fimmtudagur, júlí 07, 2011

Information for foreign women in Iceland.

First of all: Welcome to Iceland, I hope you're happy here.

As you may know a horrible thing has happened and if I can in any little way contribute in preventing this ever happening again I must try to do so. I hope you will not find this information sheet patronizing in any way, that is not my aim. I'm only trying to help.

Iceland is not perfect. But we do have a good health care system and social care. Our health care is not totally free but it is quite affordable for the individual. We are also rather liberal and concerned about human rights.


We are very liberal in sexual matters. Some might say too much so but that is just a matter of opinion. As far as the sex is between consenting adults we really don't care what you do. Out of wedlock, one night stand, whatever you want girl, you just go for it. We won't judge.

If you don't want to get pregnant you can get contraception. It's pretty easy. You can buy condoms in every Apótek (drug store.) If you want other contraception you can go to your Primary Health Care Clinic and talk to a doctor. No-one has to know. It's totally between you and your health care professional.

If, for some reason, you get pregnant without wanting to have the baby there are ways to deal with that too. You can have the morning after pill in the first 24 hours or you can have an abortion. You will in both cases have to go to your Health care clinic and they will then advice you further on if necessary. Abortions are legal in Iceland for medical or social reasons. That being said, please remember that an abortion is a difficult step for every woman and better to prevent the pregnancy. But the possibility is there.

If you find yourself pregnant with a baby you don't want but won't for some reason, moral, religious or personal, have an abortion you can give the baby up for an adoption. There are a lot of good people that would love to raise your baby and care for it. 
You can choose this option any time. You can even do this after you have had the baby. 

But please allow me to give you a friendly advice: If you find yourself in this situation and you don't want anyone to know you are pregnant, yet I urge you to go to your Health care clinic. They have a strict confidence rule so no-one will know except them. Nobody else. 
It is so much better to have someone to talk to and make sure everything's alright  when you are pregnant.

The most difficult part is hiding the pregnancy, if you can manage that the rest is fairly easy. You just go to the hospital, sign the paper, give birth and then you'll go home the next day. No-one has to know anything. 

If you want to have the baby but are not married that is no big deal either. Being a single mom is quite acceptable here socially. That being said be aware that being a single mom is quite difficult financially and of course emotionally. Parenthood is a hard job and it is better, if possible, to share the responsibility.  

A few words in the end:
There is help available at almost every corner but you must reach out for it. The help seldom comes to find you. You will have to go to the doctor or the social worker  and seek the help. Once you're there, help will be given.

For your own benefit: Do your best to learn the language. The better you know the language more information is available to you. Knowledge is power.