A few years ago, Britney Perez was a typical Hispanic teenager. She was in her first semester of her senior year in high school. She had just turned 18. She was dating a boy from the neighborhood and suddenly found herself pregnant. She’d never had a job and didn’t have a driver’s license; how would she take care of a child when she wasn’t ready to take care of herself? She considered her options – keep the baby, abort the baby, place the baby for adoption. She reached out to her support groups.Her boyfriend didn’t agree with anything. He didn’t want to get married. He didn’t want to help raise the baby. He didn’t believe in abortion, but he didn’t want someone else raising his baby. He offered no help or solutions and disappeared shortly after learning about the pregnancy. At this point, Britney agreed with him that abortion wasn’t the right choice for her.Hispanic culture traditionally says no to abortion and no to adoption. The norm is to keep and raise the baby. Britney’s extended family assumed this was what she would do and it was what they expected her to do. She was told, “You don’t turn your back on family.” Britney had cousins who had found themselves in the same situation and they kept their babies just as was expected of them. This is what Britney felt she should do.But Britney looked at her future and it didn’t look bright. She already loved the life growing inside her, but couldn’t see a positive, healthy future where either she or her baby could thrive and become all they were meant to become. She wanted her child to be happy, healthy, supported, encouraged, loved unconditionally, and given all the advantages and opportunities he or she could use. But Britney knew she couldn’t provide them.Britney’s parents were supportive and promised to support her no matter what her decision was.Then Britney turned to her older sister. One day, lying on the bed together, talking about the baby, her sister turned to her and said, “You made choices and because of those choices you are going to have a really hard time. No matter what you decide, it’s going to be very, very hard. Being a parent is hard. Being a young, single parent is really hard. Being a birth mother and placing your daughter with someone else is really hard too. Neither decision will be easy. Ever. If you keep the baby, you will need to fix yourself while you raise her. If you place her with someone else, she won’t have to suffer while you do that. You aren’t ready to parent, but there are hopeful adopting parents who are. Both you and your baby will have the resources you need to grow and mature. You can heal, grow, and become the person you are meant to be. And you’ll know that your daughter is happy, healthy, loved and getting the best care possible.”Britney agreed.Today Britney’s baby is 3-years-old. She is smart, funny, healthy and happy. She gets lots of love, attention and care from her mom, her dad and her two big brothers. She is part of a big, happy family that lives in Idaho. The family comes to California regularly, and every time they do, they call Britney and set aside a day for her to spend with the baby. She is also welcome to call or visit them in Idaho any time she wants.Britney is at peace and proud of who she is and who she is still becoming. She has found purpose in life – supporting adoption as an option to save babies and to educate the Hispanic community. Hispanic girls have positive role models in TV and the movies, and need options in order to reach their goals. Unplanned pregnancy doesn’t have to destroy their dreams of college or financial independence. There is an option, that is right for some people, that benefits the child, the mother and the adoptive family.Brit now runs the ANLC Spanish Social Media and works with other Spanish speaking people in our offices to offer support and options to other Hispanic women facing unplanned pregnancies.“I am a Hispanic woman who placed her baby for adoption even when some in my family disagreed. It was hard. It’s always hard. But I am blessed and in a good place.”If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about adoption in the Hispanic community, please 'Like' our Spanish Facebook Page!