It’s the news no parent of a young, teenage girl ever really wants to hear, but if those words “I’m pregnant” come out of her mouth, you are going to have to find a way to be calm and supportive.
It can be hard trying to figure out where to go from here, so let’s plan a roadmap:
- Stop #1: Ask what she thinks. Your daughter is probably terrified – first of telling you, and then of the pregnancy and birth itself. Take the time to show her your unconditional love and support. If you’re disappointed, tell her, but don’t dwell on it. She will forever remember the words you said to her after she announced her pregnancy.
- Stop #2: Decide your next destination. Has she told the baby’s father yet? If so, has he shared the news with his parents? Have the two of them discussed their options?
- Stop #3: You’ve arrived at your first destination, the difficult decision you’ll all face together: Abortion, adoption or keeping the baby? She will likely need help deciding which path to take. Research the benefits of each and don’t forget to check in and always ask for her thoughts. This is, after all, her body and her baby, not yours. Many teen girls have a romanticized view of parenthood. They envision pretty outfits, fun birthday parties and walking to the park together happily as a family. Most don’t consider possible financial struggles, long nights with a colicky baby and the stress a baby puts on a relationship. If she wants to continue the path she planned with high school sports, graduation and college, let her know about the benefits of adoption and how she can help another couple fulfill their dream of being parents. If she is interested in abortion, share your thoughts and provide fair, objective materials for her to consider.
- Stop #4: Get back on the road by moving forward with the pregnancy. Plan healthy meals together, make prenatal appointments, discuss the importance of exercise and get a supply of prenatal vitamins. Notify her school and let her take the lead when it comes to telling other family members about her pregnancy.
- Stop #5: Time for a pit stop. Take a break and check in with her. See how she is feeling. Ask if she is struggling with morning sickness or if the kids at school are giving her a hard time. Check her grades to see if they are slipping and re-evaluate the plan, whether that is keeping the baby, adoption or abortion. Sometimes teens change their minds and if she thought she wanted an abortion, but now seems to be second-guessing herself, perhaps that isn’t the best option for her.
- Stop #6: Time to get going again. If you need help dealing with a pregnant teen, reach out to friends, family or religious leader. You have your own feelings and a trusted friend can be your advocate.
We know that choosing adoption is not an easy decision, but we also know the miracles that it can bring for everyone involved. You are not alone and it is not too late.
Connect with one of our Options Counselors today through the chat button, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 492-4196 and ask to learn about your options for you and your baby at any stage.