Although an unexpected pregnancy at a young age can seem like an insurmountable difficulty, there are numerous resources that can help ease the challenge and help you through emotional, physical or material difficulties.
One of the most pivotal moments that a young woman with an unexpected pregnancy faces is the decision on whether to parent her child or put him/her up for adoption. There are many national organizations that can guide you through this decision.
The Pregnancy Decision Line (855)-955-7195 provides support over the phone. On their website, they also have a tool that allows you to search for pregnancy centers in your area. These centers can be an invaluable resource, as they not only provide counseling, but they often offer free pregnancy tests, referrals to local resources and assistance with general baby items such as clothing and diapers.
Like the Pregnancy Decision Line, the Care Net website has a resource that connects you to local pregnancy centers as well, which can be found here.
The organization Birthright also has a 24/7 help-line at (800)550-4900. As well as guiding you through your options and assisting you with any difficulties, they provide referrals for services such as healthcare and financial assistance. They have offices located across the United States with a search tool available on their website to find a location close to you.
Access to prenatal care is essential for both a healthy mother and baby. You can find free or reduced health care in your area by calling, 1-800-311-BABY (1-800-2229), which will direct you to your local Health Department. Their staff will help you access care. You can also find out more about your health care services in your area by checking their website.
Using the United States Medicare and Medicaid website, it is possible to determine if you are eligible for health insurance. Medicaid, along with most other health insurance programs, does cover pregnant women. CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also provides inexpensive healthcare in some states. More information on both Medicaid and Chip is provided here.
Another healthcare resource is the Centering Healthcare Institute that provides health services with a focus on mutual support between patients. Through this program, medical professionals provide checkups for expectant mothers and afterwards, they all gather in a group to discuss the various issues surrounding pregnancy, childbirth and early childcare. These services are provided at health clinics across the country and can be found here.
Food and Housing Resources
Catholic Charities has provided thousands of low-cost housing units throughout the United States. Their website connects you to local Catholic Charities branches, which can then assist you with affordable housing. Another organization, Volunteers of America, also has a resource that locates affordable housing in your area.
Governmental programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, widely known as WIC, provides expectant mothers, breastfeeding and bottle-feeding mothers and children up to age five with vouchers that can purchase supplemental and nutritious foods. To apply, locate the number to your local WIC agency here and the staff will inform you of your eligibility and application requirements. Local pregnancy centers will also have information on food and housing assistance and will usually connect you to these services locally.
Sometimes, adoption is the best decision for both you and your child. In this case, it is comforting to know that there are a wealth of adoption resources to help you through the process. The National Center for Adoption website offers educational resources about the adoption process and helps you find adoption agencies in your area. If have any questions or are in need of some guidance, you can contact them at (703) 299-6633.
Bethany Christian Services is available by phone, text or email to offer support and illustrate the options available to you.
If you are ready to pursue adoption, the Gladney Center for Adoption provides you with the opportunity to work collaboratively with one of their counselors to formulate an adoption plan by calling (800)-GLADNEY, texting (800)-452-3639 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although an unplanned pregnancy can be a daunting prospect, these resources will prove to be tremendously helpful throughout the entire process. Keep in mind that these are just some resources available to you and that there may be more resources local to you.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.