Becoming a parent is exciting and scary.
Parenting is a big responsibility, but it is one that comes with a lot of joy and satisfaction.
This pregnancy may not be planned, but that does not mean parenting isn’t the best option for you and your child.
A child needs love and stability, not perfection. Life may not be perfect right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the “perfect” parent for your child.
We are here to help you sort through your concerns, fears, and hopes.
There are several parenting options for you to consider.
Marriage and parenting. You are ready to make a commitment to both your partner and the child, and choose to marry and raise the child together.
Things to consider: Have you been together for a while? Have you considered getting married? Do you have a good relationship? Are you committed to each other?
Joint parenting. Although not ready to make a marriage commitment, you and your partner choose to share responsibilities for raising the child in a joint custody arrangement.
Things to consider: Are you both committed to the child’s needs and best interests above your own? Are you able to work through scheduling, financial, commuting, and communication challenges?
Custodial parenting with visitation. One partner is fully committed to raising the child. The other partner is less than fully committed.
Things to consider: Is the custodial parent able to take on nearly all of the responsibilities for the child? Is the visiting parent able to provide financial child support and invest some time in the child? Do both parents have an additional support system of family and friends? Are you able to work through scheduling, financial, commuting, and communication challenges?
Custodial parenting. One partner is fully committed to raising the child. The other partner is either unable to participate in parenting, does not want to be a part of the child’s life, or has exited the relationship.
Things to consider: As custodial parent, do you understand that responsibility for the child will fall completely on you? Do you have an additional support system of family and friends? Are you prepared to have to petition for child support?
Things to think about when considering parenting
• Am I ready to accept responsibility for my baby’s needs?
• Will the other birth parent be supportive?
• Do I have family support?
• Am I too young? Am I too old?
• How will I support myself and my child? Do I have a job? Will I be able to finish school?
• Where will we live?
• Do I have access to affordable medical care?
• What kind of life can I offer my child?
• Do I have any physical, mental, or emotional health issues that could impact my parenting?
• Do I struggle with substance abuse?
• Am I in a safe situation?
As you consider the above questions, you may feel overwhelmed with options and which is the right way for you to proceed. We are here to help.
Parenting can be very rewarding, and our team is here to help you decide if this is the best path forward. We are confidential, and have years of experience helping those who have found themselves in the same situation that you are now in.