As a Parent of a Pregnant Teen-Helping Her to Make an Informed Decision

December 13th, 2011 | Posted in Hurdles, Pregnant Teen by

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy can be a scary situation in which to find yourself, and if you are a parent of a pregnant teen you are also facing so much anxiety, guilt and anger.

Pregnancy may be a new experience in itself, and then add the fact that it was unplanned and it is your child who is now pregnant, OMG she’s only a baby herself. “Where did I go wrong”?  No matter what it can be stressful and overwhelming. Even so, it’s crucial to remember that you and your daughter have options.

As a Parent of a Pregnant Teen Helping Her to Make an Informed Decision:

The best thing you could do, for both you, your child, and your child’s child is to make an informed decision. An informed decision means that you have studied your options, understand the consequences of each decision, analyzed you and your child’s well being, and made a choice that reflects what you’ve learned and discovered about yourself and your daughter’s situation. Your basic options are abortion, adoption, family parenting and your daughter parenting on her own.

If your daughter decides to consider aborting her pregnancy, there are many things you and she need to research: abortion complications, procedures, and risks. You’ll need to read about the types of abortion and how to prepare both you and her for the procedure. Also, keep in mind that each state has its own abortion laws and guidelines. What’s legal in one state-in reference to the term of pregnancy allowed to abort-isn’t legal in another. If your state disallows abortion, you may need to visit another state for the procedure. And that can take a lot of planning and patience.

Adoption is another option your family might want to consider. You can place right after labor and delivery or you can wait until you’re daughter is ready to place the little one with an adoptive family. If adoption is a viable option for your daughter, look into working with adoption professionals: adoption agencies, adoption lawyers, and adoption facilitators. While not all these adoption professionals are required to process and finalize an adoption, it can be to your benefit to have as many people working with you as possible.

Just because the pregnancy is your daughter’s doesn’t mean that your job as a parent stops with your own child. She is going to need you. She needs to know you love her and support her decisions related to this now so important matter. You won’t be able to make the situation simply go away, but you can open up communication and begin a trust relationship that is so important right now. It is not the time to condemn or ridicule. It is the time to be a team. Work together for the best interest of the unborn.

Many young people feel pressured by family and friends to abort or place. While that shouldn’t happen, it does. Remember that this needs to be your daughter’s choice. No one else should make this decision for her, because she is the one that will live with the consequences and effects for the rest of her life. If she wants to try parenting, she can do so. She can always decide to place later if parenting isn’t for her.

Pregnancy Counseling:
Pregnancy counseling is a great way to thoroughly explore your daughter’s many options. She will sit with a counselor and discuss her situation in depth. S/he will ask you about your life goals, expectations, and needs. S/he will ask you want you want out of life and where you see herself in five years, maybe even ten or fifteen. Once the counselor understands her better, s/he can start pregnancy counseling. In its basic form, pregnancy counseling is an assisted view of your daughters options.

Gathering a Support System:
Having support is important during this process. There will be times that you and she feel alone, confused, angry or scared. These are the times when you will both need your friends and family members around you, helping you. If you don’t have family or friends that will be your support system, you can also join a local support group for those experiencing similar situations. You’ll build relationships and friendships that can help you both during the tough times and celebrate with you during the happy times.

If you feel more comfortable with one-on-one interaction, you can visit with a professional counselor. S/he can help you understand yourself, your needs, and your fears. Your counselor can help you begin the emotional healing process if your daughter decides to abort or place. Even if you decide to parent the child yourself, visiting with a counselor can be useful and beneficial.

Moving Forward:

No matter which decision your daughter makes, there is always a time to move forward for the family. This necessary forward motion is both emotional and physical in nature. Depending on the choice made, you may need to devote some time to find emotional healing. Even though you all made an informed decision, there will be times that will be difficult, saddening, and painful.

There are different ways to move forward. The more obvious one is to move forward with the decision made. However, keep in mind that your daughter can always change her mind if it’s before parental rights are severed or after an abortion procedure has been completed. You both can move forward by recording your journeys in a journal, speaking with a counselor, or by joining a support group.

While an unplanned pregnancy may disrupt the current movement of your lives, you do have options. Throughout this process, remember that you’re not alone. You have others around you who have been in similar situations and you have family and friends who love you. It may be tempting to get caught in despair or fear, but think of this as a new journey, a chance to learn more about yourself.

If you would like to discuss this situation more please contact us for a confidential no obligation phone consultation. You can do this anonymously by calling 877-768-4064 or by logging into our website at www.Legacy4Kids.com. There you can fill out a web form with your contact information and we will get back to you to chat about your options. Remember, you are not alone. We are here to help.

Warmly,

Kelly Marquet-Bodio

Founder – Legacy 4 Kids Foundation

 

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