Resources for Pregnant Women, Parents, and Birthmothers

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Consider your choices

CoverSMMarital Parenthood

Some couples who are facing an unexpected pregnancy choose to marry as one way to provide a supportive environment for each other and their child. Those who are already married may seek support from family or community resources.

Partnered Parenthood

Some couples decide not to marry, and they work together to support each other and raise their child.

Single Parenthood

Many women choose single motherhood, and many men choose single fatherhood.

Kinship Care & Guardianship

A woman may make arrangements for her child to live with other family members — like grandparents, aunts, and uncles — or close friends who can help raise the child. These arrangements may be made legally permanent.


For women who choose not to parent, there are various forms of adoption to meet their needs. Today a birthmother can, if she chooses, actively participate in selecting a family for her child — even identifying cultural, social, or religious preferences that are important to her in prospective parents. There are also a number of resources that may be available to birthmothers during and after their pregnancies. Adoption agencies can connect women to and in some cases provide these professional services, as well as advice and ongoing counseling.

Open or Semi-Open Adoption

Birthmothers today can choose the extent to which they have contact with their children. Many birthmothers choose some form of open adoption, which allows them to have regular, ongoing contact with their child and the adoptive family. Openness can range from visits, phone conversations, and email exchanges to more intermittent contact through the exchange of letters or photographs.

Closed Adoption

In many states, birthmothers can also choose a closed or confidential adoption that will protect their identity and privacy, though this arrangement may require initial disclosure of medical history, genetic information, or other non-identifying information to be provided to the child and his or her adoptive parents. In a closed adoption, there may be limited communication through a third party or a more anonymous arrangement for the exchange of information. In closed adoptions, birthmothers may also choose to have no communication with the child and adoptive family.

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