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Friday25 April 2014

Options Counseling

Our philosophy stresses freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives. We are not here to tell you what to do, but rather to assist you in gaining information about your choices. We can provide you with accurate and comprehensive information, resources and counseling so that you can make an informed decision. Here at WHFC, we believe that there is no right or wrong decision, there is only the decision that is best for you and your child, given your unique situation. We will explore with you the option of parenting your child, placing your child for adoption, and the option of terminating your pregnancy.

Factors to Consider in the Decision Making Process

As you begin to think about whether or not to raise your child yourself, place your child with a family member or friend, terminate your pregnancy or make an adoption plan, there are many issues to consider. Our staff assists parents in the decision‐making process by exploring both the facts and feelings associated with this decision.

The “facts” we encourage expectant parents to consider are related to the following:

  • What is your life situation? Are you in school? Working? Unemployed? Do you have a good amount of time to devote to raising a child?
  • What are your present goals? How do you envision yourself in five years? In ten?
  • What support will be available to you from your family, the other parent, and friends?
  • Is your decision based on pressure you are receiving from others?
  • Can you meet the emotional, financial and other needs of your child? If you are already parenting, will parenting this child prevent you from meeting the needs of your other child/ren?
  • Do you live in a healthy environment for a child to grow up in?

The “feelings” we encourage expectant parents to consider are related to the following:

  • How does this decision impact your relationship with the other parent?
  • Do you feel like you really have choices?
  • What is your responsibility to your child? What do you want for his/her future?
  • What do you think are the “right” reasons for raising the child yourself?
  • What do you think are the “right” reasons for placing your child with someone else?
  • How do you feel about terminating your pregnancy?

In summary, this is a time that requires tremendous honesty and courage. The decision you face is a difficult one. If you are willing to work at it, though, you can make a well thought‐out decision that meets both your needs and the needs of your child. Our staff is prepared to offer you support, information, and services during this challenging time in your life.

Pregnancy Options Workbook

The Pregnancy Options Workbook provides helpful exercises for making a decision that is best for you and your child. You can choose to complete the exercises on your own or discuss them with one of our social workers.

View the Pregnancy Options Workbook.

Helpful Links

HOUSING ASSISTANCE through HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development www.hud.gov/apps/section8

FOOD ASSISTANCE through WIC (Women, Infants & Children) www.fns.usda.gov/wic

2-1-1 HELP IN LOCATING COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE (united Way) www.211.org

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/programs/tanf

Medicaid www.medicaid.gov

Child Support www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/handbook-on-child-support-enforcement

Head Start transition.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ohs