If the pregnancy is a shock for you, making choices about what to do won't be easy, but getting accurate information is the best way to help you make the right choice for you. Your beliefs and values about pregnancy will influence your decision. Other people could try to press their values and beliefs on you and pressure you into a choice that isn't right for you. Don't try to please others - only you know what is right for you.

Going ahead with the pregnancy
  • If you decide to go ahead with the pregnancy, it is important to get good antenatal care (health care during the pregnancy). The sooner you're getting good care, the better for you and the baby. A doctor or health worker can give you lots of advice about your health and the baby's health.
  • See the topic Having a baby – being pregnant' for more information about how to care for yourself and your baby.
  • Alcohol, drugs and smoking can all affect an unborn child. See the topics 'Smoking', 'Giving up smoking' and 'Alcohol effects on unborn children'.

Adoption or fostering Some young people decide to go ahead with the pregnancy and have their baby adopted or fostered. In most countries there are agencies or services who can help you arrange this. Adoption is a permanent arrangement and it is important to have some counselling before you make this choice.

Adoption can offer the baby a good life if you yourself do not feel ready or able to be a parent, but sometimes mothers later deeply regret parting with their babies.


Parenthood - single or together? If you decide to go ahead with the pregnancy and become a parent, there are many things to consider. Will you parent together with your partner or alone?

Here are some possible options:

  • care for your baby by yourself
  • get married and share parenting
  • live together and share parenting
  • share parenting while living separately
  • live with your parents or close family members who might be prepared or even pleased to help you look after your baby.
It can be really helpful to discuss your options with a counsellor to work out what might be best for you and your baby.


Abortion (termination of pregnancy) About half of all women of reproductive age in Australia will have an unwanted pregnancy, and about half of these women will choose to have an abortion (not only young women chose to have an abortion). While many women are clear than an abortion is the best choice for them, for others it can be a complex and difficult decision.

A decision to have a pregnancy termination (an abortion) needs to be made early in the pregnancy, preferably before 12 weeks of pregnancy. It's recommended that you get counselling before going down this track and explore the options and exactly what a termination means for you physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Physical risks are uncommon.

  • Safe, legal abortion performed by qualified staff is very rarely associated with future risk to fertility. Most women return to their pre-pregnancy fertility immediately following the abortion.
  • Termination does not increase the risk of breast cancer.