''I had a panic attack and wanted a solution as soon as possible.

Did you know this?

One in 4 pregnancies are unplanned. Of these pregnancies, one third are immediately desired, one third evolve from unwanted to desired, and one third remain unwanted. When a girl/young woman under the age of 20 is pregnant, it is called a teenage pregnancy. In Belgium, an estimated 1.2 per cent of girls/young women between the ages of 15 and 19 are pregnant. Only the pregnant girl/woman can decide whether to keep the pregnancy or not.

A far-reaching event

Becoming a mother is a profound event in any woman's life. Pregnancy at a young age is intense and also raises many questions, both for the teenager and those around her.

If you discover that you are pregnant, and it was unplanned, it is normal to experience different feelings and conflicting thoughts. For example, you may be confused, anxious and happy at the same time, as well as doubt whether you will be able to combine parenting with your studies and other dreams.

There are several choices and it is important that you make a choice that you fully support.

Keeping the child

You can carry the pregnancy to term and raise your child on your own, or, if you have a partner, with them too, if they want to be involved, and you want them to be involved. In addition to friends and relatives, there are many professionals who can support you with this. For example, Kraamhulp (Maternity Care) offers household support in the first weeks after you give birth, and you can go to Huizen van het Kind (Houses Of the Child) with all your questions about your growing baby.

Foster care

You can also get help from foster care. Your child will then go to a foster home for certain periods of time. This way you slowly grow into your role as a mum.


You can carry the pregnancy to term and give the child up for adoption. You then permanently choose to have your child raised by other parents. You lose your legal rights and duties as a parent.


You can choose to have the pregnancy terminated by abortion. You can do this up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. That corresponds to 14 weeks if you start counting from the first day of your last period. If you have been pregnant longer than that, you can still go abroad, such as the Netherlands, until 20 weeks.

Abortions can only be carried out in approved centres. An abortion is performed with vacuum aspiration or the abortion pill. Both methods have significant advantages and disadvantages. It is best to discuss these with your doctor.

Choice Guide to Unplanned Pregnancies

In the online programme "Choice Guide to Unplanned Pregnancies" you can work independently. You will receive information and assignments so that you can work at your own pace to clarify all your thoughts, emotions and doubts.

How do I make an informed choice?

It's okay that you don't yet know what you want. Making a decision can be very difficult, and it is important that you take enough time to do so and carefully consider the many options and consequences.

Talk to people close to you who you trust and feel comfortable with. This can be a great relief and helps you to sort things out together. You can also approach external help together.

Also try to talk to someone who is familiar with similar stories. You can contact Fara, the listening and information centre around pregnancy choices, the Adoption Home, Foster Care Services, and one of the abortion centres. All of these organisations offer information and will listen to you and work together to find what feels best for you.

If you prefer to share your story anonymously, you can contact Awel (102 or awel.be) or Tele-Onthaal (106 or tele-onthaal.be). For questions about suicide, you can call the Suicide Line (1813 or suicide1813.be), or contact them via the chat.

      How do I help someone who has an unplanned pregnancy?

      Someone who has an unplanned pregnancy wants her situation to be taken seriously, and wants to be listened to.

      Here's what you can do:

      • Try to listen sincerely without interrupting too much. Listen without judgment and be understanding.
      • Talk to her about her positive and negative thoughts and feelings. In this way, you will help her gain insight into her situation and she will feel better understood.
      • Don't immediately come up with solutions. Ask regularly how things are going. Show that you want to be there for her.
      • Involve those around her. Discuss the extent to which she wants to involve others. Ask if she would like you to speak to them, or if she would prefer to do that herself, at her own pace.
      • Enlist (professional) help if you see a need for it. Sometimes a conversation with you alone is not enough. Discuss with her what help would be most appropriate but don't force it. If she accepts help, support her to take that step.

      Worried about a friend?

      Have you noticed that a friend suffers from stress? Then talk about it and share your concern. Try to be understanding and listen without judgment.