If you are considering an abortion, it's also important that you see a doctor as early as possible there are a few things you need to know.
- You can't be forced. It is unlawful for anyone to make you have an abortion against your will, even if you are a minor. In fact, forcing a minor to have an abortion is considered child abuse. If you are a minor being forced into making a particular decision, you can report it by clicking here or calling the Child Protection Hotline at 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437).The call is free and the hotline operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
- You and the father. The father of your child must provide support of the child, even if he has offered to pay for an abortion. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can help you locate your child's father and determine whether he is the father. DCFS can also help establish and enforce child support orders and collection, as well as distribution of child support payments. To learn more about Child Enforcement Services, click here or call the customer service center at 800-256-4650.
- You and adoption. Adoption is a legal arrangement in which a new set of parents raise the child. The law allows adoptive parents to pay costs of prenatal care, childbirth and newborn care. There are different types of adoption and a number of organizations across the state are available to assist you. To learn more, click here.
- You are not alone. Many agencies are willing to help you carry your child to term, and to assist after your child's birth. This includes access to health care services for mother and baby, supplies, healthy food items, nutrition education and in-home support. For a list of resource, click here.
This is a very important decision, one that will impact you for the rest of your life. It's best to learn as much as you can about your options so you are able to accurately weigh the benefits and risks of each. You are the only person who can decide which choice is right for you, but any decision is easier if you have a strong support system. Some women find it helpful to talk with someone else. That may be your partner, a trusted family member or a friend. It's important to remember that you get to decide who is a part of your decision-making process. The Department's parish health units have specially trained staff who can talk with you about all of your options. Click here to find a parish health unit in your area.
If you decide to place your baby up for adoption, or need to locate public and private agencies that offer medical and financial help and counseling services, use the directory of services.Additional Resources
- Are You Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption?
- Open Adoption: Could Open Adoption be the Best Choice for You and Your Baby?
- Impact of Adoption on Birth Parents
- Child Welfare Information Gateway