If you are a teenager and facing an unplanned pregnancy, you likely feel overwhelmed. Becoming pregnant as young woman can be very scary. You might feel nervous, alone, and unsure of what to do next. The first thing to know is that you are not alone. Teen pregnancy is actually very common. In the United States alone, there are over 550,000 teen pregnancies each year. About one in four women get pregnant before their 20th birthday. Most of these teen pregnancies (82 percent) are unplanned.
As you digest the news of your unplanned pregnancy, you probably have many questions. You may be wondering how this pregnancy will change your life, what your options are, and how you can break the news to your parents. Try not to worry – this pregnancy may change the course of your life, but you do have options if you are not ready to become a parent. Right now, it is important to find a professional – whether your doctor, a health clinic, or an adoption agency – who can discuss these with you.
As an adoption agency helping young women all over the U.S., Adoptions With Love has received many questions about teen pregnancy. We have helped many young women like you get these answers, learn about their options, and make loving decisions for their baby – some adoption, and some parenting. Below we’ve answered some common teen pregnancy questions for you.
What are my options?
As scary as this situation can be, it is important to remember that you have options. You can choose between adoption, parenthood, and termination. This decision is yours and yours alone to make. No one should pressure you or guilt you into anything with which you are not fully comfortable. However, it is important to talk with your doctor, to learn how to stay healthy during this pregnancy and beyond.
It may also be helpful to do some research and speak to other teens who have faced an unplanned pregnancy. An adoption agency may be able to connect you with these other women, as well as talk to you about your different choices (and the effects of each). Be sure to meet with an adoption agency that will not pressure you into a certain decision. Adoptions With Love, for example, will support and respect any choice you make.
What are the benefits of adoption for teens?
Approximately one-third of women facing an unplanned pregnancy considers and wants to learn more about adoption. While you may not have considered adoption before, know that there are many benefits for young women like you.
When an expectant/birth mother chooses to make adoption plan, she can:
- Continue on to pursue her own personal and professional goals, such as earning a degree
- Ensure her child will be placed in a safe, loving, and stable home full of opportunity
- Hand-select the adoptive parents to raise and love her child
- Custom design an open adoption plan to keep in touch with her child’s adoptive family for years to come
- Continually see her child grow over the years with updates through the open adoption or by photos sent to the adoption agency
- Get financial assistance with rent, prenatal care costs, maternity-related expenses, and more
Where can I go for help?
There are many support groups, medical facilities, and adoption agencies that can help you through this emotional time in your life. First, it is important to talk to your doctor about how to take care of yourself – both mentally and physically – during your pregnancy. You may also find a local teen pregnancy support group to meet with other young women who are, or have been in, the same situation.
If you are considering making an adoption plan, you may also find a trustworthy adoption agency, such as Adoptions With Love. There you will find caring professionals who can offer you counseling and legal services – free of charge. Your adoption agency social worker will listen to you, walk you through the adoption process, and offer you support that is completely free of judgment or pressure.
Do I have to tell my parents?
If you are 18 years old, the simple answer to this question is no. You do not have to tell your parents about your pregnancy. For those who are under age 18 and living with your parents, you will find that sharing the pregnancy news is necessary. If you do not feel that you can find support from your parents, you can turn to your adoption agency for emotional – and completely confidential – support. The staff at Adoptions With Love can also guide you through the process of sharing your pregnancy news with loved ones and, if necessary, serve as a mediator to facilitate difficult discussions. Some young mothers choose to keep their pregnancy and choices private, and share the news after the birth. Read more about how to tell your parents here.
How will this affect my social/school life?
Pregnancy certainly has an impact on social and school activity, but it does not mean an end to everything in your life. The impact your pregnancy will have on your life depends on the choice you make. Parenthood is the leading reason teen girls drop out of school. Caring for a child while keeping up with class schedules and studies often proves to be too challenging. Only two out of ten teen fathers marry the mother of their children, and 48 percent of those who marry before age 18 divorce within ten years. Young women who choose adoption often go on to finish school and pursue college or a career. Read more about the effects of teen pregnancy here.
What should I do?
This is a common question that pregnant teens ask themselves. It is, however, a question that cannot be answered for you. Only you can decide what is best for your future and for the future of your baby. If you are struggling to make a decision, you should take some time to reflect on your options, discuss your choices and possible outcomes with a professional counselor. A supportive and caring adoption professional can help you work through your emotions to decide what you really want and which path is best for you.
If you would like to discuss your options and learn more about adoption, contact Adoptions With Love today. We can work with you and help you come to a decision with confidence, without pressure, judgment, or bias. Our caring team is available to chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our conversations are always confidential, and there is never any fee for an expectant/birth mother. Text us at 617-777-0072, call us at 1-800-722-7731. You may also contact us here.
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