If you aren’t expecting to hear the words, “I’m pregnant” from your girlfriend or teenaged daughter, they may come as quite a shock. Chances are she was just as stunned as you are. Breaking the news about a surprise baby to someone takes courage.

While your first reaction might have been one of anger or disappointment, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t care about the young woman in your life. From this point forward, there will be lots of decisions. Your support is sure to be appreciated.

You Have Three Choices Regarding Pregnancy

The first decision will be about how to proceed. She can:

1. Keep the baby and become a parent

There’s no doubt, parenting is a tough job. It can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime, if you’re ready. If your daughter/girlfriend and you are thinking about keeping the baby, there are resources to help.

From low-cost doctors and other medical services to child care assistance, Gateway has a list of agencies that offer help in situations like your girlfriend’s/teen’s.

2. Place the baby for adoption

There are loving people who wait a long time to adopt a baby. If your teen/girlfriend doesn’t want to end her pregnancy, but also isn’t ready to be a parent, adoption can be a good alternative. There are several different types of adoption so investigating this option may bring the answer she’s looking for.

3. Have an abortion 

If considering an abortion, it’s important to remember that this is a medical procedure. Like most procedures, there are risks involved. There are also choices that you and your daughter/girlfriend will need to make.

There are four types of abortion that are dependent on how far along your girlfriend/daughter is in her pregnancy. There are also known short-term and long-term side effects that should be considered before making a final decision.

In addition, the state of North Carolina requires that every woman have the right to know exactly what’s involved with the abortion procedure at least 72 hours before having an abortion.

You can also get more information about all the options listed here on our site.

Confirm the Pregnancy

Before going any further, you’ll want to confirm that you teen is, in fact, pregnant if you/she hasn’t done so already. Because the symptoms of pregnancy can also be the signs of many other conditions, some girls assume they are pregnant when they aren’t.

Gateway provides free, lab-certified pregnancy tests administered by skilled professionals. We have nurses on hand to answer all of your questions.