Updated: Mar 11, 2020
by Nayelly Becerra, Jonathan Montoya, Allison Gonzalez, Lizbeth Espinoza
Edited by Jesus Alfaro
Teen parents are often shamed for having a child at a young age. Adults, specifically relatives, don’t think they’re mature enough to take care of themselves, much less a child.
Jeanie Myers, an Executive Administrator at Verizon, said, “My whole life changed. There was no more going out, and after I graduated school I had to get a job, work and wait for the baby to come.” Having a child as a teen can affect the parent's life, Jeanie said. “I couldn't go to college like many of my friends.”
This is difficult for teen parents because it means that they have to sacrifice their youth for the well-being of their child.
If the mother chooses to raise the child or put it up for adoption, they have to make sure that they stay healthy during the pregnancy. They must stay away from things such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc.
If they choose to have an abortion, they have to make an appointment as soon as possible. If they wait too long it can become more risky for them to have an abortion: they may have blood clots, infections, and make it harder for the patient to bear a child later on in the future.
Decisions are based on how the teen was raised. Some families shame people for keeping or aborting the child.
Jocelyne Vera, 24, a teenage mom, said, “I never considered abortion. My parents were very against abortion. I knew I had to have the baby. My mom was very straightforward with me that I had to have the baby.”
Teen parents should be comfortable with their clinic and should avoid fake clinics, which is a clinic run by people who are anti-abortion. Their goal is to pressure and shame the parents out of getting an abortion.
If teens have worries about the future, talk to a friend, family member, or a school counselor.
Many teen parents don’t know what to do when they’re pregnant. Teens who have a close relationship with their parents tend to go to them for advice. This takes time for the teens because they don’t know what reaction their parents might have.
Teens should plan what they’re going to say because anything that is said can affect the family’s decisions. What a teen parent should do is try to keep themselves calm and to stay in school, just because you have a child does not mean you have failed at life.
“They actually were very supportive,” said Vera of her parents' reaction, showing how a parent's reaction is different from how many teens expect parents to react.
Advice that Vera gave was, “You are no different than anyone so don’t ever let anyone make you feel so. Everything is possible even with a child.”