Help! My teen daughter is pregnant—what do we do?
You’ve just found out your daughter is pregnant. Like most parents, you may have never imagined your daughter would get pregnant at such a young age. In this situation, you may feel disappointed, angry, or shocked.
Even though you might be overwhelmed right now, take a deep breath. We are going to explore what to do now that you know your teen daughter is pregnant.
My Teen Daughter is Pregnant! What Should I Do?
1. Remain Calm
As mentioned, you are probably feeling a lot of overwhelming emotions right now. Your instinct might even be to get angry at your daughter. However, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm.
Keep in mind that your daughter is probably just as scared and overwhelmed as you are right now.
More than that, it took a lot of courage for her to tell you she is pregnant. She is probably feeling pretty lost, and she might not know what to do next. She may need to rely on you to help her make sound decisions.
Your daughter needs support.
If you get angry, yell, or make her feel guilty, it might end up driving her away. Rather, when you calmly talk to her, you will help ease her anxiety, and she will be more likely to open up.
2. Talk to Your Daughter About Her Options
You should talk to your daughter about her options—again, do this calmly and rationally. Try not to pressure your daughter into making any particular decision. If you pressure her to make a decision, she doesn’t want to do, she may regret it later.
Instead, discuss each option with your daughter and decide together, which is best. This is a personal decision that your daughter needs to think about.
There are three common options to consider: become a parent, place the baby for adoption, or have an abortion.
Your Daughter May Become a Teen Mom
If she decides to become a parent, she will likely need your help. Both of your futures will likely be turned upside down, but that isn’t a bad thing.
Inform your daughter of the difficulties that she may run into raising a child. High school and college may be a challenge to complete with a child. Consider how she might financially support a dependant, and who will babysit the child.
While being a parent can be wonderful, even for teen mothers, it can be especially hard for teenagers. It may be helpful to talk to her about what it’s like to be a parent.
Your Daughter May Place Her Baby for Adoption
If your daughter decides parenting is not right for her, she may decide to place her baby for adoption. Adoption can be beautiful—ultimately, your daughter is giving a family an extraordinary gift. However, it can be hard to see her baby leave the hospital with another family.
If adoption is a viable option, contact an adoption specialist—like Texas Adoption Center—to learn what an adoption entails.
Your Daughter May Have an Abortion—With Your Permission
Last but not least, your daughter may decide to terminate the pregnancy. Though abortion is a controversial option, it is still an option. If termination is the option your daughter is considering, it is important to discuss this with her doctor to make an informed decision.
In many states, she will need your permission to have an abortion, though legally, she does not need your permission to keep her baby or place the baby for adoption.
3. Help Your Daughter Make a Decision
Now that you’ve explored all your daughter’s options, she will need to decide what to do next. While you might have strong opinions about certain options, you must acknowledge your daughter’s perspective.
As a parent, there are many questions that you should ask to help your daughter understand her options. The following questions can encourage an open discussion about her options and the future:
- Does she really want to keep her baby?
- Does she feel a strong bond with her unborn child that she doesn’t want to give up?
- Could parenting be an option for her at this point in her life?
- Does she want to place her baby for adoption?
- Does she feel that her baby deserves a chance at life, but she doesn’t feel ready to become a mother herself?
- Is carrying a baby to full term too much for her right now?
- Is it better for her to terminate the unplanned pregnancy altogether?
This is a difficult conversation to have with a child. Nonetheless, it is a conversation that needs to be had. These questions can help open up discussion and help your daughter think about all her options from every angle.
At this point, she needs a support system that will help her move forward to the next stage in life—whether that be parenting, adoption, or termination. Keep an open mind, and don’t rush her into making an uneducated decision.
Talk to a Professional
To surmise, if your frantically asking “My teen daughter is pregnant! What do I do?” take these points into consideration:
Remain calm, explore your options, and guide your daughter, helping her choose the option that is best for her and her circumstances.
If you are considering adoption or would like to learn more about the process, Texas Adoption Center can help. They are a professional, down-to-earth adoption agency that helps birth mothers make sound decisions about her pregnancy. They can help your daughter explore her options.
If your daughter chooses adoption, Texas Adoption Center will guide her through the adoption process and help her choose the type of adoption that is best for her. Their services include emotional support, financial assistance, housing and transportation help, and medical care.
In the end, Texas Adoption Center’s goal is to empower young women, helping them face the future with confidence.