While national teen pregnancy rates have been slowly declining since 2000, teenage pregnancy in Texas is still very prevalent. According to the Center for Disease Control and other recent surveys, approximately 34% of teenage girls face one or more unplanned pregnancies before the age of 20. This means that every year more than 800,000 young women will become pregnant. In Texas alone over 76,400 teenage girls are faced with an unplanned pregnancy each year and have to decide what to do next. It is very important for these young women to know their options and the adverse effects raising a child as a teen could have on their lives and their babies’ lives.
The decision to start a family and raise children is one that should not be taken lightly. When a teenager or young woman discovers that she is pregnant unexpectedly, she may feel obligated to raise the child on her own. However, most teenagers are not prepared to raise a child and suffer physically, financially and emotionally from the pressure. Pregnant teens are generally less likely to receive proper prenatal care, which can place both mother and baby at risk for greater health problems. Teen mothers are also likely to struggle financially. About 80% of teen mothers are unmarried and raise their children as single parents. Unfortunately, raising a child can be very expensive, and about half of teen mothers have to go on welfare within one year of giving birth. Two-thirds of teen mothers will not finish high school, and only 1.5% of these young women will earn a college degree by age 30.
The good news is that pregnant teens and young women have options. Some women may choose to terminate an unexpected pregnancy, especially if the pregnancy could put the mother in danger. Other women will choose to carry the baby to term and place the newborn for adoption. Adoption allows the teen to find a safe and supportive home for her baby and gives her the opportunity to finish school and lead her own life. Many adoption agencies encourage open adoptions, which means the teen mother can still have a relationship with her son or daughter, but will not have to raise and support them.
Adoption may also be a good choice for pregnant teens because many adoption centers offer birth mother services that include access to prenatal care, free housing, job placement support and, perhaps most importantly, support from adoption counselors. Many teen mothers become depressed during or after their pregnancy, often times because they do not have a support network to help them through the challenging time. At many Texas adoption centers, teens can talk to professionals who are experts on the adoption process. Though the choice to place the baby for adoption is always the mother’s decision to make, talking to an adoption counselor can be very helpful. Teens and young women especially can benefit from the support of a trusted counselor and being in a positive environment where other women are going through similar struggles.
If you are a teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy in Texas, contact a local adoption agency to learn more about the option of adoption. Though it may not be the right decision for everyone, it is important to know and understand your options. This is not something you have to go through alone, and there are many adoption communities that can help you in your time of need.
Placing a child for adoption is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Are you contemplating this loving option? Do you have any idea about how or where to start? Action Adoption at Providence Place in San Antonio, Texas can help. We will guide you through the process while making sure all your questions are answered. Contact us today to learn more.