When a teenager becomes pregnant, there are three main options that she is faced with: keep the child, give the child up for adoption or have an abortion. There are gradations within these options, with the option to keep the child having a variety of possibilities and scenarios for the teen mother. However, before a teen decides what she wants to do with regard to the teen pregnancy, it is important to carefully consider the options and to get as much information as possible about what is available.
Keeping the child
Even thought the statistical data is against them, there are teen mothers who find success after a teen pregnancy comes to an end and they decide to keep the child. However, it is hard work. A good support system is often needed if the teen mother wishes to raise her child successfully and complete her life goals. There are many possibilities that allow a teen mother to keep her child, although the final outcome varies.
- Marry her partner and start a family
- Live as a single mother (usually on welfare)
- Live with parents and receive help caring for the child
Another intriguing option is the group home. Maternity group homes are places where teen parents can receive education, services and help with childcare. They are designed to help teen mothers eventually gain the skills necessary to become independent.*
Before deciding what to do with your baby, consider which options are available if you want to keep him or her. Figure out which is feasible, and which will give you the greatest chance of success.
Many teens that become pregnant choose adoption. This is an option in which the baby is carried to term and then given to another family to legally care for. There are two types of adoption:
- “Open,” in which the birth mother remains a part of the baby’s life. She may be allowed to visit or keep in contact with her child.
- “Closed,” in which the birth mother’s identity is hidden and there is no relationship with the child.
Some teens find that an open adoption helps them better cope, while others feel that a closed adoption is the best way to break ties with the past and move on. In any case, it is important to carefully choose an agency to work through. If you get to choose the family your baby goes to, you should choose the family that you feel will give your child the best chance of success.
When a pregnancy ends before a fetus can live outside the mother, it is called an abortion. If a pregnancy ends less than 24 weeks in, through spontaneous means, it is called a miscarriage. A deliberately ended pregnancy is known as an abortion. There are teen pregnancies that end in this manner. It is important to understand your state’s laws (some states require that a parent be notified prior to an abortion) and to understand the medical implications.
Making a decision as to how your teen pregnancy will end is not easy. But you should carefully consider your options and do what you feel is best for your and your baby.
Teen Pregnancy Options Main Source:
- “Pregnancy Options,” Palo Alto Medical Foundation. [Online.]
* “Maternity Group Homes Classification and Literature Review: Introduction,” Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [Online.]