53 answers

Torn Between Whether I Should Keep My Baby or Give Her/him up for Adoption?

i'm 16 and 14 weeks pregnant, and i already love my baby more than anything. but I don't know whether being a good mom would mean keeping my baby or giving her up for adoption. the "father" of my baby won't be in the picture - he's married (which i didn't find out until i told him i was pregnant) with two other kids - and seems to want to pretend like me and my baby don't even exist. but i'm okay with him not being involved, i already know in my heart that i would rather my baby have no father, than one i would have to force into being one. i know being a single mom wouldn't be a piece of cake...but i'm confident i could figure it out. everybody seems to have an opinion - and also I am LDS (mormon) so the pressure from the church is big....everybody churchwise is telling me I should give her up and that i just won't be able to provide her with the same opportunities in life that an older, married, well off couple can. but I don't agree with that - i have my family behind my back either way, and either way I plan on finishing school and going onto college...so I can give my baby everything. I want to keep her/him...and all my friends think I should too - but I don't want to be selfish, I want to do what's best for my baby. i don't care about me when it comes to my baby, all I care about is my baby being happy. i love my baby so much and really want to keep him/her, but the church and some of the adults in my life seem to feel like the most selfless thing i could do is give her up - but i don't know if i could...the thought of it already kills me. i just need some opinions and advice from other mamas, please! thank you!

thank you for all the advice so far..and you all made some good points to think about - but i do want to make it clear that if i do keep my baby...i would NEVER let my mom take over, she would help me out, and babysit - so that i can finish school (and my college funds are taken care of...my parents are still planning on paying for college for me, what scholarships (if i can hopefully get one) won't cover), but when i'm home I will be the one taking care of my baby and wouldn't have it any other way...she would know who her mommy is. my baby WILL be my life...she already is!!! i can't stand when i see single moms who let their parents just take over either. and i know that i'm young, but i know i'd be a good mother - i just want my baby to have the best life possible and can't decide which way that would mean. i'd be okay without child support - my parents have already told me they will help me out financially, so it just seems easier on both my baby and me not to go after her "dad" - KWIM? my parents are willing to help me out as much as i need so that i won't need to be on assistance of any kind. just wanted to clarify a few things, thanks again.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks again ladies for all the advice and points you gave....I went on a little outing with my mom this afternoon, and we talked a lot of things over. Those of you who said you could tell I had already pretty much decided to keep my baby are right.....I love her more than anything and no matter how selfish some might think it is....I'M her mommy, and i'm going to raise her. :) my parents are going to help me out financially, and with watching her while i'm at school and at work - and i'm very lucky and extremely grateful to have them. i know this isn't the decision the church wants me to make, but i do have my free agency...and i know those at church will come around. my mom and i are going to work on finding a lawyer first thing monday - to make sure that her "dad" won't get able to try and go for custody (we have been looking into the laws in my state and are almost positive he'll be going to jail) and to get child support out of him if i can....bascially get everything concerning him out of the way. thanks again for all the advice - and i'll be coming here when i have more questions...i'm sure i'll have a lot! :) thanks so much again.

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I would keep the baby. You can do it :) I had my husband, but we had no other help. We were 18. We are now 35, with 4 beautiful daughters. My oldest is one of my best friends, i cannot imagine my life without her!!

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Coming from someone who has 'been there done that'...whatever you decide, it has to be your decision. It was for me. I completely disagree with whoever said that if you place your baby for adoption, you will always regret it. That is a serious assumption and I can assure you that I know of many many people that would be quite offended by it! I placed my baby for adoption almost 12 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I can actually say that I've never met somebody who has regretted placing a child for adoption. That being said, it was the hardest decision I've ever made. Anybody who thinks that placing a child for adoption is taking the easy way out is seriously delusional. It took a LONG time for me to decide...a lot of prayer, a lot of thought, a lot of weighing it out. To this day, I feel so at peace with my decision. I am extremely stubborn and was convinced that I would be able to defy all the statistics. And that may totally have been true...but I realized that for me to be the best mom possible, and for my child to have the best life possible - the timing just wasn't right. One of the hardest things (for me - again everybody is different)...was putting aside my pride. I wanted to take responsibility...I wanted to sacrifice for my child...etc.

I'm sorry that you feel a lot of pressure from church and some of the adults...I ended up working with LDS Family services and they were REALLY good about not pressuring me. The reasons that the LDS church generally encourages adoption...have nothing to do with their 'reputation' or not wanting single moms in church. There is simply a strong belief that a family made up of an involved mother and father gives a child the best foundation.

If there is anything I can do...please let me know. My situation and level of family support was very similar. I don't live very far from you...and I can understand what it's like being LDS and trying to make this kind of decision. I have a lot of friends that chose differently than I did - it totally is a personal decision. I promise I won't pressure you...but if you need somebody to vent to, talk to, unload...whatever...just let me know :).

ETA: When I mentioned that I did not know anyone who regretted placing their child for adoption...I wasn't really thinking about people who were pressured into doing it or who had the child whisked away immediately...I can see how that would be cause for regret! I was able to email my child's adoptive parents for several months prior to giving birth, I have gotten pictures, it's as open as we want it to be...and it has been wonderful. Anyway...I know you said you've already decided...but I just wanted to clarify that. I wish you the best of luck...and regardless of your decision, feel free to private message me anytime! I remember really wishing I knew someone who had gone through something similar when I was in the middle of it all! (And it's true...people who don't agree with you...including those at church...will come around...it's not their decision...and the worst thing that could happen is you making a decision that you feel pressured into!)

12 moms found this helpful

This is going to be a hard thing to wrap your head around, so I'll tell you my side first.

I was absolutely NOT able to give my son everything older, established parents could have. Most young parents can't. It's a wealth issue, not a love issue. And by young, I don't mean teens. I mean under 30.

But I'm also the QUEEN of having my cake and eating it, too.

I knew from the outset that I dicnt have my degree, didn't have 5+ years into a job. Didn't have 20k in savings much less 50. Didn't have a house. Didn't have , didn't have, didn't have. wasn't, wasn't, wasn't.

That was my starting point. My son would NOT have everything he'd have if I waited 10 or 20 years to have him.

I bring this up because I hope you can avoid the trap soooo many people fall into by denying _____. Because the TRICK in having your cake and eating it, too, is knowing exactly what your situation is... So you can work around it.

Ex) there was no way in the world I could have afforded the AMAZING Montessori Preschool my son went to. How did he go? The university had a childcare subsidy program through women and family services (different from financial aid), that paid for 3 days a week lock stock and barrel. I found the program, applied, and got him into it. The school cut the preschool a check on a quarterly basis

Ex) there was no way I could afford daycare. 1600 a month for full time care (that's low for our area). I would have made less than daycare cost. Then daycare AND school? I'd never in a million years swung it (the community college didn't offer childcare subsidies). Money, nope. And I'd never have seen my son. Going to college, however, I only had to cover 10 hours s week for while I was actually in school, and then I studied while he slept.

These are just 2 of DOZENS of work arounds I did being a young, unmarried, broke mama.

For YOUR situation, should you choose to keep your baby, I hope you DO look at things realistically so you can come up with your own workarounds.

What I would do first off is QUIT highschool the moment the year is over (I'd say now if it was even 3 months ago). It's a liooooong day, and you've got a couple years ahead of you. Instead, look into HOMESCHOOLING. Most highschool students can do 1 year in 3 months. GET DONE with highschool BEFORE your baby is born by homeschooling. BUT don't 'graduate' until you're 18.

Why?

1) community college (or university) schedules are a FRACTION of the time highschool is. 2-3 hours a day, 2 days a week AND

2) highschool students can 'dual enroll' in college as long as they are under 18 and have NOT graduated For. Free.

((yes, college workload is heavier than highschool, but you can set your own schedule, not be gone from baby 8 hours a day, PLUS studying. Instead you're only gone for a few hours, 2 days a week, and you study during nap time and nights))

Get highschool over with prebaby, then start the much saner college schedule.

ALSO start writing for grants and scholarships now. Aim for 1 per week. Being under 24, you're still tied to your parents income, patent or not (only the military get an exemption). Once in school those scholarships pay for living expenses.

Ditto, if you have to work, instead of 'real' job, get a student job. 15 hours a week, employeers req through the school to work with your school schedule, and ideally... Make it a paid internship. This is instead of the 'nirmal' (established older patent) 40 hours, living salary, great daycare, etc. or the 'shoot myself in the foot' option for 40 hours at crappy job and full time school and gramma raising your baby, because youre gone all the time. With scholarships, grants, dual enrollment, and a student job/internship you're looking at 25 hours, instead of 60-80

These are just a few workarounds... But it ONLY works if you look at things how they are.

8 moms found this helpful

You are 16. Single. Of COURSE a married couple will do a better job. This doesn't reflect on how much you love your child at all, but just the reality of the situation.

I am adopted. The one thing I am most grateful for in my own life is that my single, young mother put me up for adoption. That showed her love...that she knew someone else would provide better for me. And it's not all about money, etc, but that DOES come into play.

How do you plan on being a mother, finishing school, working, etc?

What would God want you to do?

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I don't think there is any question that you should keep your baby. If you give it up you will regret it for the rest of your life. You sound like you have a level head on your shoulders, you have the support of your family and friends and most of all you have already bonded with your baby in the way that mothers do. With all of this I do not feel that your baby has a better shot with someone else. It will not be an easy road ahead of you but it absolutely can be done and it seems as though you are going to be able to handle it well.

7 moms found this helpful

Keep your baby.. why? because you love him/her! that's more wealth than a lot of children have growing up with two married adults!

Keep it!! you wil be a great mom! I can tell by the level of love you have for this child.

BUT YOU BETTER MAKE THAT MAN RESPONSIBLE! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TALK TO HIM, JUST GO TO COURT AND ASK FOR CHILD SUPPORT, THEY CAN ORDER A PATERNITY TEST IF HE WISHES. DO NOT LET HIM OFF THE HOOK, HE HAD HIS FUN, NOW YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL BABY WHO NEEDS HIS FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

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If you keep the baby you NEED to file for child support! That is what is fair to your parents and the baby. Other than that it's all up to you. Having a child is a lot of responsibility and a TON of work, make sure you are prepared to give up the life you once knew! But I could not imagine giving up a baby either, my daughter is the best gift ever! Whatever you choose, just do not let that man get away with not paying for his choice! You will need the child support for the next 18 years.

6 moms found this helpful

M., I think that you are learning hard lessons in life awfully young. Being only 16 is terribly young to be a mom. The fact that you are wrestling with this question means, though, that you are learning from your mistakes and trying to take responsibility.

Giving up the baby to a loving couple is as responsible as you can get. Giving that child the leg-up in life that he or she wouldn't have with a teen mom IS selfless. The fact that it kills you to think of it means that you are a good person. However, being willing to do it means that you love the baby more than you love yourself.

I hope you are strong enough and love this child enough to do the hard thing, adopt out the baby.

I just know that you are not going to make any more mistakes with any other guys, right, M.? You have a lot more growing up to do that has nothing to do with older men and sex. Now you know what this gets you - a whole lot of heartache and trouble.

Get your diploma. Go to college. Get a career. You'll be so much happier with a guy your age when you are older, taking your time to find a gem rather than a dud.

Good luck, M..

D.

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If you want to consider adoption, which of course is your choice, you should look at open adoption. This is where you set the rules up front with the adoptive family about how often you can visit, etc. You can still be a big part of your child's life - even if she doesn't live with you.

By the way, the bio father has to sign adoption papers before you give her up - is he willing to do this?

Personally, knowing what I know about raising children, I don't think I could raise a child alone. We only have one and it seems like it takes both of us to coordinate everything.

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My honest opinion is that there are some women who can handle single teenage parenthood, and some who can't. I went to high school with MANY girls who got pregnant around your age. Those whose families stood by their side and supported them through it have turned out quite well, and even more importantly, their babies have grown into wonderful and happy children.

To me you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, a family that loves you very much, and drive. Those will all be very necessary for raising the baby. It is not selfish to want to keep your baby, if you are willing to do the things necessary to give him/her a good life. I am a married mother of 3, with a ton of financial stability, and I won't lie to you; motherhood is TOUGH. Tougher with 3 than with just 1, no doubt, but tough indeed.

Have an indepth and open conversation with your parents about what keeping the baby would mean for all of you. What their roles would be, what would be expected of you. Will you be expected to work, or just focus on finishing high school first? If so, how much can you work and maintain your grades? How else will having the baby affect your lives?

I am a huge advocate of adoption, but only if the conditions are right. To me you don't sound like the type of person who is into alcohol or drugs, so that is a huge plus. Your family is not pushing you to give the baby up. The father doesn't care either way. Pray long and hard about it, and I will pray for you and your baby too.

Big hugs!

6 moms found this helpful

I am the 40 something single mother of a child that I adopted. I completed school, established a career, owned a home and wass financially secure before becoming a single parent. Even with all of that and a ton of support, I cannot begin to stress how incredibly difficult it is to be a single parent. Whatever you think it will be like, multiply it by at least 10. I choose not date (little time to devote to a romantic relationship and don't want my daughter to have to share my limited time), and I have a limited social life outside of work. I work and take care of my daughter and then have to keep up a house and everything that goes along with an independent life (laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, meals, housecleaning, car repairs, yardwork...and the list is neverending.). There is no co-parent to even watch the little one if you need to run to walgreens at 10pm, take a shower or pee without an audience. I won't even mention the unplanned expenses at ever turn, such as pediatrician visits, speech therapy after maxing out health benefits ($66 per week), or play therapist if need a little help ($125 per hour and $1000 deuctible on insurance), or the $12,000 per year for childcare. Sure your parents will help you, but are they being realistic in how much they will be helping and the expense? It sounds like you've made your decision, but please, please, please think it over and over again about the life you will be providing for a child, as well as the life you will be setting for yourself. I am a single parent who was prepared to be a parent, and I can't even imagine how a teenager does it. I know my own bias is towards adoption as the best interest of a child and child who is pregnant . I also suspect that there is a lot of bias on this board towards single parenthood rather than adoption. .

I know little about my daughter's birthmother because most info she gave when she abandoned my daughter at the orphanage was false.. I don't know her motives or what kind of person she is. However, I do know thatt she gave her child a better life than she was able to provide for her, and she entrusted me with a wonderful gift. Whatever her reasons, she made a very loving choice. Please truly keep an open heart and mind about this option. Also, please read Steven Covey's Book "the 6 most important decisioms you'll ever make," as he has very practical guidance for determining your future, how to gain independence and how your choices impact your whole life.

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Keep in mind that this picture you have in your head of how you think things will be is a fantasy. Even with all the support in the world, the odds are stacked against you.

You will most likely lose your friends. You have no partner to raise your child with or to share the joy of raising him/her with. You will have no social life. You can't sleep in anymore. You can't sleep the whole night anymore. Dating will be awkward & difficult. You will have to get good grades in school & on exams, on little to no sleep. You will have to do homework & study with a crying, pooping, hungry baby that will interrupt you a gazillion times. You will not be able to carry on an uninterrupted phone conversation.

You will most definitely not be able to be as involved as you'd like because you will be at school & your parent will be caring the baby. I'm not sure how you expect your parents not to take over when you are 110% reliant on them for anything & everything that has to do with this baby - health insurance, food, diapers, clothing, childcare, crib, transportation, just to name a few. You are relying on them for all of your support, but thinking they won't be doing a large part of the child raising is just plain unrealistic. You can't be that reliant on someone without giving up a large amount of control that you'd still have if you fended for yourself.

After you get your education & get a job that can support a child, you will be solely responsible for keeping this child happy, clothed, fed, alive & healthy. You will have to pay for childcare, food, a house, a car, medical, electricity, insurance (medical & car), emergencies, and so many more things. There will be no one else to get up with her for the 4th night in a row of sickness & you have gotten no sleep. Your job will not care that you didn't sleep.

Look, I know you think you have it figured out, but please try to be logical about this. You have no idea about life, or hard it is without a kid. I wish you all the luck in the world, but your head is seriously in the clouds about this.

5 moms found this helpful

I have a daughter who is almost 17. If she was pregnant, and looking to carry to term, I would encourage her to give the baby up for adoption. But really, I wouldn't have to encourage her. Her life's dream since age 7 was to be a veterinarian, and she knows that would not happen with a baby. Think about what life you want for yourself, and what life you want for your child. It is wonderful that you have supportive parents who are not judging you badly. It's hard to have to make tough adult choices when you are not quite an adult yet, but you are pregnant and therefore, someone's parent. You need to make the best decision for that baby. It may sound simple to continue with high school and then go on to a community or local college where you can commute, but that's really the same as being a working mom and it's a very hard balancing act. You may envision yourself taking care of your baby after school and on weekends, but my daughter is busy taking an ACT prep course, touring college campuses, filling out scholarship applications, studying for her Regents exams, her finals, her SAT II's, she has a ton of homework from an AP and two honors classes. Be sure that you are considering the whole picture before making your decision. Good luck!

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I have a 17 year old daughter from a previous marriage. If you were my daughter, here is what I would tell you: Keep your child, do not tell the father of this baby that you are pregnant and and DO NOT ask for ANY support from the father. Why? Because he will want visitation AND MOST IMPORTANTLY...there is a good possibility, that if he is married, that he and his wife could petition for custody of your baby. They, as a married couple, have more money and stability and if they got the right lawyer, you could lose your kid. I would discreetly keep this child a secret and break off contact with him until the kid is an adult.

You can do this. Do not let the church people bully you into giving your baby away either. If they are so pushy, leave them. You don't have belong to an organized religion to get into heaven...that's a bunch of baloney. God loves each of us...it doesn't matter what religion we label ourselves to be.

Good luck to you and to your baby:)

4 moms found this helpful

If your family is really behind you, and you KNOW you can finish high school, go to college, and have help during that...you ARE giving your baby a chance. However, your parents will end up doing most of the raising. It can be very hard to cut those ties with parents, once you were able to do this on your own.

I suggest you look into resources (outside of the church) that cater to young or single mothers. Speak with single mothers about the reality, hear all the good and bad, and evaluate your life. Speak with counselors outside of the church. You want to get the most clear and honest picture of teenage pregnancy and single motherhood you can.

This is YOUR body, YOUR choice. The church gets to claim no part in that. I am religious myself, although not LDS. I am also 14 years older then you. What you must understand, is the church does not care as much about your child, as they do maintaining reputations. Trust me, when I tell you they possibly see your baby as a problem that needs to be dealt with. They don't want teenage mothers in the church. If you evaluate your life VERY honestly, and you think (with your family's help and support) this is something you can all do together...you can't allow your church to have control over this choice. When it comes to pregnancies out of wedlock, pregnancies with older men (I'm assuming he is older, if he is married. There could be legal repercussions for him, if he is more then a few years older,) teenage pregnancies...the church does not want this to be seen by the public. You are the Scarlett letter.

You HAVE to be strong, educate yourself on all possibilities, and make this choice without them. But, you have to be honest about that choice. This is much more then what you WANT. This is about what the baby needs. Only YOU and your family can discern that.

4 moms found this helpful

Well, it sounds to me like you've decided to keep the baby. That's great.

But--No--it's not better or easier NOT to go after 'dad" for this.
Remember learning about actions and reactions (consequences)?
Kind of like your consequence for having sex is now the hardest decision of your young life.
Well, his actions have consequences as well.
He created a human being. He is responsible for child support until that child is 18. Period. Whether you "need" the money to eat or not, dropping that ball IS taking something away from your child. Bank it. Start a college fund. Please don't deny this child what is rightfully his/hers! Go through the court system.

All the best!

4 moms found this helpful

You sound very mature with a good head on your shoulders and you already have the unselfish love that a good parent needs. That right there is more than half the battle. I think you should keep your baby. Best wishes....

4 moms found this helpful

It sounds like you have things pretty well figured out here, I just want to make sure you understand that you will be pushed to the MAX here. I want you to understand that you will have to face taking the SAT's on zero hrs sleep, you will have to face schooling taking longer than you thought due to complications. In addition can you handle the situation should your child have a special need? Autism, Down Syndrom, Spine Ebifida (sp?) or any other serious issue will need extra time, attention, divotion and GOOD insurance. How will this child have health insurance? How will you handle sleep deprivation or even Post Pardum Syndrome? How will you handle making sure the child's father either gives up parental rights officially OR pays due child support? How do you intend to protect yourself against this man legally (father of the child) and keep your wits about you? In addition, you are underage are you going to press charges, are your parents? There are so many "what if's" here, I think you need to see a councilor (not related to your church) or a family planner that can help you see the full picture and make a good decision. I can not tell you what to do, no one here can, but thinking about my life at your age, had I become pregnant, adoption would have been the best option for me.

4 moms found this helpful

I'm with Loving M. What kind of adults are you around that they would let a grown man get away with that? Not the kind of adults you should allow to help raise your baby. Your church and your parents should be putting the blame on the adult in this situation: the father. If they are not than they are condemming you, putting all the blame on you as a bad person and will share this negative view of you with the baby. Please dont let people like that influence a baby. Think of that child growing up knowing his father didnt want him and his mother was somehow to blame. I tell my adopted son every day that his "first" (biological) mother loved him so much and how grateful we are that she let us adopt him. I tell him she wanted him to have a Daddy as well as a mommy, and to live in a nice safe neighborhood with parks and back yards and really good schools.
I wish she could share in seeing him grow so healthy and happy and handsome, I wish I could send her pictures and letters so she would not have to wonder if he was OK. So if you decide on adoption, know that you can ask to receive updates on your child regularly.
Your in a tough place, at a young age, pray a lot and let God guide you into making the decision that is best for your child.

4 moms found this helpful

I'll give you the point of view from my adopted daughter (now 18 and in college). My daughter is absolutely so grateful and thankful that she was adopted and loves her life (she has always said this!!). She knew the truth from a very early age and never has felt "given up". She acknowledges how difficult it must have been for my sister to ask us to take her but it was BEST for her.

Please get counseling (not just from your church) this was one thing my sister needed more of. Please, please work through this and consider what is truly best for your child for their entire life.

I understand how you think you will be able to provide everything for your child, positive thinking is great. There is no way on this planet I would have been able to provide the time and resources to my daughter if I were 16 when she was born instead of 27....I'm sure I would have really loved her but that is not enough.

How would you finish high school, go to college, support your child, be the primary parent and hope that the bio dad doesn't show up and cause trouble? It sounds so ideal no but what happens a couple of years down the road? Today you say you would be fine without child support but you have no idea how expensive raising a child is and what if family expectations change?

Once again, I go back to discussions with my daughter and how thankful she is that she was given a chance at a better life. Additionally, even though we adopted her from my sister we were not involved in her life. I can't imagine how that would have been from any angle. We were able to be her parents without owing anybody awkward visits at the park or updates. It was best for my daughter.

Best of luck.

4 moms found this helpful

My sister-in-law had a unplanned pregnancy when she was 16. Her "baby" is now turning 12 years old and we are going to his birthday party today :-)

Let me just say that my SIL is a wonderful mother! It hasn't been an easy road for her, and I'm sure she is not living the life that she always imagined when she was a young girl. But she loves her family and seems quite content. She had the support of both her family and the baby's father's family. She finished high school and continued with her schooling to become a dental hygienist. She later married the father of her baby and now they have another child too.

My nephew has brought so much joy to the family. He is a great kid and seems to be pretty happy and well-adjusted. I don't imagine that he would have been any better off had be been raised by an adoptive family.

If you are committed to raising this child and have the support of your family, I say go for it. You will be a great mother whatever you decide, because you truly want what's best for your child. Congratulations!

4 moms found this helpful

Think of the joy your baby would bring to a family looking to adopt! What a great gift to your baby, the new family and to yourself! Win Win all the way around.

3 moms found this helpful

Wow, so many answers before this even posted. I guess I don't need to say anything as you have made your decision, but I will anyhow. It is not mean or negative, so I figured it won't hurt.
I think the best person to answer your question is you. Since you are LDS I can ask, have you prayed and fasted about your answer? You have pondered it in your heart and talked to those around you, but have you asked the Lord? Just something to consider.
What ever you decide good luck to you. Having a child is difficult no matter if you do it alone or have a spouse. Hardest yet best thing I have ever done - 2 and a half times!
My brother and his wife are not able to have kids. They have known the blessing of a child through adoption and are currently waiting for another mom to send them another miracle. They couldn't love their little boy more than any biological parents ever could.
I hope you are at peace with your decision, whatever you decide just make sure that baby is surrounded by loved and never doubts his/her place in the family they are in.

3 moms found this helpful

Whether the father is married or not, he has a legal obligation to help support your child. Look into that if you decide to keep the baby.

What do your parents say? Are they willing to help you raise the baby for the next 5-6 years while you finish high school and attend college, and hold down a job? That makes them, basically, the primary caregivers for the baby - and for you until you are making enough money to support yourself.

Look into assistance programs for yourself - pregnancy counseling as Sara mentioned, emancipation options, WIC, Medicaid, etc. You will need all the financial and counseling support you can obtain if you keep the baby.

Also, look into open adoptions if you decide to go that route - and open adoption would allow you to remain in your child's life, though in a different role.

Unconditionally loving our children means putting our wants and needs aside and deciding what is best for our children. It is not always an easy thing to do.

Continue talking to the elders in your life, especially your immediate parents and family that will be ones to co-parent with you.

Hugs to you.

3 moms found this helpful

A baby turns your world upside down in ways you could never imagine. What seems like a solid plan now may not be so easy if variables were to change. I would recommend talking to a counselor who can help you consider all angles and supports you in whatever you decide.

One final note: Never say never. I would never do this or that. We've all said that but circumstances change, exhaustion sets in and things change ..A LOT.

3 moms found this helpful

Please keep your beautiful baby, she/he is yours to love and take care of. You already love this baby more than anything and your family will be helping you. I don't see any reason why you should give her/him up.
Your post shows maturity beyond your years; it doesn't matter that an older couple needs a baby, or that they have more money, this is YOUR baby, it's not your responsibility to find a baby for them, you're already a great mama and this baby needs YOU not anyone else.
God bless your little one and congrats!

2 moms found this helpful

Well, you have to do what is in your heart, ultimately, and I would recommend a counselor. You won't be able to do for your baby what a married, stable couple can do. That's a fact. It doesn't mean you'll be a bad mom though. If you are going to finish school and go to college you will not be giving your baby everything; how are you going to pay for day care while you're in school? In classes? With an entry level job? I think you're underestimating what you have to offer and what you can deal with.
You could do open adoption, but you would have to accept that when you are bio mom, your connection can be real but you are no longer the mother.
I would recommend talking to a financial counselor so you get an idea of what you are in for, talking to an adoption counselor so you get an idea of what your baby is in for, and talking tough with your parents. Does "have your back" mean they'll in effect raise your child for you so you can have your own life? What kind of job can you get as a high school grad that pays for day care? Who will pay for your college? How much time will you have for your baby if you have to pay for college by working? Are your parents willing to be free day care? You need to get all this straight first, and I think you'll find the arrangement you can live with through these conversations. Look, you had an affair with a married man and you're pregnant at 16: don't expect a happy ending to this particular story just yet. If you work on something that works out all right you're doing pretty good. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

I know that you already have made up your mind. So, I am only going to make 2 points.

One: My younger brother is adopted. My parents couldn't have any more kids after I was born (it was a miracle that they had me). I was an only child for 6 1/2 years. We are active LDS. My mom knew that there was another child that was supposed to be in our family. Finally after waiting so long, we got the call that there was a baby that was meant for us. The Dr. that delivered my brother was in our bishopbric. My parents were on "the list", but a ways down. Right after my brother was born, the Dr. called my parents. He knew that the baby was meant to be ours. After that, our family was complete. Thanks to a very unselfish young woman, we were able to adopt my brother. I'm sure it was the HARDEST thing she could have ever done, but she did it and we are SO grateful that he is a part of our family! My brother has known all along that he was adopted. He knows that he has 2 moms out there that love him more than anything!

I also have 4 friends that couldn't have kids and have adopted. It has been the most wonderful blessing in their lives. The sacrifice that 4 young women have made for their babies have made 4 couples lives complete.

Two: Even with your parent's help, you still have NO IDEA how hard it is going to be. I'm a grown woman with a loving & very helpful husband and 2 little kids. My parents live right across the street from me, and I ask them for help all the time. But when my husband goes out of town for work, it is 10x harder to be a mom! I cannot even imagine how hard it would be to go to school too! I always wanted to be a mom. It was the 2 happiest moments in my life when they handed me my screaming bundles of joy in the hospital. I know that you need to do what is right for you, but also, think about your baby. I hope that (like Missy N. said) that you have fasted and prayed about this. This little spirit that you are carrying is Heavenly Father's child very first. He wants what is best for that baby. He also wants what is best for you too. He wants all of us to be happy. If you do end up keeping this baby, I wish you all the luck in the world. You're going to need it. If you change your mind, and give this precious angel baby to a loving and amazing family, I hope that your baby will understand the sacrifice you made BECAUSE you love him/her SO MUCH!

2 moms found this helpful

I had my first kid at 33, and it was a major change! And I was done with school and working full time. I was even married. Kids are a lot more work then you think they will be! Nights w/o sleep, tending to their needs first over your own 24/7. I also got a degree in early childhood education and it was difficult for the first 6-10 months. I love my kid, but it was a huge change! Even with all my education I didn't realize that. However, you need to do what the spirit tells you to do since you are LDS. Pray about it, do what you feel is right for you and that child. It will take a lot of praying, but whatever you feel at peace with is best. Heavnely Father is the only one who really knows the situation. Ask him :)

2 moms found this helpful

http://www.musingsofthelame.com/
That's an adoption blog by a woman who gave up her baby 25 years ago when she was 18. She deeply regrets it. It's an important perspective not frequently heard about.

If your family has your back and you love and want to keep your baby, I think your baby has a great start with you.

A couple of things. The bible prohibits sexual immorality. (I'm not judging you. I really wish I never had premarital sex before I got married, but that's another post.) Which means, no more sex before marriage for you. Why? Because this kind of thing happens: you are used for pleasure by someone who doesn't have your best interests at heart. That's not what God intended for you.

http://christianity.about.com/od/whatdoesthebiblesay/a/se...

You will have your hands full and your child should not be left alone because you are running off chasing men or watch you wallow in self pity from a bad break up. (Not saying the first will happen to you, but it does to some people.) Pray to God for guidance as far as how to approach dating one day. For the next few years, focus on your academics. That and your baby will be enough.

Finally, I know someone who was born as the result of an affair. Her mother was in her late 20s/30s and had no idea her boyfriend was married with 2 kids. He also acted like she didn't exist when she was walking in the street and saw him (for the first time) with his family. However, he did visit her in the hospital when she was born and tried to visit during the years, giving some support. So this girl knew her father. (When I met her mother, her mother still considered this married man "the love of her life" which I found so sad.) The father died unexpectantly when she was about 19, never told his wife and this girl (now 28) is heartbroken because she wants to meet her 2 brothers (slightly older), has reached out to them, but they don't want to hurt their mom (and their large extended family). She also wants to apologize to the wife. I think she carries some scars from this father-daughter relationship and a burden of guilt that doesn't belong to her. Of the secrecy, of her mom not being "good enough", of the harm he did to his wife and 2 kids, what have you. Oh and BTW, this man (my half-brother) had MULTIPLE affairs before and after that one. He never learned his lesson. (His wife was wonderful, loving and devoted to him and their family. He loved his home life. I believe she turned a blind eye. But he was a "party" guy who loved excitement.) That is the only child I know about.

So! I don't know about keeping this man in her life or not. He has shown extremely bad judgement by sleeping with a 16 year old! Who knows if this is a pattern. Who knows if he'll do it again.

Pray about it. Because I really don't know if you should report him or not. I really wouldn't worry about protecting his reputation because he did this to himself (and you) and needs to be held accountable.

He needs to apologize to you, your family and to God and never, EVER do this again. If he does this, if he owns it, then there is hope for a relationship between him and your child. If not, I don't know that I would let him past my front door.

But... my point is, I do not think it is good for your baby to keep this a secret from his wife. And if she decides him to divorce him over it (who knows, she may end up not and welcoming your child into their family for visits - it could work out - it has happened in Christian communities) it is NOT your fault. He did this to himself.

If I had to decide right now, I would report him. He is a threat to the society if he is going around sleeping with minors. He is putting them (and himself and his wife) at risk for sexually transmitted diseases for one. Let his wife be the one to put a leash on him (that's eventually what happened to my half-brother) since he is unable to.

EDITED TO ADD:
I'm responding to Markasa's scenario of the worse case scenario. The bio-father petitioning for full custody with his wife. Wow. That would indeed be horrible. (Or even your child spending weekends at their house, IF the wife is not a good person, and you are helpless to stop the "mandated" visits.) Talk to a lawyer. See if that is indeed possible. My husband said no, that there would have to be a marriage between the first to be allowed to petition for custody. So that deserves a fact check.

2 moms found this helpful

Wow this is a tough one, I do not think I would be strong enough to give my child up . You are so brave for considering adoption!!!!!!! I can tell that you love your child............ But I think the stability of 2 parent home would be better .........I do not know . I have seen so many great couples that have tried for years to have a child and would give anything to have one.

2 moms found this helpful

I think you have already made your decision. You want to keep your baby. You have the help of your parents and plan to finish school and go to college. It won't be easy but I am sure you can do it.

2 moms found this helpful

It sounds like you really want to keep your baby and where there is a will there is a way.

I know you say your parents can help you but, financially, you have options out there. First of all, you need to get child support from the father. He will probably want a paternity test and make him pay for that too.

You are a minor and you will qualify for government assistance so you can provide for you and your baby and stay in school.

If you are not already in the WIC program, head to your public health office and get signed up. They will provide you with free food and vitamins for a healthy pregnancy, and when you have your baby they will give you free baby food and formula.

You should be fully covered by medicaid for your pregnancy and when your baby is born your baby will qualify for full coverage with the state so don't worry about medical expenses.

Government assistance should give you a monthly allowance and ebt so you can get groceries and other necessities, and when you start college you will qualify for free grants as a single mom.

If you need help obtaining any of this information, PLEASE send me a message and I will get you phone numbers and websites for your local offices.

Everything happens for a reason. Whatever decision you make, make it for yourself and your baby and not for anyone else. You can do this, sweetie.

****ADDED****

Riley J made a great point but one mistake. You are NOT tied to your parents income until 24. This is true for traditional student but if you A) get married, B) have a child, or C) join the military, you are no longer bound to your parents income when applying for financial aid for school. This means that no matter if your parents are millionaires, you will qualify for full financial aid when you begin college.

2 moms found this helpful

Here is the thing I have seen with other young moms. By young I mean under 18 and by no means do I mean all or even you. The ones I have personally seen think they are raising their kids when in fact their parents are. So looking at that they have given their child up for adoption, their parents adopted them.

I am only saying this so that you can choose if you are to keep the child are you going to be the mom or is your mom going to be the mom and you are a live in babysitter. That is not the best life for the child, you know? If you are signing on to being the mom and your mom is the live in babysitter then you may very well be making the best choice by keeping the baby.

If you don't plan on actually being the mom then it would be best to give the baby up to someone who does plan on taking that role.

Sorry if I can't give better advice but I haven't walked a mile in your shoes. I was a young mom but at 20 I was on my own and clearly I was and am my children's mom.

Good luck. :)

2 moms found this helpful

I have known girls who had babies at 16 and made it with the kid. It sounds like you have strong support from your parents which is important. I am 27 and still ask my parents help with my kids!

1 mom found this helpful

Oh, you poor thing! That must be such a scary situation. I'll start by being up front in saying that I am a mom who has adopted, and I am also LDS. That being said, I feel strongly that you should do whatever you feel is best. Yes, absolutely there are families out there that are desperate to adopt that could love your baby as much as you do. But, once you have that baby and it is yours to love, no matter how hard it is (and it is definitely hard) you'll find strength you didn't know you had. It's wonderful that you have that support system in your family. That will really help a lot, no matter what you decide.

It sounds like you have a very mature head on your shoulders and like you have your priorities straight. While we have adopted, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of my daughter's birth mom, and how heartbreaking it is that she doesn't get to see every little change and development that our daughter goes through. I'm sure she must think of our daughter, too. There is no easy answer, of course. But, remember this- it's YOUR answer to come up with. Don't let anyone pressure you in either direction. This is your baby.

Warmest wishes in whatever you decide.

1 mom found this helpful

Part of beinga good parent and doing what is best for your baby is not being an albatross for your parents. "My parents told me they will help me out financially" - that's great and wonderful. But, you should do whatever you can to ease the burden on them. They didn't decide to have teenage sex with a married man and they won't be the ones deciding to keep the baby, if you go that route. So, you should be doing everything in your power to do what's best for your baby - which means, 100% going after child support. That is money for your baby - not you. So even if you'll be okay without it, it doesn't matter. Every little bit helps, and also every little bit you receive from child support is less of a burden you'll be on your parents.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow! You have a difficult decision ahead of you and the only advice I can give you is to pray. Compare the pros and cons of adoption and raising the baby on your own, do a lot of research about adoption and adoption agencies and talk to your parents about the sacrifices they have made in raising their family. Make a decision and present it to your Heavenly Father to find out if your decision is the correct one. You will be guided in this.

You have a loving and supportive family which is awesome!!!

1 mom found this helpful

You disregard all the people who think they know what's best for you and you do what your heart tells to do. You were not put on this earth to breed for the childless. The fact that you can express yourself so maturely without making mistakes or allowing your frustration and anger to guide your hand tells me that you probably can provide a very nurturing home for a child. So many young teens who find themselves pregnant decide to carry to term because they want someone to love THEM. You seem to already be aware that babies need you to provide for them not the other way around. I'm proud of you.

1 mom found this helpful

I just want to warn you that it's going to be hard to get child support from the father and refuse him any visitation, unless of course there is proof that he'd be a danger to the child. It can be hard to have it both ways. If he's financially helping you out, he may want to be a part of the baby's life - maybe not now, but maybe in 5, 10 or 20 years. Just keep that in mind.

I hope that whatever happens, you and your baby are happy.

1 mom found this helpful

I would keep the baby. You can do it :) I had my husband, but we had no other help. We were 18. We are now 35, with 4 beautiful daughters. My oldest is one of my best friends, i cannot imagine my life without her!!

1 mom found this helpful

You have a ton of answers already and I haven't taken the time to read them, but just wanted to put in my two cents... I have many, many friends who can only become parents by the grace of God combined by the selfless sacrifice of young women such as yourself who give up their child for adoption. It is SO hard to give up a child but in the end you would really be blessing yourself and so many other people. I wont say that life will be easier for you if you do, because that is only in the financial, social, physical sense. Emotionally it would be harder than anything you would ever do. But the lives that you can bless by that sacrifice are insurmountable. My sister in law gave her child up for adoption about 2 years ago. She still loves that child, but showed that she loved her even more by giving her two stable parents to raise her and care for her throughout her life. On behalf of my many friends and loved ones who cannot have their own babies, I beg that you truly consider and pray about putting your child up for adoption.
I hope that you make the right choice for you as well as your baby, whichever choice that may be. Being that you are a religious girl, pray, pray , pray for guidance and be open to the answer, even if it is not the one you want it to be.
Good luck to you and baby!

1 mom found this helpful

You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders . See if you can get the man to sign away his rights as the father. I'm glad you have support but nobody here can tell you what to do.

1 mom found this helpful

See if you can find a pregnancy crisis center in your area. They are usually run by Catholics, but they can help you find resources in your area if you want to keep your baby, or help you decide if you want to put the baby up for adoption, you can learn more about that, as well. A lot of people are doing open adoptions, where you would still be able to have a relationship with the baby, even if you wouldn't be "mom" and you would know that he or she was being well taken care of.

There are also places, I don't know about in UT, but around here we have a home where teenage mothers can go and have their baby and learn to take care of them while continuing to go to school. I would really advise that you find some resources in your area to help you make this decision. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Sweety, you pulled my heartstrings. I hope all goes well for you and your precious baby. When I was your age, I got pregnant. It was the scariest moment of my life. I found a family who was wanting to adopt a baby but only would if the adoption was an "open" adoption, meaning the baby would always know he was adopted and know me and I would know him and be able to be a part of his life. I know that even when we are faced with hard decisions, and even if we think we can't take the pressure that is put upon us, that God does not give us anything we can't handle. I comend you for keeping your baby and loving her and wanting what is best for her. Don't give her up for adoption if you think for a second that you would regret it. If you are still contemplating adoption, I stongly recommend and "open" adoption. I wish the best of luck to you and your baby. You seem like a very sweet and lucky mommy. This is a great website for all the "mommy" questions :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Project Gabriel will help you

http://www.gabrielproject.com/
###-###-####
____@____.com

Why would a church not be in favor of family? Especially if keeping the baby is what you want the church should help you in any way possible, right? If not, I would find out why. If your church is encouraging you to give up hope or other things that are not supported in the Bible, I would be very questionable. Our church would redirect you to a free program where trained volunteers are available to help you with your needs.

Today's Catholic Living Faith
'Reunion and Reconciliation'
Pentecost Sunday
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.
- Acts 2:1

1 mom found this helpful

Well it sounds like you think you have everything all figured out, but in reality, you are only 16 years old and really have no idea of the "big picture" yet, that will come after the baby is born. You have to think of the the time when the baby is sick, you have a big project due at school, you need to get a job, and maybe you just might want to go out with a friend for a while, and get away from it all, like most moms feel like now and then. I know you said your folks will help you out, and they have your back. Just make sure you are thinking of everything before you do anything. You sound like you have a good plan, and you sound like you have a lot of love for your baby. I hope things work out for the best, no matter which path you choose. Good luck to you and your baby.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like you are a very responsible young woman who used poor judgement with an older man (who should be ashamed of himself). You will be a good mom. If you do keep your baby, sounds like you will, get any child support you can from the dad...even if you don't use it, you can put it in an account for your child.

All I can tell you is that you need to be strong and stand your ground no matter what you chose to do. The people at church, your family and friends can all say and do whatever they want, but at the end of the day, you are going to be the one laying in bed either crying or content about what you did. I had a baby at 17, was still able to graduate highschool, i tried living with the dad and that didnt work out at all, AND THAT'S OK! I pulled through, i worked hard, i made decisions carefully and responsibly ALWAYS and here i am now, 29 yrs old, married to a WONDERFUL guy for 8 yrs now and we now have 4 daughters. So you CAN do it, but you will pretty much have to put your life on the back burner b/c this little baby comes first ALWAYS...your world will now revolve around that lil baby, not yourself anymore. Best of luck to you.

so many thoughts. first off i will tell you i feel if you can raise this child, do it. i won't insult adoptive moms and dads, adopted kids, by saying this child is better off with you. every couple/family is different - many many MANY children are born in the "right" circumstances, are not "better off" just because their parents are adults and have some security. "better off" is subjective, and basically, irrelevant, as long as you can provide for your child and (as you obviously do) love it. also, you conceived this child, it is your responsibility. just as you are your parents' responsibility, and while i don't feel they should raise this child, i do think it's right that they help you out.

i think you have it figured out. i just really hope you are prepared for how much work it will be. but definitely get child support. he was there too. he's already NOT your friend. there's no "peace" to keep. do right by your child.

Sounds like you are the best MOM your baby will ever have because you are already putting your baby first Congrads! and Good Luck...

Sounds like your already sure about what to do. I say your a s trong and you would be able to do it. Parenting is the hardest thing you will ever do! Just make sure your one thousand percent sure before you make a decision like this. Its going to affect the rest of your life no matter what.

From what I read, you want to keep the baby and you'll be a good mom. You know it won't be easy and that you'll have to put your child's needs before your own. The people in your life mean well but it's up to you in the end. It sounds like you're seriously considering all of your options and considering what everyone is advising. That is very mature of you! Based on everything you've said, I'd say that you should keep your baby. You can give your baby a good life even as a single mom. Good luck to you and I wish you the best!!

I, myself, was 16 and had my son at 17 (now I'm pushing 40, yuck). My sister did the same....one year behind me. I kept my son, she placed her son. We had the same support from our parents as it sounds you have with yours. Our parents helped us make the decision for ourselves by giving us ALL the information we needed to make the "right" choice for us and our babies. We also came from an LDS family so I can partly understand the pressure you are facing.
The only advice I can give you (by not knowing you and your entire story) is this, this is a decision you will live with for the rest of your life. All the people in your life (friends and some family) will come and go. Your friends may be encouraging you today but remember in a couple years (keeping your baby or not) you will be living very, very different lives. If you keep your baby, your worries will be if you have enough money for diapers this pay check and your friends worry's will be if they are getting invited to the next party.
My sister and I have talked several times about her baby and mine....she struggled for years (in the beginning) if she had done the "right" thing but years have passed, wisdom has come and she knows it was the "right" think for her. And I know it was the "right" think for me.
Gather information, all of it, go to counseling even if you don't think you need it. And even if you have no intention of placing your baby there is nothing wrong with understanding how it all works. When you make your decision you will have made it with as sound of a mind as you can have while pregnant :D

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