Adoption in Louisiana
3 Unplanned Pregnancy Options in Louisiana [A Complete Guide]
An unintended pregnancy can feel scary, daunting, and — in some situations — even traumatic. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy in Louisiana, you are probably overwhelmed with a lot of unanswered questions. Perhaps you are asking the following:
- What are your options if you are pregnant?
- Where do I find resources for unplanned pregnancy?
- How can I get unplanned pregnancy help?
This guide will give you the answers you need about each of the unplanned pregnancy options available to you. If you are ready to speak with a professional who can help you sort through your options, contact us today. We will connect you with an expert.
What to do When You Have an Unplanned Pregnancy in Louisiana
You have three choices when you are facing an unplanned pregnancy in Louisiana. While there is one that is right for you, none of them are easy decisions. Before you can move forward with a choice, you will want to be informed about all three options. Getting the right information is important, and that starts with knowing what paths you can take from here. The three unplanned pregnancy options are:
Women who experience unwanted pregnancies have different experiences and different reasons for contemplating alternative pregnancy options. You are not the first to go through this, and you are not alone as you navigate your choices. There are professionals who can guide you and help you to build the support system you need. There is an unwanted pregnancy option that is right for you.
Angelica, a mother to twin boys and facing an unplanned pregnancy, said of her experience, “I had long nights that I would cry and pray that God would guide me.”
Carmen was a single mother struggling to make ends meet when she became pregnant again. She thought long and hard about what would be best for herself and both of her children. “Through much thought, prayer, and the support of family and friends, I came to the immensely difficult decision to give my son up for adoption,” Carmen said.
No matter the circumstances around your unwanted pregnancy, you are probably feeling similar pressures and stresses. There are professionals available who can counsel you. Reach out today if you would like to speak with someone about the right decision for you.
What is Adoption?
The choice to place your baby for adoption in Louisiana is the choice to carry your unplanned pregnancy to term and to transfer your parental rights to an adoptive family after giving birth to your baby. You will get to choose the adoptive family who will raise your baby. You will also choose your adoption agreement, which could be open, semi-open, or closed.
In many cases, prospective mothers find that adoption allows them to pursue their dreams and aspirations, take care of their family best, and provide their baby the kind of life they want for them. On top of this, it can also fulfill the dream of a couple who want to grow their family.
Can I Meet My Baby’s Adoptive Parents?
Yes, you can meet your baby’s adoptive parents if you want to. Adoption professionals encourage this connection, and your desire to have a relationship with your baby’s adoptive parents will be supported. In fact, you can meet them, choose them, and build a relationship with them that lasts throughout your child’s adolescence – or even longer.
In order to find adoptive parents, you will work with an adoption agency. With an adoption specialist, you will develop an adoption plan that will include a description of the kinds of parents that you want for your child. From there, they will gather family profiles that match your needs for you to review. You will get the chance to talk to families who interest you, and from here you will choose the perfect family for your child.
If you would like, you can continue to interact and connect with the adoptive family during your unplanned pregnancy in Louisiana. And when you choose to enter an open adoption agreement, you can maintain contact after the birth of your baby.
If you are ready to find an adoptive family for your baby, you can contact the following adoption agencies:
There are pros and cons to working with local Louisiana agencies and with working with national agencies. In short, though, national adoption agencies partner with more adoptive couples, so you will have more choices if you choose to expand your search for an adoptive family outside of Louisiana. On the other hand, local agencies work exclusively with couples in the Louisiana region, so you are likely to find someone who lives in your region if you choose to work with them.
How Do You “Give Up” a Baby for Adoption in Louisiana?
Before we detail the steps in the adoption process, we want to first address the language that is associated with this unplanned pregnancy option. While the phrase “giving up for adoption” is commonplace and widely understood, we want to be clear that the decision to place a baby for adoption is not “giving up.” Adoption is a brave and selfless choice that offers your child the life that you want for them. It is heroic and deserves respect.
When you choose adoption in Louisiana, you will be guided through six steps:
- Decide that adoption is right for you. Only you can decide if this option for unplanned pregnancy is right for you, and there are many valid reasons that women choose this alternative pregnancy option in Louisiana. If you need guidance about this life-changing decision, there are experts who can counsel you through this choice. Contact us today for assistance.
- Develop an adoption plan. Once you are committed to this unplanned or undesired pregnancy choice, you will work with an adoption specialist is to write an adoption plan. Adoption plans are the blueprint for your adoption process. They outline your needs, desires, and preferences for your adoption and serve as communication to the adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and healthcare providers about what you need during the adoption process.
- Select the perfect family for your baby from family profiles. Next, you will get to familiarize yourself with various families who are hoping to adopt. By reviewing family profiles, you will choose the perfect family for your baby.
- Begin a relationship with the adoptive family. Through the stages of your unplanned pregnancy, you can foster a connection with your baby’s adoptive family that can last a lifetime. Again, you are at the center of this process and get to decide what kind of relationship you want to pursue with them.
- Give birth to your baby and sign adoption paperwork for placement. In order to ensure that your needs are met during labor and delivery, you will develop a hospital plan. In Louisiana, the final adoption paperwork is signed no sooner than 72 hours after giving birth.
- Continue the relationship outlined in your adoption agreement with the adoptive family. The PACA (post adoptive contact agreement) will determine the kind of relationship you will maintain with your child and their adoptive parents. You can have an open adoption, a semi-open adoption, or closed adoption. Either way, birth mothers report that having the agreement helps them to heal from the grief and loss that is common after placement.
Does Adoption Cost Money in Louisiana?
Adoption is the only option for unplanned pregnancy that does not cost a prospective birth mother a thing. While you cannot be paid to place your baby for adoption, most birth mothers qualify for adoption financial support to help them with pregnancy-related costs.
When you work with a licensed agency like the ones listed above, you will be supported and expenses like medical bills related to the pregnancy and legal fees will be covered. In some cases, other living expenses are paid for too.
Additionally, they will have an unplanned pregnancy hotline that is available 24/7. If you are working with a professional who is not offering this kind of support, it is perfectly acceptable for you to switch to an agency that will make sure you are completely supported.
Is Adoption Right for Me?
Only you can make this choice. There are many reasons that this early pregnancy option is preferred, and sometimes it is helpful to hear what some of these reasons are when you are still considering all your options. Some common reasons include:
- Birth mothers don’t think they will be able to give their child the life they want for them. Sometimes this has to do with the lack of financial stability, but in other situations, it has to do with consistency or safety. To want more for your child than you can offer at the time of your unplanned pregnancy is admirable and comes from a deep place of love.
- Expectant mothers would like to help an adoptive family grow their family. When they know that parenting is not an option for them and are faced with the options of adoption or abortion, some birth mothers are persuaded toward adoption because with this choice, they are able to give a most generous gift to families who have been waiting to start their families through adoption.
- Prospective birth mothers desire a continued relationship with their baby. Most modern adoptions have some degree of openness, so for an expectant mother who is not ready to raise her child but who wants a relationship with them, adoption is a wonderful unplanned pregnancy option.
What is Abortion?
Abortion is an early pregnancy option in Louisiana that must be performed at or before 20 weeks post-fertilization (except for in cases that severely threaten a mother’s physical health or when there is a lethal fetal anomaly). Abortion terminates a pregnancy but is a time-sensitive choice. Additionally, of the three unplanned pregnancy options, abortion is the most controversial.
What Restrictions are on Abortion in Louisiana?
There are many moral and religious convictions around abortion that have been integrated into the laws that restrict the procedure. In Louisiana, there are many restrictions to know about if abortion is an unplanned pregnancy option that you are considering. Restrictions on Louisiana abortion include:
- A patient must receive in-person, state-approved counseling 24 hours before the procedure. This counseling expressly discourages the woman from following through with an abortion.
- A patient must also have an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure.
- Insurance coverage on abortion is infrequent, and the procedure can be expensive (depending on your situation).
- A minor who wants an abortion must receive parental consent.
Who Provides Abortions in Louisiana?
A common way that states restrict abortion is making it difficult for women to access. If you are considering this early pregnancy option in Louisiana, you may want to look into where the nearest clinics are to you (and keep in mind that you will have to make at least two trips there). In 2017, about 94% of Louisiana counties had no clinics that provided abortions and 72% of women lived in those counties.
What Risks are Involved in Abortion?
Abortion is not a dangerous procedure, but women often experience some side effects. It is not without its physical difficulties.
Side effects include:
- Spotting or bleeding
- Nausea or vomiting
Abortion can also affect women emotionally. The decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is a difficult one, and there is a range of emotions associated with this early pregnancy option: relief, sadness, elation, and depression. Most women report that the negative feelings are temporary, and there are post-abortion counseling resources available to women who need it.
Is Abortion Right for Me?
Abortion is not the most ideal unplanned pregnancy option for everyone, and it is important for you to consider whether it is right for you. There is unplanned pregnancy help in Louisiana available to you if you are struggling with this decision, but be aware that some organizations may have ulterior motives and be more interested in preventing an abortion than helping you determine what you need. If you need to talk to an impartial professional, contact us today.
Some reasons that women choose abortion include:
- They are not ready or never want to experience pregnancy. Carrying and birthing a baby is difficult on a woman’s body, and women have the right to choose if this is something they want to experience.
- They require privacy. Telling the people in your life that you have an unplanned pregnancy is difficult for some and dangerous for others. A woman has the right to choose whether she wants to carry a pregnancy to term.
- They do not want to (or can’t afford to) delay their education or career. There is no doubt about it – pregnancy can be incredibly disruptive to a woman’s life and can put aspirations on hold. A woman has every right to choose when (or if) she wants this disruption.
This option for unplanned pregnancy can be excluded quickly, especially when it conflicts with an expectant mother’s values or convictions. If you have moral objections to abortion, you will certainly want to consider alternative pregnancy options.
What is Parenting?
Parenting is the decision to give birth to your baby and raise your child. Choosing to parent is the most common unplanned pregnancy decision. In fact, in 2011, 45% of all U.S. pregnancies were unintended. Many of these women want to raise children but the timing isn’t right. Once the shock of the unplanned pregnancy wears off, many of these women choose to parent.
What are the Challenges of Being a Single Parent in Louisiana?
Not all women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy in Louisiana will be single parents, but for those who are, there are obstacles they must consider. Some of these complications are:
- Paying for a child with one income
- Finding a system of support
- Paying for childcare
- Finding time for yourself
What Resources are Available to Single Parents in Louisiana?
These complications can make being a single parent an emotional, financial, and practical challenge. There are resources available to you that support this unplanned pregnancy choice.
Some examples of organizations who provide assistance are:
Is Parenting Right for Me?
For some, figuring out if parenting is right for them has more to do with excluding the other two options for unplanned pregnancy in Louisiana. Still, it may help you to hear some common reasons that women choose to parent.
Some of these reasons are:
- An expectant mother is able to support her family. Some women find that with reasonable adjustments or with financial support, they can properly support their child.
- A woman can give their child the home life that they want to provide. There are many situations that women find themselves in that do not foster the kind of environment that they want for a child. If a woman feels like she can provide the stability she wants for her child, she will be more likely to choose to parent.
- A woman plans on having children at some point in her life. For women who really want to parent a child, the shock of an unplanned pregnancy may not deter them from choosing this option.
This decision is yours and yours alone, but you are not alone. Professionals are available to offer you the empathy and support you need during this time in your life. If you would like to connect with one of these helpful professionals, you can contact us today.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.