Single parenting is not an easy choice to make. You will have many days where you might not think you can make it. Even though we’re glad you chose life, we want to make sure that you are not putting yourself into a stressful and harmful situation. Remember to learn about all of your options! Our center advocates are ready to assist you in discovering all the support services that exist in your area. They exist to support you throughout your pregnancy and beyond!
Here are some questions to consider about single parenting:
If I can’t afford to live on my own, where can I live with my baby?
We can help you explore your housing options before your baby is born. There are many safe and affordable places. Most single parents need to work. Consider your childcare options in each situation:
- Living with a friend or relative
- Staying in a group home for single mothers
- Living with your parents or the birth father’s parents
- Finding an apartment in public, subsidized housing
Can anyone help me with baby items, maternity clothes, etc.?
We have many resource referrals for you and your baby. They can help you with maternity clothes, baby furniture, baby clothing, parenting classes, etc. Sometimes there are requirements – like going through a parenting class – that you may need to complete. This class can truly help you when your baby is born.
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 him. A birth father’s financial support of his child may influence court decisions about custody and visitation rights.
In some states, the father’s name is not even put on the birth certificate unless you request it. If he 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.
We can provide more details about the birth father’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.
I don’t want to be a mother on welfare. Can I get job training?
We can help you discover programs that best fit your employment needs. If you are receiving government assistance, you may be eligible for programs that help with job training, tuition, and childcare. Otherwise, you might rely on educational grants and loans while working to cover living expenses and childcare. We can refer to job training programs in your community that typically offer some level of child care. Visit with us today for help in discovering all the services that can support your job-related educational needs.
Can I still choose adoption later if parenting doesn’t work out?
If single parenting becomes too difficult and you decide to consider adoption, adoption is still an option. It takes courage to realize that by yourself you cannot provide all that your child needs. We will be happy to connect you with several adoption agencies in your area that can help you. When making an adoption plan, it is typical for you to be able to select the potential parents and meet them. You can also set up agreements about being in contact with your child in the future.
I’m not sure I will be a good parent.
Parenting can be a struggle at any age no matter what the circumstances. We can refer you to local 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.