Every decision made has its consequences. This includes the decisions made in teen pregnancy as to what should be done with a baby. There are lasting consequences of any decision made regarding teen pregnancy, and the consequences affect more than the pregnant teenager.
Here are some of the consequences of teen pregnancy options:
Keeping the baby
This teen pregnancy option has far reaching consequences. With proper support and help, many teens eventually manage to finish high school (getting a diploma or GED), although a miniscule 1.5 percent go on to get a college degree. Many teens choose to marry their partners and begin eking out a life as a family. However, the result is often poverty, with 80 percent of teen mothers ending up on welfare. Additionally, the children of teen parents are more susceptible to poverty, abuse, developmental issues and health problems (1).
When the pregnant teen chooses to keep the baby with the help of her family, the results are usually more positive. The teen is often more able to finish school. However, there is emotional pressure placed the teen’s parents and family. However, in some instances keeping the child can lead to happiness in the family circle, as some teens want to have children.
Putting the baby up for adoption
Few teens choose to put their babies up for adoption. There are a variety of consequences associated with adoption. And some consequences depend on whether or not the adoption is open or closed.
Affects of adoption on the birthmother: Many birthmothers feel relieved that they have done the right thing in providing a “better life” for their babies. Others feel a profound sense of loss because, while they know they made a good decision, they wanted to keep the baby but were unable to. Many teen mothers find comfort in open adoptions that still allow them the opportunity to be a part of the child’s life. Others choose closed adoptions, feeling it will better help them move on (2).
Affects on the child: Children who are adopted display a wide variety of affects. Many of them grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults who nevertheless feel an interest in “who they are.” Many also feel a sense of loss and displacement. Others have a hard time coping with intimacy and showing love, due to feelings of rejection because they feel their birthmothers “didn’t want them.” Open adoptions can help children understand their teen mothers better, while some children react well to closed adoptions, relying on their adoptive parents for love and support (2). Most children, however, end up in better positions with regard to health, emotional support and education than they would have if their teen mothers had kept them.
Aborting the fetus
The main reasons given for abortion are as follows (1):
- Concern over how the baby would change life
- Level of maturity concerns
- Financial concerns
Nearly 40 percent of teen pregnancies end in abortion. However, the consequences do not stop there. While there are health risks involved (as with any medical procedure) that could end in death, for the most part abortions performed by healthcare professionals are fairly safe (1). Most of the consequences associated with teen pregnancy ending in abortion have to do with a teen’s attitudes and beliefs. Teens who believe that a fetus is an extensions of their bodies and not a life, do not usually suffer long-term emotional consequences from an abortion.
Many of them feel a sense of relief that the ordeal is over. And, certainly, it is possible to continue with life without peers even knowing that a fellow teenager was pregnant. However, many teenagers find themselves feeling a sense of remorse later down the road. The emotional consequences felt by teens that have had abortions to terminate teen pregnancies include shame, guilt, remorse and clinical depression. The idea that a life was terminated at a teen’s discretion can be an emotionally traumatic experience (3).
Consequences of Teen Pregnancy Options Sources:
- “Pregnancy and Childbearing Among U.S. Teens,” Planned Parenthood. [Online].
- “Real People: Birth Mothers,” Adopting.org. [Online].
- “Teenage Abortion,” All About Popular Issues. [Online].