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:
- Continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby
- Continue with the pregnancy and have the baby adopted
- 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.
- A sexual health clinic
- Your GP surgery (you can speak to your GP or nurse)
- A young people’s service like Brook
- Organisations like MSI Reproductive Choices , BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) or NUPAS (National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service)
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 or fostering
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.
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
Abortion services in Teesside
- University Hospital of North Tees: Please contact 01642 624233, Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.
- University Hospital of Hartlepool: Please contact 01429 522751. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.
- BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service): Please contact 03457 304 030, Phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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
- NHS UK has lots of information on pregnancy choices including: Your pregnancy week by week and Abortions
- MSI Reproductive Choices is an independent provider of abortion care, treatment and advice.
- BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) is another independent provider of abortion care, treatment and advice.
- CAFCASS can support with putting your baby up for adoption
- GOV.UK visit information about putting your baby up for adoption
- Sexwise provides information re contraception and pregnancy choices
- Brook confidential sex and wellbeing advice and information for young people