Unplanned pregnancies

If you’ve tested positive for pregnancy and don’t know what to do, try not to worry. Unplanned pregnancies happen. Every woman has the right to decide for herself how to deal with that situation.

If you are pregnant and didn’t plan to be, we know that you might be finding it hard to make a decision about what to do. That’s OK. There are people who can help you and talk through your options.

You can choose to:

  1. Continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby
  2. Continue with the pregnancy and have the baby adopted
  3. End the pregnancy by having an abortion

Who can I talk to?

You might first want to talk to someone you can trust like a family member, friend or your partner. Or, if you would feel more comfortable speaking to someone who isn’t so close with you, there are lots of places where you can talk confidentially for free about how you feel about the pregnancy and gain impartial advice about the options you have.

Continuing the pregnancy & keeping the baby

If you would like to keep the baby, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can to get the maternity care  and support you need, This may include starting prenatal vitamins and folic acid.  They will then book you into the local midwifery care service. If you’re not registered with a GP, you can find your nearest clinic.

Continuing the pregnancy and considering adoption

Adoption is a choice for those who don’t want to bring up the baby themselves but don’t want an abortion. In this situation, women continue with the pregnancy and give birth normally.  Once the adoption is complete, they won’t look after the baby or have legal rights or responsibilities.

Adoption is a formal process organised by adoption agencies and local authorities. Once an adoption is made legal, the decision is final and cannot be changed. You cannot be asked to sign a formal document agreeing to the adoption until the baby is six weeks old.

Another option, if you chose to continue with the pregnancy, but do not feel you could raise a child, is to consider putting the child up for fostering.

There are different types of fostering including short-term, long-term placements or a relative may become the child’s legal guardian or foster carer. You can contact your local social services department to discuss your options.

Considering abortion

An abortion is when the pregnancy is ended because someone is unable to continue with the pregnancy. It is also sometimes referred to as a termination.  The pregnancy is ended, either by taking pills (medical abortion or by surgery (surgical abortion). There is no age limit for who can have an abortion. If you are under 16 you can still access an abortion confidentially. Having an abortion will not affect your chances of having a child in the future.

There is no limit to the number of times you can access an abortion, but you should discuss with either your GP, sexual health clinic, family planning clinic, and/or abortion provider an effective method of contraception to prevent future unintended pregnancies.

If there is a large risk to the woman’s life or a large risk of the baby developing abnormalities, there is no time limit to abortions. However, it is safer and easier the earlier it is done – ideally by the 12th week of pregnancy.

If you’re in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you can access an abortion for free through the NHS. You can be referred from your GP, local sexual health clinic, local family planning clinic, and young people’s service like Brook.

Local abortion services near you

Abortion services in Oldham Bury and Rochdale

Patients in Oldham, Bury and Rochdale can self-refer for abortion counselling with the Greater Manchester Central Booking Service by contacting 0345 365 0565.

Abortion services in Teesside

Patients in Teesside can self-refer for an abortion. Services are available across the area:

Abortion services in Northern Lincolnshire

Patients across Northern Lincolnshire can self-refer for an abortion by contacting the pregnancy advisory service on:

Abortion services in Cheshire West and Chester

Patients in Cheshire West and Chester can self-refer for an abortion by contacting BPAS on .

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