pregnant woman considering her options

Telling parents about your unplanned pregnancy

If you just found out you’re unexpectedly pregnant (and don’t want to be), you’ll be facing important decisions.  The good news is there are great resources that can support you as you move forward. One of those supports may be your parents, but first you’ll need to share your news.  

Here are suggestions for telling parents about your unplanned pregnancy.

Tips for sharing unplanned pregnancy news with parents:

Consider what you want

You don’t need to make a hasty decision about what to do about your pregnancy, especially if you’ve just learned you’re pregnant.  But it may help your conversations with your parents if you’re prepared to share your thinking on your options: adoption, abortion or parenting.

Plan your important conversation(s)

Take a moment to consider the who, what, when, and where of your conversations. Here are some things to think about:

  • Is it best to talk to parents together or separately? 
  • Are there step-parents to include?
  • Which parent is likely to be most supportive? Least supportive?
  • What times of day are best?
  • Where will you have these conversations?
  • How will you begin?
  • What information do you need to cover? (For instance, any plans you’ve already made. Who’s the father?)

Bring support with you

Don’t feel you have to go it alone. Is there a friend or family member you can bring to these conversations? Or it may be better to have someone from outside the family serve as your ally. If you’re working with Friends in Adoption (FIA), one of our experienced, caring, and knowledgeable counselors can talk through your plans for sharing this news and be with you during these important conversations.

Be prepared for all possible reactions

Think back to all those emotions you felt when you first learned you were unexpectedly pregnant.  Shock. Disbelief. Worry. Confusion. Parents will go through all of them and more. Before you head into the conversations think about how your parents might react so you can prepare. Try to empathize with how they’re feeling and stay as calm as possible.  

If you believe one or both parents will react with anger and blame, be sure to have a supporter with you. Don’t hesitate to end an intensely negative conversation.

Know you won’t settle everything 

Don’t feel everything has to be resolved in one talk. This is probably just the beginning of an ongoing discussion.

Talk about your plans

Have you thought about your alternatives for handling this pregnancy?  Do you have strong feelings about parenting, abortion, or adoption? Share your thoughts, feelings, and plans with your parents. They may have different thoughts and feelings.  

We encourage you to listen to what they have to say. Sometimes parents can offer new perspectives or ideas you haven’t considered. However, it’s ultimately your decision.

Unplanned pregnancy? Friends in Adoption is here to help.

Every family is different so this article gives you general pointers for having these important conversations. 

As a non-profit, pro-choice, licensed newborn/infant adoption agency Friends in Adoption helps individuals facing unplanned pregnancies make informed decisions. Our network of dedicated, experienced, and caring adoption professionals provides free and confidential adoption services for pregnant women and couples considering adoption anywhere in the United States. Our experience and skillful support can help you decide how to share your news.

If you choose adoption, please know it is a life-changing process that we would be honored to guide you through. The best adoption relationships are based on trust, honesty, and mutual responsibility. That’s what we promote at FIA. Contact us.


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