Unplanned Teen Pregnancy Challenges and Choices?
Teen Parenthood Overview: Telling Your Parents You Are Pregnant. Teen Parenthood. Adoption Abortion
Telling Your Parents… Telling Your Parents You Are Pregnant Read the article (http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/Parents/tell_parents.html )in class together. If you are not in class that day, you need to write a three paragraph summary of the article after reading it. After reading the article, you should reflect on the challenges of telling your parents that you are pregnant, or for guys, that you got someone pregnant.
Telling Your Parents… Assignment: Create a one page dialogue between yourself and your parents. Include the setting (when and where you think you would tell them, if you would tell your mom, your dad, or both together, if you would ask someone else to be there as well) Write what you would say, and what you think your parents would say.
Telling Your Parents… This should look like a play, not an essay. For example: Me: Mom and Dad, I need to talk to you. Mom: Ok, sit down and tell me what is going on. The assignment is worth 20 points. You can earn five extra points by sharing this assignment with your parents. Have them sign your work to show they read it with you. Don't pretend you are actually telling them you are pregnant. This isn't a reality assignment!
Teen Parenthood Stats • The U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world – twice as high as in England or Canada, and ten times higher as in Switzerland. • The U.S. teen pregnancy rate droppedevery year since 2006. • About 1 in 3 women become pregnant at least once before they're 20.
Teen Parenthood Stats • A sexually active teen who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year. • Only a third of teen mothers earn their high school diploma. And only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30. • Girls born to teen mothers are more likely to be teen mothers themselves. • Boys born to teen moms are more likely to end up in prison.
Teen Parenthood Stats • 75% of girls and over half of boys report that girls who have sex do so because their boyfriends want them to. • 8 in 10 girls and 6 in 10 boys say they wish they had waited until they were older to have sex. • Most teens (6 in 10) and adults (3 in 4) believe that teen boys often receive the message that they are “expected to have sex.” • Diapers are expensive, but it's nothing compared to the $9 billion that teen pregnancy costs the United States each year. This includes increased spending in child welfare costs and public sector health care.
Teen Parenthood List five things you are looking to doing in the next few weeks. List five things you are looking forward to doing in the next few months. List five things you think you will be doing a year from now.
Teen Parenthood Would you be able to get it done? Now cross off each thing that you would not be able to do if you were a teen parent. What is left?!?
The Cost of Raising a Child • Click here to read the rising cost of raising a child article. • Click here to calculate how much it might cost to raise a child in your area. • Why are teen pregnancy rates different in NYC than in other areas?
Teen Parenthood • Video and article about two teens struggling as future teen parents.
Teen Parenthood • Now after spending time looking at the negative aspects and hard reality of teen parenthood, work with a small group and list the positive aspects of teen parenthood.
Teen Parenthood Some positives might include: • Younger people have more energy. • Makes you grow up fast. (responsibility, independence, time management, accountability) • Will be closer in age to child, maybe have a better relationship? • Feeling that you did the right thing by keeping the baby. (especially for those that are anti-abortion) • Can still try to reach other goals after child grows up. (education, career)
Myth #1 – Teen Parenting • Myth: Parenting will be fun. I will get to play with my child and dress him or her up in cute clothes. • Fact: Although this statement about having a child can be true, and parenting can be very satisfying, a baby will not be able to show it's love and support to you for some time. Babies are completely helpless and require their parents to do everything for them to ensure their survival. Parenting is a job that is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next 18 years of your life or longer. It is a commitment that you will need to be prepared for.
Myth #2 – Teen Parenting Myth: Having a baby is a way to receive unconditional love. My baby will love me regardless of what I do and won't judge me. It will add meaning and purpose to my life. • Fact: Babies are very cute and it can be fun to dress them up, but when it is your own child, it is not always fun. You must consider the time and energy that you will need to give in order to meet the needs of your child. Your freedom and moments of privacy can be reduced to almost nothing after you give birth to your child and for many years thereafter. Your child will go with you every where you go. They will awake in the middle of the night to be fed, changed or just because they are awake. If they get a cold, there will be more doctor bills, time missed from work, and a loss of much needed wages. This can be very challenging to any new motheror father
Myth #3 – Teen Parenting • Myth: My family, friends, or partner will always be there to help me out and pay for things. • Fact: You are the only person who can guarantee your child's health and well being. You cannot rely on other family or friends who say they will help you because they may not always be there when you need help. They are not in your shoes and although they mean well by offering their help, they cannot make the decision for you. Your family cannot guarantee they will be there at all times when you need to run an errand, have to work, want to take a nap, or want to go out with your friends. They also cannot be responsible for paying for everything. If you have family support that can help you with parenting, that is wonderful, but you cannot rely on it.
Myth #4 – Teen Parenting • Myth: If I choose to parent my child, I will not have to deal with the feeling of sadness, loss and disappointment that I would if I choose adoption or abortion. • Fact: This may be true, but parenting will cause some of these emotions to some degree. A woman may feel that she has lost the opportunity to finish school, move to another state, or go out with her friends. It could even cause the loss of other relationships because you are too busy or no fun anymore. Your friends may not want to be around you much as time goes by because you have too much responsibility. You may also feel sadness and disappointment because you cannot give your child everything you hoped for them to have.
Myth #5 – Teen Parenting • Myth: It will save my relationship with my boyfriend and we can get married and have a family together. • Fact: Many unplanned pregnancies, especially among young people, lead to stress and emotions that make it hard for a couple to remain together. More than one million babies were born to unmarried women in the United States in 1998. One in six pregnancies conceived by unwed couples result in marriage before the baby is born (Options Magazine, 2003). Many women are left to face the unplanned pregnancy alone and it can be very scary.
The Adoption Option Pros and cons of choosing to have the baby and give the child to people who want to be parents.
Facts and FiguresAre these statementsTrue or False? • Only about 1,000 children are adopted each year in the United States.
Facts and Figures • Only about 1,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. (False) • Explanation: Actually, more than 80,000 children are adopted in the United States each year.19 There are currently 1.5 million adopted children in the United States, more than 2% of all children.
Facts and Figures • Most families who adopt children do so because they are infertile – that is, they cannot get pregnant.
Facts and Figures • Most families who adopt children do so because they are infertile – that is, they cannot get pregnant. (False) • Explanation: Although many families do choose adoption for this reason, over half of U.S. families with adopted children also include birth or stepchildren.
Facts and Figures • Most adopted children were adopted when they were babies.
Facts and Figures • Most adopted children were adopted when they were babies. (False) • Explanation: Approximately 14,000 infants are adopted each year because the birth mother voluntary chooses to make an adoption plan for the baby. Most children are actually adopted from foster care, and are usually not babies when they are adopted. • 17% of all adoptions involve birth mothers making an adoption plan while still pregnant. • 15% of children are adopted into the U.S. from another country • 68% are adopted out of foster care.
Facts and Figures • 4) If a woman chooses adoption for her baby, she needs to get written permission from the person she got pregnant with.
Facts and Figures • If a woman chooses adoption for her baby, she needs to get written permission from the person she got pregnant with. (True) • Explanation: The person a woman got pregnant with is the biological father of the baby, and if he can be located, he must give his permission to make an adoption plan. • The biological father must sign a “consent to adoption,” stating that he agrees with the choice to make an adoption plan. Another option is for him to sign a “denial of paternity,” which means that he does not believe he is the biological father, or he does not want to be considered as the biological father. After he signs a “denial of paternity” form he does not have any parental rights or responsibilities for the child.
Facts and Figures • If someone decides to plan for an adoption, they can pick the family that adopts their baby, if they want to.
Facts and Figures • If someone decides to plan for an adoption, they can pick the family that adopts their baby, if they want to (True) • Explanation: Almost all adoptions today work this way – they are called “open adoptions.” • In an open adoption, the birth mother or birth parents are able to choose the family who will adopt the baby, and they are able to have ongoing contact with the baby after he or she is adopted. Some people send letters and pictures, while other people have regular in-person visits.
Facts and Figures • It is legal to buy someone’s baby, as long as everyone involved agrees to it.
Facts and Figures • It is legal to buy someone’s baby, as long as everyone involved agrees to it (False) • Explanation: Although birth parents are sometimes reimbursed for costs associated with the pregnancy, adoptive parents do not ever “buy” the baby. • Adoption is a legal process, and there are many laws that govern it. Individuals who wish to adopt must work with an adoption agency or an adoption lawyer.
Types of Adoption Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption
Open Adoption • An open adoption is where the adoptive parents and birth parents meet prior to the adoption going through. Not only do they gain contact prior to the adoption but they will usually maintain contact throughout the life of the child. This provides a way for the birth parents to stay informed about their birth child and maintain contact with the whole family.
Closed Adoption • Aclosed adoption: the parents, both adoptive and birth ones, are in the dark as to who each other is. The child who is adopted will also be unaware of who the actual birth parents are because the file is often sealed in a closed adoption. Closed adoption often occurs with international adoptions where adoptive parents adopt their child from another country.
Myths and Facts • MYTH: A really caring mother would never give up her child • and you don't deserve to be a mother if you choose adoption. • FACT: A mother who unselfishly creates an adoption plan for her • child is placing her child's best interest above her own. It is an • ultimate sacrifice for a mother to choose life for her child and • realize what is best for her child. Adoption is a caring and • responsible process that is as natural and loving as parenting.
Myths and Facts • MYTH: My child will hate me. • FACT: You design your own unique adoption plan, allowing you to share as little or as much information as you desire about yourself and your decision. You gave your child the gift of life, and put your child's needs first. This will be explained to your child as he or she gets older.
Myths and Facts • MYTH: Adoption is a cop out when you don’t want to be accountable for your own actions. • FACT: Adoption requires a strong and responsible person. Do not feel guilty for considering adoption or think of parenting as a deserved punishment for your unplanned pregnancy. Making the choice for your child to be raised in an environment that can provide the things you are not able to at this time is very brave and responsible
Myths and Facts • MYTH: Adopted children will have troubled lives. • FACT: Adopted children do as well as or better than their non-adopted counterparts. A study by the Search Institute examining adopted adolescents concluded some of the following facts: Adopted children score equal to or higher than their peers on indicators of school performance and social competence. They also are not more likely to be involved in crime or negative behaviors.
Myths and Facts • MYTH: No one will love a child like their biological parents. • FACT: While it is true that a biological parent holds tremendous love for their child, it is not a matter of biology. It is not inherited. An adopted couple's love for your child is the result of a lot of effort and desire to be a parent. Adoptive parents have a true love and devotion to the child they adopt because they realize what a blessing it is to have a child in their lives.
Myths and Facts • MYTH: If I put my child up for adoption, I will always wonder what their life is like and where they are. • FACT: This has been true in the past when all adoptions were closed and the child was taken from the birth mother and she had to live the rest of her life never knowing what became of her child. Today, you can create your own adoption plan which can make it possible for you to select your child's adoptive parents and meet them. Open adoptions allow you to stay in touch with phone calls and possibly even occasional visits.
Abortion Weighing the pros and cons of this pregnancy option.
Abortion: True or False? • If a woman has an abortion, she is more likely to have a miscarriage later in life.
Abortion: True or False? • If a woman has an abortion, she is more likely to have a miscarriage later in life. (False) • Explanation: Women who have an abortion, or even several abortions, are no more likely to have a miscarriage than women who have never had an abortion.
Abortion: True or False? • If a woman wants to have an abortion, she needs to get written permission from the person she got pregnant with.
Abortion: True or False? • If a woman wants to have an abortion, she needs to get written permission from the person she got pregnant with. (False) • Explanation: In Washington State a pregnant woman or teenager does not have to have permission from anyone to receive an abortion. This includes the person she got pregnant with, her parents, or her husband or boyfriend.
Abortion: True or False? • Most women end up waiting until pretty late in their pregnancy to have an abortion.
Abortion: True or False? • Most women end up waiting until pretty late in their pregnancy to have an abortion. (False) • Explanation: The overwhelming majority of abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy • 88% of all abortions are performed before the first 12 weeks.