Teenage Pregnancy Options and Support
Receive Help for Your Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy
Because an unplanned teenage pregnancy can be such an overwhelming, life-changing event, it’s important you know what options are available before you make any decisions.
You've heard it your whole life: “Enjoy your teenage years because they will be gone before you know it.” But, for some young women, these years are interrupted by something they never thought would happen to them — a teenage unwanted pregnancy.
We understand this can be an overwhelming situation, and it’s normal to feel panicked. You are likely wondering what to do if you are a teenager and pregnant. This situation is more common than you might think, and there is plenty of help available. There are always options for pregnant teens like yourself.
One of the first things you should do is take a deep breath — and then reach out to people who can help with your unwanted teenage pregnancy. Start by contacting our counselors today. With over 25 years of experience as one of the largest national domestic infant adoption agencies in the United States, American Adoptions has helped thousands of birth parents place their babies through our agency.
We can provide free counseling services and give you all the information you need about your options. Our team will help you come to the decision that is best for you and your baby, whatever it may be. For free, anonymous counseling for your teenage unplanned pregnancy, call our counselors today at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form to get more information.
Until then, continue reading this guide to learn more about the options you have available.
Your 3 Options for Pregnant Teens
After you discover your unplanned pregnancy, you will find out that you have three basic options for an unplanned teenage pregnancy:
The path you choose will always be up to you. Even if you are not a legal adult, you are the one who is in control of your body and its future. No one can make this decision but you.
Before choosing between the three options for a pregnant teenage girl like yourself, it’s important that you receive free, unplanned pregnancy counseling and get as much information as you can about each path. Here are the basics you should know about each option before moving forward:
If you find yourself dealing with a teenage unwanted pregnancy, your first thought might be that you have to become a teenage parent. Raising a child is one of the most important and challenging jobs around. An unplanned pregnancy is particularly challenging for young women because they don’t always have the resources to care for the child.
Becoming a teenage mother will often mean that you have to give up some teenage experiences and take on more responsibility. You may have to live with your parents for financial reasons or even postpone goals such as college to take care of your child.
Know this: You do not have to become a teenage parent as a result of unwanted teen pregnancy. Becoming a parent is a big responsibility, and it’s okay if you aren’t ready to take on that responsibility at your young age. Your parents cannot make you parent your child, and no one can make you choose this option unless you are sure it is right for you.
If you are considering raising your baby, ask yourself these questions:
“Can I realistically afford to raise a child?”
“Will the child’s father be involved, and stay involved?”
“Am I ready to give up or postpone my dreams?”
“Do I understand the high school and college experiences I would be sacrificing?”
Another one of your options for teenage pregnancy is obtaining an abortion. Terminating your pregnancy can seem like the easiest option for a woman your age; it quickly seems to “get rid of” your problem and prevents you from having to carry a pregnancy to term.
However, abortion can be complicated if you are a minor. Certain states will require you to obtain parental permission for this procedure. Abortion can only be completed within a certain period (again, based on state laws), and it can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. While the majority of women who receive abortions do not regret their decision over time, there can be difficult short-term emotions to cope with.
Before you choose abortion for your unplanned teen pregnancy, make sure to talk with your doctor or a local clinic like Planned Parenthood to find out more.
If you are unsure about parenting as a teenager, or if terminating your pregnancy is not possible, know that adoption is always an option for teenage pregnancy. In choosing adoption, you can give your baby the gift of life with adoptive parents of your choosing, who will give him or her all the opportunities that you may be unable to as a teen mother.
Choosing adoption helps you go from feeling like you are losing control of your situation to being in complete control of the desired outcome and decisions made throughout the process. You are in charge of determining the details of your adoption plan. When you do decide to make an adoption plan for your baby, then you’ll be able to choose details like:
Finding the perfect adoptive family
How much contact you’re open to sharing with the family and your child during and after the adoption
And much more
You will be able to refocus on your personal goals, knowing that your child is living a healthy, happy life with their adoptive parents. And, adoption doesn’t mean saying “goodbye” forever. You’ll always have the option to watch your child grow through the years by choosing an open or semi-open adoption.
While you will have to carry your unplanned teenage pregnancy to term, your adoption professionals will support you every step of the way. When you choose adoption with American Adoptions, you’ll receive services such as:
24/7 counseling and support services: If you have questions or just need to talk to someone, adoption professionals are ready to answer your call, 24/7. With an emotional decision like adoption, counseling services are available pre-and post-placement, to make sure you are getting the support you may need.
Free medical care: We know you probably can’t afford the high costs of pregnancy and childbirth, let alone raising a child. The costs of your prenatal care and delivery are 100% covered by American Adoptions and the adoptive family you’ve chosen.
Financial assistance: Although adoption is always free for birth mothers, you may also be eligible for financial assistance. Your assistance will vary depending upon where you live and your specific situation, but your adoption professional will be able to explain this process and get you the aid you are entitled to.
Legal representation: Working with a trusted adoption attorney ensures all steps are being completed legally and ethically. When you choose American Adoptions, we provide you with the legal representation you need to feel comfortable and confident.
Privacy: This is an emotional and personal decision. Your rights as a prospective birth mother will always be respected, and you don’t need to worry about anyone finding out that you’ve made an adoption plan.
Countless other benefits.
For many birth mothers, adoption was not just an option they chose, it was the best decision they made for both their baby and themselves. Erika, a birth mother who chose American Adoptions to help her with the adoption of her baby, speaks highly of her decision.
“Even though adoption was the hardest decision I will ever make in my life, American Adoptions also made it the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Erika said.
Here, you can read her story and gain the point of view of someone who was once in a similar situation. You can also read our other birth mother testimonials, or you even have the option to talk to one of our professionals, who happens to be a birth mother who chose adoption during her teenage pregnancy.
To learn more about choosing adoption for your unwanted teenage pregnancy, contact our adoption specialists today. We would be more than happy to discuss your specific situation, so that you can make the best decision for you and your baby.
What to Do If You’re a Teenager and Pregnant: 3 Tips for Moving Forward
Now that you know a bit more about your options for teenage pregnancy, you may be a little surer of what steps to take next. Or, you may still be confused about what to do if you’re a teenager and pregnant. That’s okay; you have a little bit of time to decide, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.
As you decide between your teenage unplanned pregnancy options, here are some ideas to support you and help you choose the best path moving forward:
1. Make Good Choices for Yourself and Your Baby
If you are pregnant as a teenager, you likely have never faced this amount of responsibility, so it is important to realize that your choices affect not just yourself but also your baby.
If those choices involve:
Smoking cigarettes or vaping
Not getting enough exercise
Taking certain risks
Then it might be necessary for you to evaluate your current lifestyle and eliminate any activities or habits that don’t promote a healthy pregnancy, should you choose not to terminate your pregnancy.
This also includes making sure you are surrounded by positive friends and family members who will support you during your unplanned teenage pregnancy.
2. Build a Support System to Help with Your Pregnancy
A good friend who listens to you and truly tries to understand what you are going through can be an essential component to a healthy unwanted teen pregnancy.
What does this person look like? He or she will:
Be available when you need a favor or someone to talk to.
Not tempt you into making a bad choice.
Not pressure you into a pregnancy choice.
Make you feel good about yourself and your situation.
The more people you know who exude these qualities, the better. They can be friends, parents, grandparents, siblings, fellow students, school counselors, teachers, pastors, or anyone else who brings positivity to your life and your pregnancy.
3. Continue Your Education
Just because you are teenage and pregnant doesn’t mean your education is any less important. You have several options to continue your education while pregnant:
Continue at your own high school. In most situations, this is probably the easiest way to receive your high school diploma. Be sure to inform your high school teachers and school counselor of your pregnancy so they can tend to your needs and schedule.
Pursue independent study. Independent study classes allow students to complete classes from home and earn high school and junior college credits. Talk to your school counselor for any available independent studies.
Attend a special school. Most communities offer daytime or nighttime high school classes for people who have alternative needs that require a flexible schedule.
Obtain your G.E.D. The G.E.D. is a test that measures your general educational accomplishments. Once you have passed the exam you will have earned the equivalent to your high school diploma, which opens up many doors to continued education.
If you are considering adoption as a possibility, keep in mind that you could be eligible to receive an adoption scholarship for your future education.
If you are pregnant as a teenager, having a clear head and objective information about all of your teen pregnancy options is crucial to making the best decision for you. Ultimately, you are the only one who can decide what to do.
If you are looking for more teenage pregnancy support, or if you are interested in learning more about how American Adoptions helps pregnant teenagers like you, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or get free adoption information today.
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