right thing to do, but she signed the relinquishment papers anyway due to the pressure. She struggles with anger and resentment toward her parents and grieves the loss of her birth daughter daily.
Melanie was a college student with a steady boyfriend. When she discovered she was pregnant, her boyfriend decided that he was not prepared to be a father. They split up amicably. She wanted the best for her son and wanted him to have a mother and father that were more stable than she was on her own. She found a wonderful family for her birth son, and they now have an amazing open-adoption relationship.
Tori was raised in the foster system and has never met her biological father. When she aged out of the foster system, she found herself in an extremely abusive relationship. When she got pregnant, she decided that this was not the life she wanted for her child. She didn’t want her daughter to grow up the same way she had, and so she chose to place for the safety of her little girl.
These are a few stories from the thousands of women who face unplanned pregnancies every year. Every situation is different, and these women come from all different backgrounds; they are all different ages. An unplanned pregnancy can happen to anyone. There is no one size fits all solution. What works for one person might not work for another. All a woman can do when she faces an unplanned pregnancy is the best she can. If you are considering placing your baby for adoption, visit Adoption.com/profiles to view some adoption profiles of hopeful adoptive parents.
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.