If you find yourself in an unplanned pregnancy and unsure of what to do next, we at THRIVE want you to know—you are not in this alone. We are here to come alongside you to help you figure out your next steps, learn what resources are available to help you, and empower you on this unexpected journey.
First Things First, Take a Deep Breath.
Finding out you are pregnant can feel overwhelming, even when it’s been planned for. When you first began feeling pregnancy symptoms, when you had your first positive pregnancy test, when you had it confirmed by your doctor… these are moments when big questions and heavy worries can flood your brain. “Is this really happening?” “Where do I go?” “What do I do now??”
These aren’t questions you have to answer on your own. In 2010, more than half of all pregnancies that occurred in the state of Florida were unplanned. Remind yourself that there are resources available to assist you and that you do have options.
It is completely normal to be asking these questions, and it actually shows tremendous selflessness and maturity on your part—by asking, you are already putting your baby’s needs first.
Understanding the Options Available
The state of Florida has resources to help mothers and their children, from food assistance and nutrition programs to Medicaid and refugee assistance. Each program has its own rules for eligibility, but we at THRIVE are here to help you discover and apply for the programs that would be most beneficial for you and your unborn baby. Our residential services are set up to provide a safe place for single mothers to learn the skills needed to not only survive but to thrive as they become self-sufficient and successfully provide for themselves and their child(ren).
Parenting Your Unplanned Baby
It may seem like the impossible option, or you may find yourself feeling excited when thinking about raising this child. Either way, we firmly believe in empowering women to thrive in their new role as a mother. It is our desire to see every unwed pregnant and parenting young woman (and her children) experience the love and hope of Jesus Christ, to have a safe and healthy start to their parenting journey, and to have a secure home in which she can pursue her goals and reach her God-given potential. If you desire to parent your baby, no one should attempt to convince you of anything else.
Another available option for an unplanned pregnancy is placing your baby up for adoption. While it is not an easy choice, we know that adoption can be a beautiful way of providing for your unexpected baby. We have compassionate and understanding counselors on staff that would love to pray with/for you in this decision, and who can come alongside you in determining the next steps if adoption placement is the path you choose to take. Remember, adoption is your decision, and you would be in control of the process from start to finish.
*If you would like to speak to an adoption counselor at any hour, day or night, American Adoptions has a free Hotline you can reach here.
Building a Support System
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide who you share your pregnancy news with, and when you share it. While you can attempt to keep an unplanned pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy a secret, doing so may deprive you of invaluable support from family or close friends. Having the comfort of sharing your heart with even one trusted close friend or family member can be incredibly helpful, especially at the beginning of this unexpected journey.
We believe every child—planned or unplanned—is a precious gift from the Lord, and we are grateful to God for being able to assist single mothers to reach their full potential, right here in SWFL.