Pregnancy options - counselling
counselling; adoption; foster; care; fostering; fostered; abortion; termination;
Approximately 50% of pregnancies in Australia are unplanned. Some women are able to incorporate this into their lives and others may feel scared or confused.
Not all women need or want counselling about pregnancy options. But if you feel unsure it is very important to talk about your feelings with someone you can trust. You may want to talk to a close friend or family member. You may also like to speak with someone who is not involved in your life, such as a pregnancy counsellor. A counsellor will listen to you, support you and tell you about the help and refer you to services that are available.
What happens at pregnancy counselling?
Pregnancy counsellors will enable you to have the time to discuss your thoughts and explore your feelings about all options available to you. You can expect that services are unbiased and can support you and give you accurate information so that you can make a decision you feel comfortable with.
The choices that a trained professional counsellor can talk about with you include:
- Continuing with your pregnancy and parenting
- Continuing with your pregnancy and choosing adoption or fostering
- Having an abortion (termination of pregnancy)
Counsellors will keep your discussions private and confidential. It is their role to provide you with information and support, in a non-judgmental way, no matter what decision you make. If you go to a pregnancy counselling service that is funded by the government, your pregnancy counsellor will discuss all of your options with you to make your own decision
Resources in South Australia
Young pregnant women under 20 years and young mothers can also contact the Youth Health Service
Deciding to have your baby adopted or fostered
Deciding to have your baby adopted is an important and permanent decision. Adoption is the legal process that happens when a woman and a man relinquishes their baby to be raised by adoptive parents.
In South Australia, the Department for Child Protection may be able to offer temporary support to women who may not be ready to take care of the baby and are undecided about adoption. Foster care is not a permanent situation: you can see your baby while he or she is in foster care while you work towards having your baby with you permanently.
This is sometimes a good option for very young mothers or mothers who need to work through some problems (such as drug problems) before they are ready to care for their baby. The Adoption and Family Information Service can tell you more about fostering.
Deciding to have an abortion (termination of pregnancy)
In South Australia and the rest of Australia, pregnancy termination is legal if continuing your pregnancy would harm your physical or mental health more than having the procedure, or if the pregnancy has identified physical or mental abnormalities.
If you are considering an abortion, it is important for you to first talk with a doctor, counsellor or health worker. They will discuss all your options with you or refer you to the appropriate services for support. The decision to have an abortion is yours.
Abortions are safe and mostly straightforward if they are carried out before you are 13 weeks pregnant. After 13 weeks pregnant, the procedure can be more involved but it still remains very safe.
There is more information in the topic Termination of pregnancy (abortion).
Pregnancy, birth and baby
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.