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3 Teenage Pregnancy Options [And Where to Get Support]

Get Help for Your Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy Here

You have three options for an unplanned teenage pregnancy: 

  • Adoption

  • Abortion

  • Parenting

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 can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to get free, unbiased information and support.

  • 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.

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:

  • Parenting

  • Abortion

  • Adoption

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:

1. Parenting

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?” Keep in mind it costs over $230,000 to raise a child to age 18.

  • “Will the child’s father be involved and stay involved?” Being a single parent can be done, but it is challenging without a partner.

  • Am I ready to give up or postpone my dreams?” Again, it is possible for some people to balance parenthood with college or their career, but studies show that teen parents may be less likely to meet these goals.

  • “Do I understand the high school and college experiences I would be sacrificing?” In addition to your diploma or college degree, you may have to sacrifice some quintessential high school and college experiences, like going to prom, playing school sports and getting involved in other extracurricular activities. 

  • Do I really want to be a teenage mother?” Parenting is hard, especially when you consider all of the factors listed here. It's OK if you don't feel ready or don't want to become a parent right now.

2. Abortion

Another one of your options for teenage pregnancy is 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).

  • 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, especially if you don't tell your parents and are trying to deal with it on your own.

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.

3. Adoption

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:

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:

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Smoking cigarettes or vaping

  • Using drugs

  • Eating unhealthily

  • 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.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

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Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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