Pregnant at 15: Empowering Tips and Resources Every Teen Should Know

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Birth Parent Blog

unhappy teenage girl who is pregnant at 15 hugs her pillow Finding out you’re pregnant at 15 can be stressful and scary. You may feel overwhelmed, but try to stay calm. You’re going to be okay, and there are people who can help you.
 
At 15, you’re probably a sophomore in high school, thinking about what you’ll wear to the next dance and worrying about all the normal teen stuff—getting your first job, working through changing friendships, and learning how to drive.
 
If you’ve come to this blog, you may be scared about what your future will look like. Having a baby at 15 probably wasn’t something you planned on, and it may feel like your life is over.
 
But know this: You’re not the first 15-year-old to get pregnant, and you won’t be the last. At this point, it’s all about discovering your options and choosing which is best for you.
 

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Teen Pregnancy Support

It’s likely that there are countless thoughts swirling in your mind at this moment:
“Should I consider abortion?
Should I explore adoption?
Should I raise my child myself?
I’m only 15, how can I possibly navigate this decision?”

 
This blog about teen pregnancy is for you whether you just found out you’re pregnant or you’ve known it for a while. We want you to know:

  • You’re not alone; help is available.
  • You have options, including adoption.
  • You can have an informed, mature discussion with your parents.
  • You can create a healthy plan for yourself and your baby.

Read on to learn more about your pregnancy choices and where to find teen pregnancy support.
 

Am I really pregnant?

Before you jump to conclusions, the first step, if you haven’t already taken it, is to confirm whether you’re pregnant or not. Just missing your period doesn’t automatically mean you’re pregnant.
 
The most reliable way to find out is to take a pregnancy test. To ensure the most accurate result, wait at least seven days after you miss your period.
 
You can purchase a urine test from your local pharmacy or retail store. Alternatively, many testing centers offer free pregnancy tests. On the other hand, a blood pregnancy test needs to be done at a clinic or by your doctor.
 
Once you’ve received a positive pregnancy test result, your next important step is to confirm that the pregnancy is viable through an ultrasound scan. Many free testing centers also provide free ultrasound services, or you can consult with your doctor for this procedure.
 
Depressed teen being taken care of by her caring mother

How do I tell my parents?

Talking to your parents about your pregnancy can be really tough, especially if you’re still figuring out how you feel about it yourself. Keep in mind your pregnancy might come as a big surprise to them. They might also be taken aback to find out that you’re sexually active.
 
In our experience, sharing your pregnancy news is often one of the most challenging steps, but it’s best to do it sooner rather than later. Once the news is out, a lot of the pressure and fear starts to ease.
 
Families begin to come to terms with the reality of the pregnancy, and together, they can start exploring their options and making plans. Getting early and proper prenatal care is really important during this time.
 
When it comes to breaking the news, there are different ways to go about it. It’s a good idea to pick a time when everyone can have some space to process the news. Here, you’ll discover some helpful tips for having an open and honest conversation with your parents, as well as figuring out your next steps.
 

How do I tell my boyfriend?

As a teen who has just found out you’re pregnant, you might be wondering how to tell your boyfriend about it. Maybe you’ve already been discussing the possibility together, or maybe you plan to take a test with him there.
 
If you’re doing it alone, here are some ideas on how to break the news to him. We’ll also talk about discussing what both of you want for the pregnancy. Since this is likely your first time being pregnant, it’s probably his first time too.

  • Try to tell him in person, calmly, rather than through a phone call or text. If you’re long-distance, a video call might be best. If you’re unsure how he’ll react, talking in a public place where you both feel comfortable might be good.
  • At first, he might not believe it. It could help to have the positive test with you or take a new one together. That way, he can see it for himself.
  • He might need some time to process everything. You can use this time to explain your feelings or just give him space to think.
  • Stay calm during the conversation. Your boyfriend is hearing big news, so he might not stay as cool-headed. That doesn’t excuse any bad behavior, but it might explain it.
  • Remember to ask for his thoughts – even though the final decision is yours, your choice could affect your relationship. After all, the baby is half his too!
  • Don’t blame him entirely – (unless it wasn’t consensual, in which case please tell to your parents and the police!) You both decided to have sex, so you’re both dealing with the consequences. Try not to get defensive, as that can worsen things.
  • Be clear when discussing your thoughts or feelings about the pregnancy. What are you leaning towards? Why? Have you told your parents? When do you think it happened? Being vague can cause misunderstandings and arguments, so try to avoid that.

Decisions about your relationship or parenting together might not happen in this first talk. You might be too emotional to make long-term plans right now. Please don’t feel like you have to figure everything out in one conversation, and don’t pressure your boyfriend to decide right away, either.
 
If things get heated and you feel unsafe, take a break to calm down. Don’t just leave without saying anything; let your boyfriend know you’d like to continue the talk when you’re both feeling better.
 
If you’ve been together a while and both know each other’s parents, you might want to have a family meeting after you’ve talked to your boyfriend. By then, you both should have an idea of what you want for the pregnancy and your relationship.
 

What are my pregnancy choices?

If you’re a pregnant teen, you have rights. Until now, your parents probably made the big decisions for your life. But now, you face a difficult situation, and it’s up to you to decide what to do. Before you decide about your pregnancy, you must understand your rights.
 
Your parents can’t force you to make a decision about your baby. Essentially, you have three choices when you’re dealing with an unexpected pregnancy: parenting, abortion, or adoption.
 

Parenting

Once you’ve confided in your parents about your pregnancy, their offer to help you might sway you towards considering parenthood. However, it’s important to have a candid conversation with them first. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • Are you prepared to help me in raising my child?
  • Can you provide financial support, such as covering healthcare expenses and other necessities for the baby and me?
  • Will I be able to continue my education while you assist in caring for the baby?

While your family members may express strong opinions on what path you should take, it’s crucial to realize that most teenagers aren’t fully equipped to become parents.
 
People often underestimate the cost of raising a child. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an average family can spend between $12,350 and $13,900 per year per child. This estimate includes everything needed for a child in a year, such as:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Childcare
  • Transportation
  • Health insurance

The total cost of raising a child from baby to 18 years is around $235,000, which doesn’t include college tuition! That’s a significant investment for a 15-year-old facing an unwanted pregnancy.
 
You can see why most teens aren’t ready to become parents yet. So, the ultimate decision rests with you and what’s best for both yourself and your child. You also need to consider whether your baby’s father will be able to provide support and help you with parenting your child.
 
Depressed teen girl sitting on a couch at home

Abortion

You might be feeling really confused right now, not sure what to do next. Maybe you never thought you’d have to think about abortion. But it’s a big decision, and it’s important not to rush into it. You don’t want to feel sad or regretful later on.
 
Here are some questions to think about:

  • Can I afford an abortion?
  • Do my religious beliefs or values say I can’t have an abortion?
  • Am I being pushed into having an abortion by my friends, family, or the baby’s father?
  • Do I feel strong enough to make my own decisions without feeling like I have to listen to others?
  • What about telling my parents?

You might be wondering, Can my parents make me get an abortion? In many states where abortion is allowed, parents have to know if their child wants to have an abortion. They might need to agree or be told about it within 24 to 48 hours before it happens. Some states require both parents to agree. Looking into the laws where you live can help you figure out what your options are.
 

Adoption

Many people think that teens and adoption don’t mix well. They believe that because you’re young, you might not be mature enough to make important decisions about finding a family for your baby.
 
But the truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Choosing adoption requires a lot of strength and self-awareness. A strong sense of self is also called identity formation. It’s about feeling good about who you are. Science shows this is important because it affects how you see yourself and fit into the world once you’re an adult.
 
So, why might a teen choose adoption? Even though facing an unexpected pregnancy can be challenging, some teens choose adoption because they believe it’s the best thing for them and their baby. Here are some common reasons:

  • They don’t feel mentally, emotionally, or physically ready to be a parent.
  • They’re not comfortable with or don’t agree with abortion.
  • They can’t afford the high cost of raising a child until they’re 18.
  • They don’t want to give up on their education or career plans to raise a child.
  • They don’t have support from the baby’s father and don’t want to be a single parent.
  • They want to give their child the stability of a two-parent home, so they choose to place their baby with a married couple who are ready and eager to become parents.

In this video, one young woman, Sarah, shares why she chose adoption for her baby:

 

What are some resources for teens going through pregnancy?

At Lifetime Adoption, we understand the significance of providing supportive and informative resources for pregnant teenagers.
 
As an adoption agency, our commitment goes beyond just adoption services. We’re here to offer unbiased guidance and assistance to women, empowering them to make decisions that align with their needs and desires.
 
Your well-being matters to us, and we’re here to offer the support you deserve. Here are four essential resources for pregnant teens exploring their unplanned pregnancy options:

  1. Local Health Clinics
    Your local health clinic can offer invaluable support, especially for young women navigating an unplanned pregnancy. Here’s how they can assist you:

    • Confidently confirming your pregnancy with sensitivity and care.
    • Providing personalized guidance tailored to your stage of pregnancy, ensuring you’re informed about all available options.
    • Arranging connections with nearby hospitals for delivery arrangements.

    Plus, many services are accessible at no cost or reduced rates, specifically designed to support teenagers in similar situations.

  2. Maternity Homes for Pregnant Teenagers
    Maternity homes can provide housing and support for teens worried about their living situation during pregnancy. While staying at a maternity home, you may have access to various services without cost, though eligibility criteria may apply.

    Lifetime Adoption professionals can help you find a safe place to stay during your pregnancy if needed. As part of your adoption financial assistance, these living costs can be free to you.

  3. Friends and Family Members
    If you’re a pregnant teen seeking support, you might hesitate to turn to your friends and family out of fear of their reaction. But take into account their potential to offer you the comfort and assistance you need.

    Your loved ones can be a crucial source of support throughout your pregnancy journey and in making decisions. All you have to do is give them a chance. Consider opening up to your loved ones and seeking their help.

    While they might be surprised initially, they likely want what’s best for you and will ultimately support your choices. Their main concern is your well-being and happiness, so don’t hesitate to lean on them for guidance and support as you navigate your pregnancy.

  4.  

  5. School programs for pregnant teens
    Your school might already have a plan for pregnant teens, so it’s a good idea to ask. Start by talking to your counselor, then your principal, and finally your teachers.

    If your school doesn’t work, you could consider schools specifically for pregnant teens. Administrators designed these schools to help you finish high school with a curriculum that fits your needs.

    If your pregnancy is risky or you can’t manage schoolwork, you might want to think about getting your GED at your own pace. After graduating, you can explore college options.

    If you choose adoption, you can expect to return to your normal routine after about nine months. If you decide to raise your child, you’ll need to balance school, work, and childcare. Many colleges have childcare programs, and if you attend a local school, your parents can help with childcare if they’re willing.

These resources are here to support you, no matter where you are in your journey. Whether you’re considering adoption or exploring other options, reach out for help and guidance. You’re not alone, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
 

Choosing Adoption for Your Teen Pregnancy

One of the less talked-about options for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy at 15 is choosing adoption for your baby.
 
When young women find out they’re pregnant, they often think of abortion or becoming a parent right away. However, adoption is still a valid choice with many benefits for handling an unplanned pregnancy. Adoption not only gives your child a chance at having a life but helps you stay on track with your dreams and goals.
 
Young woman seated on a sofa stares at the cameraIf you’re unsure about becoming a teen mom but aren’t sure about ending the pregnancy either, adoption might be something to consider. Here’s what you should know:

  1. Adoption doesn’t cost you anything
    Unlike raising a child or getting an abortion, adoption is entirely free for you. Your adoption professional will cover your pregnancy expenses, and you might get extra financial help based on your situation.
  2. You’re in control of the process
    Even though you’re having a baby at 15, you’re the one making decisions about the adoption process. You can choose what’s best for you and your baby, even if others don’t agree. Your adoption specialist is there to support you, not to influence your choices.
  3. You can choose your baby’s adoptive parents and form a relationship.
    Adoption doesn’t mean saying goodbye forever. You can have a relationship with your child after you place them with the adoptive parents you choose.

    Your relationship with them could involve exchanging letters and pictures or even meeting in person. You get to decide what kind of relationship you want with your child’s adoptive parents.

  4.  

  5. You don’t need your parents’ permission.
    Unlike getting an abortion, placing a child for adoption is your decision alone. While some states might require your parents to know about your adoption plans if you’re under 18, you don’t need their permission. And your adoption specialist will be here to support you every step of the way.

Being pregnant at 15 can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. If you’re thinking about adoption or want to learn more about your options as a pregnant 15-year-old, call or text 1-800-923-6784 today.
 

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Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Written by Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the first adoption professionals on the Internet.

Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.

She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.

Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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