Parenthood Options

The options that are presented to teenage parents.

Marriage

While some people think it's a good idea to marry immediately after they find out they're pregnant, only 1/3 of parents under 18 are married. Having a spouse can relieve some of the pressure of being a parent, but they actually have less freedom than before. They must decide where to live and how to pay bills. They often live with their parents. They must adjust to two roles at the same time. If becoming a parent is difficult for adults, then it must be nearly impossible for teens, and it is. Most teens who get married because of pregnancy divorce within six years, but some marriages work out.

Single Parenthood

Most unmarried teen mothers decide to raise their child alone. The mother will usually live with her parents, but, sometimes, her parents cannot or will not help. Most of the problems teenage parents face stem from financial concerns, especially single teenage parents. They haven't received the proper education to get a good job. What really helps is getting help from parents or relatives. They can watch the baby while the teen is at school.

Adoption

Some couples place their baby up for adoption. They usually have to think long and hard about their babies needs and their own future's. Some adoptions can be informally arranged before the baby's birth. They can be arranged by local, state, or private agencies. They can also be arranged by attorneys, physicians, or clergy members.

In the past, adoptions were secret processes, so that the child would not reject their adoptive parents. Today, information can be shared between the birth and adoptive parents. One example of this is an open adoption. An advantage of an open adoption is that the birth parents can see how their child is developing, also, the child can ask their adoptive parents many questions about their birth parents.