Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are You Ready to Have a Baby at 15?

Are You Ready to Have a Baby at 15?

Dear Mardie,
I am 15 and my boyfriend is 17 and we would like to have a baby together. We live with our parents but think it would be so cool to have a baby. What do you think we should do?
Bella

Dear Bella,
Sex is a serious matter at any age, but if you are young it is even more important to think the situation through very carefully. The facts surrounding teen pregnancy are scary, and you must totally understand that if you are going to have sex, you are taking the risk of becoming pregnant.

Children born to teen mothers like you are in danger of a lot of things; not the least of which is a major health risk to you. For example,
Children born to teenage mothers are less likely to receive proper nutrition, health care, and intellectual and social interaction. So, they may develop a learning disability that will affect their progress in school later.
Children born to teenage mothers are at bigger risk for abuse and neglect. Just the facts.
Boys born to teenage mothers are more apt to go to jail or prison at some point in their lives
Girls born to teenage mothers are more prone to become teenage mothers as their moms were. They follow the same pattern as they see as role models.

In addition to all this, other proven facts include:
  • Having a baby while you are still a teenager usually means that you will have a lower income and may have to rely on welfare or your parents to support you.
  • Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of school and only about one-third obtain a high school diploma.
  • Teen dads are more likely to get into legal trouble or develop a drug or alcohol problem. Often, they are not around to support you or the child.
  • In the United States, teen pregnancies end up costing tax payers about $7 billion as the result of welfare programs, criminal behavior etc.
There are few things in life quite as scary as being young, alone and pregnant. You meet this really cute guy and he says some very sweet things that make you feel the so much like the most special person in the world to him, but how much of what he says is simply to get you into bed? Is it really worth the price you and possibly an unborn child may pay? Sure he’s cute, but is he worth tossing the dice and gambling your future on, not to mention the extreme responsibility you will be faced with if you really should become pregnant? The only truly safe sex is no sex at all. Using birth control and a condom are not guarantees. After all, there are also STDs to be concerned about, many of which last your whole life and cause infertility later on when you are really ready to be a mom with a guy that can support and love his family.

I think you need to wait and think this out. Speak to a counselor about why you feel you need to have a baby at this early age. Are you filling in a gap of not having a parent around, not feeling loved or needed? Having a child will only make matters worse, truly.
If you are a teen who suspects she may already be in trouble; don’t panic. There are many programs and people out there that can help you through this difficult time.
If you would like to speak to another girl or counselor to help you with your decision call Lifetime Adoption toll free at 1-800-923-6784. Your call is confidential and you will never be pressured or judged. You can also visit their site at www.LifetimeAdoption.com.

Hang in there, Bella. Don’t make a forever decision without a plan for your life, a commitment from your boyfriend, and the knowledge that you are able, without help from family or the government, to provide the life that you want for your baby.