I got pregnant at 17 years old. It was your typical “teen mom” story. I was rebellious and left home, getting pregnant shortly thereafter by a guy who was way too old for me. The TV shows don’t do it justice though. Teen pregnancy is more than just drama on reality TV–it’s a teenager trying to decide what to do with another human being. When I faced my teen pregnancy, I chose adoption for my baby–here’s why.
I chose adoption because I was still a child
At 17, I didn’t have the coping skills to handle my own life, much less take care of another human being. I had so much to learn about how the world worked. I had just barely moved out on my own. I was moody and rebellious and immature. I didn’t know who I was yet. Admitting that maybe I didn’t know everything about the world was hard. But it wouldn’t have been fair to either of us had I tried to raise a child when I was still a child myself.
I chose adoption because I couldn’t provide the family I wanted her to have
My birth daughter’s biological father is quite a bit older than me. The relationship I had with him was not healthy, and marriage would not have been a safe idea. I wanted my little girl to have a mommy and daddy who loved each other. Had I parented, she would have been torn between her parents in a never-ending custody battle. She deserved more than that.
I chose adoption because I had goals
It’s hard to admit that placing my baby for adoption benefited me in some ways. I wanted to go to college and have a good job. I wanted to get married. I wanted to travel. Could I have reached these goals as a single parent? Probably. But it would have been a whole lot harder. The goals I want to accomplish will make me a good mom–someday. But as a teen, it wasn’t the right timing.
I chose adoption because I needed to take responsibility
One of my options was to move back in with my parents and have them help me raise the baby. That might have been okay. But I was the mom, and I felt that my parents raising my child would not have been the right thing to do in my case. My parents and I are very different in our viewpoints on parenting, and having them help me parent my child would have put a lot of strain on my relationship with them. That strain would have caused even more instability for my baby. Since I could not provide the emotional and financial stability that my child deserved, I needed to find someone who could.
Being a teen does not automatically make adoption the right choice. However, most teens need some more time to grow up before taking on the responsibility of parenting. Placing a baby for adoption does not mean you have failed. It does not mean you are irresponsible. It is your responsibility as a parent to take an objective look at your life, and decide whether you are in a place to raise a child at this time. You are the only one who can truly decide what is right for you and your baby.