Single parenting can be a good choice to make, but not an easy choice. You will have days where you might not think you can make it. Although we’re glad you chose life, we want to make sure you are not putting yourself into an extremely stressful and harmful situation. Our pregnancy center advocates are ready to assist you in discovering all the support services that exist in your area. We exist to be a friend and provide support to women in this situation.
1. Where can I live with my baby?
We can help you explore your housing options before you deliver. Some possibilities include living with a friend or relative, living with parents or the birthfather’s parents, living in a group home for single mothers, or living in public, subsidized housing (some counties have long waiting lists). Things to think about while exploring these options are: childcare for the baby, education (continuing school), and safety.
2. Can anyone help me with baby items, maternity clothes, etc.?
Our pregnancy center has many material resources for you and your baby. Our program allows new mothers to begin collecting needed items right away, such as: maternity and baby clothes, baby furniture, parenting education, etc.
3. How do I get support from the father?
The father’s legal responsibilities include providing financial support for your child. Most states have a child support enforcement agency that will withhold money from his paycheck if he is unwilling to pay. If the father is unable to provide child support, you need to plan how you will care for your baby without it.
In some states, the father’s name is not put on the birth certificate unless requested. If your baby’s father has signed a notarized paternity affidavit, he may have legal rights, including visitation and the right to deny or consent to medical decisions for your child. Our pregnancy help advocates will provide more details about the birthfather’s rights and responsibilities. You and the father should also discuss your individual rights and responsibilities. A child’s needs are best met when you and the father work together.
4. Should I finish school?
Most counties “social workers” in the schools who can help you set up a plan to continue school. Some even provide childcare after the baby is born and parenting classes. You are encouraged to continue your education. You may decide to take a semester off while you adjust to single parenting, but your educational goals are still reachable. No one can force you to quit school.
5. I don’t want to be on welfare. Can I get job training?
If a single mother is receiving assistance, she may be eligible for programs which help with job training, tuition, childcare, and even transportation. Otherwise, she must rely on educational grants and loans while working to cover living expenses and childcare. Parenting often means altering your goals and plans. With determination and job training, you can earn security for yourself and your baby. Our pregnancy care advocates will help you look at your options.
6. Can I still choose adoption later if parenting doesn’t work out?
If single parenting becomes too difficult, you may consider adoption. It takes courage to realize that by yourself you cannot provide all that your child needs. However, separating from a child with whom you have bonded is difficult. We would want to refer you to adoption agencies in your area that can help.
7. I’m not sure I will be a good parent…
Parenting can be a struggle at any age no matter what the circumstances. Our Center offers parenting education and referrals for parenting classes that will help you in all areas of home care and baby management. Realize that we are here to help you and want you to become the best parent possible.