Options & choices

If your pregnancy test is positive, you need to think about your options. You could choose to continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby, end the pregnancy by having an abortion or continue with the pregnancy but have the baby adopted.

What should I do if the pregnancy test result is positive?

All pregnancy tests are very reliable and so if the result is positive, this means you are pregnant. You now need to think about your options. Do not delay making your decision but also make sure that you take enough time to make the right decision for you. Remember that the decision is yours- don’t let anyone else pressure you into doing something that you don’t want to do.

You have several options:

If you are pregnant and you are unsure of what to do next, there is support available to help you weigh up your options. You may choose to talk to people close to you that you trust to help you make up your mind. It is very important to make sure that any advice you get is from accurate sources and unbiased services.

If you have had a positive pregnancy test you can:

  • Come and have a chat with a member of staff at Leeds Sexual health to discuss your options.
  • Book an appointment with a midwife via www.mypregnancynotes.com (you do not need to go via your GP). You can also call 0113 487 0690 or speak to your local children's centre if you need help to book your appointment, need a translator, or don't have access to the website.
  • If you are under 18 you can get in touch with the teenage pregnancy midwifery team on 07796614116.
  • Call the FPA helpline on 0845 122 8690. They can talk to you confidentially and free of charge about the pregnancy and your options.
  • If you are under 25 you can get advice and support from the Brook helpline on 0808 802 1234.

It is important to make sure that any advice you get is from accurate sources and unbiased services. You can use the service finder to find the closest and best service for you.

I want to continue with the pregnancy- what should I do?

Antenatal care is your care during pregnancy and this must be started as soon as possible if you decide to continue with the pregnancy. It is very important, whether you are planning to keep the baby or have it adopted. To do this you can visit your GP or go to a midwife at your local maternity unit.

You may need special care if you have a medical condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, so you should talk to your doctor or midwife as soon as possible. You should also seek advice from a doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you are taking medication. You will be advised as to whether your medication is unsafe to take during pregnancy. It is important that you continue to take your medication until you get further advice.

During antenatal care your doctor or nurse will talk to you about a range of topics such as healthy eating and exercise, stopping smoking and alcohol and taking folic acid. It is also recommended that you get tested for any sexually transmitted infections.

What will happen after the birth?

You may be able to get support with your pregnancy from:

  • Your family, friends and partner. These people might be able to help after the birth. It can be great to have help from people you trust so that you feel supported and can take some time for yourself.
  • Your health visitor or midwife. They can also put you in touch with local groups where you can get extra support and meet other new mums.
  • Social services at your local authority. They can recommend any extra support that you might need. For example, they might be able to get you a support worker who can carry out home visits or nursery or day care services.
  • Home-start. A volunteer may be able to visit your home and provide practical and emotional support for free. You can be referred by your midwife, GP, practise nurse, health visitor or social services. Alternatively, you can go directly to your local Home-start. You can give them a ring on 0800 068 63 68 or visit their website. The Leeds branch phone number is 0113 244 2419.

Remember to use the "Services Near You" section to find the closest and best service for you.

What should I do if I choose to have the baby adopted?

If you do not want to have an abortion but you also don’t want to bring up the baby yourself, adoption might be an option for you. If you put your baby up for adoption, they will be given new parents who will bring them up as their own. Once the adoption process is complete, you won’t have any legal rights or responsibilities with regards to the child. It is made legal by the courts and is a formal process organised by local authorities and adoption agencies.

Before the adoption is made legal, you can change your mind at any point. However, depending on how far the adoption process has progressed, it might not be simple or possible to get your baby back. The decision can’t be changed once the adoption has been made legal. At this point the adoptive parents will have custody of the child.

If you are considering having your baby adopted, you can get more information from the following places:

  • The doctor or nurse at your nearest general practise.
  • The social worker attached to the maternity unit at your local hospital. You should contact your hospital to find out whether a provision for this has been made.
  • An adoption social worker from a local voluntary adoption agency or your local authority’s social services department. To find out more you can phone the British Association of Adoption and Fostering on 020 7421 2680 or visit their website.

You can access special adoption counselling to make sure that you have explored all of your options and that you know exactly what adoption involves. This is to ensure that you have made the decision that is right for you. You can contact the adoption agency or social worker that is supporting you and they will make arrangements for this.