Parent of a pregnant minor

My 15 year old daughter has gotten herself pregnant and my wife and I are obviously distraught and disgusted. We’ve worked hard to put her through a Catholic school and we are very active in the church, we have provided her with a strong moral foundation and are very disappointed. My wife is absolutely beside herself. Obviously we have cut off all contact between her and the father and are looking into the statutory rape laws in our state, he’s 17. My wife and I are just not in the financial position to take care of another child in addition to the 5 we have with 1 in college which is very expensive. And frankly we refuse to clean up and take responsibility for her indiscretions. She expects her mother to just take care of the baby while she’s off leading the carefree life of a school girl and everything magically falls into place. We’ve gone from gently encouraging her to think about adoption to demanding she contact catholic charities but she is adamant she is keeping the baby. I’ve tried to explain the magnitude of the situation, how her future will be ruined as will the child’s but she is not thinking rationally. We’ve gone over what a wonderful selfless gift this could be to a deserving, stable couple as well as being a gift of a future to her and the child. Her only retort is she may be sad! As the parent of a pregnant minor what rights do I have? May I contact the adoption agency? Can I demand she place the baby for adoption? What can I do (besides pray, obviously we are praying fervently)? :banghead:

This is not the answer you want to hear, but I have several friends who became pregnant as teens. Their parents, after initial shock, supported them as much as they could. They all kept their babies. Today two of these women are teachers, another is a nurse. Their children are now young productive adults. I also know a few women whose daughters became pregnant. They kept their babies, finished school, went to college and are doing well. My friends love their grandbabies very much and never regret supporting their daughters keeping the babies. All these women are very religious and put their trust in God. I would not force my daughter to give up her baby. It must be her decision.

Would you prefer that she have an abortion? Because that’s really the choice you’re giving her. It sounds like a teen’s worst nightmare. Not only is she pregnant and no doubt terribly afraid, but she has absolutely no support from her parents.

My 15 year old daughter has gotten herself pregnant and my wife and I are obviously distraught and disgusted.

Really? She did it all by herself? And the only thing you have to say is you’re disgusted?

What a very sad situation for all of you, including your grandchild.

There are"Romeo and Juliet" exceptions for statutory rape in a number of states for cases where the ages of the couple are close enough. This varies from state to state, and it’s possible that prosecution is possible in your state. That said, even if prosecution is possible, why do you think your grandbaby will be better off with his or her father in jail? How does that improve the situation at all?

Amazing how she managed to do this to herself.

You are teaching her and her four siblings that it would be better to have an abortion than to think that Mom and Dad will help and support them in a terrible time.

What a very sad situation for all involved, especially your daughter and grandchild.

The laws are obviously in place for a reason, furthermore our actions have consequences. My daughter’s consequence is obviously growing under her t-shirt plus the pain of labor, why should he be free to walk away unscathed?

I don’t see how cutting off contact with the father of her child is going to help either. He has a responsibility and rights to the child. If he’s in any way decent he’s going out of his mind about what to do right now. Plus telling a 15 and a 17 year old they can’t see each other will only turn into sneaking around and possibly more trouble. (See: Romeo and Juliet).

You can’t expect her to be grown up enough to deal with the situation, and also assume she was too young to consent to sex. 15 is not the legal age in any US state, this is true. But as he is 17, he is also likely barely at or under the age of consent, and the difference in their ages allows for it to be legal. They’re young, in love, and stupid. It’s what teenagers do. Now she needs help, and from what you’ve written you’re just pushing her further away.

You refuse to clean up for her messes? She is a minor, your child, as you have stated several times. It is your responsibility to do just that. That does not mean take the child and let her be a teenager without any responsibility, but perhaps begin teaching her what it means to be a parent.

Are you disgusted because she got pregnant, or because she had sex? The first one isn’t a sin, by the way. She should be reminded to go to Confession for sinning, yes, but would you prefer she used contraception (additional sinning) or had an abortion because it makes the problem easier to deal with?

But you don’t know what the law is yet–he is also a minor right now, and the age difference is small, so the odds of prosecution are not fantastic. There’s been a lot of outcry over prosecutions in these cases. Here’s an example of a new Romeo and Juliet law in Texas:

dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/06/04/romeo-and-juliet-law-changes-statutory-rape-definition/

In any case, he’s not going to walk away unscathed if your daughter and your family raises the baby. Presumably, there will be 18 years of child support to pay. In that sense, adoption is letting him off easy.

She didn’t get herself pregnant. That takes two. Secondly, she was not raped. Both of them are minors with not much of an age difference. I don’t think any state would prosecute this as a rape unless she had reported it as such right away. It’s not statutory rape either. If she is going to keep the baby, the father should be involved in its life. He is as much the parent as she is. Also, there is a financial responsibility which he and his parents could assist you with. You don’t have the right to push this young man away. He is no worse than your daughter. Are you going to send her to jail for having sex with a minor?

I have never encouraged abortion! My children know very well that abortion is murdering an innocent child. In fact the father encouraged her to get an abortion which is the main reason contact is forbidden! And yes, this is a sad situation but it doesn’t have to be. Adoption is a chance for her to have a successful future, the baby to have two stable, loving, mature parents and a wonderful couple to expand their family.

Neither keeping the baby nor adoption are to be thought of as a punishment. The child simply deserves two parent who are willing and able to take care of him. They are not able, and judging by his encouragement for abortion he is unwilling.

Forcing your daughter to get rid of the baby is a mistake for all involved. You’re basically telling her the child is unwanted and she may as well get an abortion. If you do the right thing and support her and your grandchild, looking back in 10 years I’d be shocked if you thought it was all a mistake. If you put the grandchild up for adoption you probably would think it was a mistake in 10 years. Doing so would no doubt be very hard on your already stressed out daughter and would probably affect the other kids as well. Forcing such actions have emotional consequences and you sure wouldn’t want your daughter to hold any resentment. Use a little foresight.

Having to give up the child you have carried in your womb for 9 months isn’t a sad situation?

Being a teenage mom means she has no chance of a successful future?

I totally disagree. Giving up a child for adoption is a heart-wrenching act of love that is life altering and life changing. Just as becoming a parent and raising the baby is as well.

Her life (and yours) altered forever the moment she became pregnant, and while she may be acting rebellious and blissfully carefree about the future - trust me, in her heart she knows this. Give her time, love and support as she accepts this reality - and perhaps you have not fully faced it yourself?

A closed adoption would leave her forever wondering about the fate of her child. An open or partly open adoption would allow her to know that her child is doing great - and at the same time remind her of what she is missing.

I fully admire anyone capable of giving up a child and think they are amazing (yes, I know a few). I also am fully aware of the nitty-gritty details of keeping the child and raising it (yep, know a few of those folks too). And you know what? Neither path is easy or simple.

But successful outcomes (college degrees, economic security, strong faith, great marriages) can come no matter which choice is made. (Again - I know and have experienced personal examples of each.)

I know you’re angry and frustrated and probably a bit scared too - but so is she (no matter what she shows on the outside). You’ve worked hard to guide her this far, keep guiding her - but it has to be her decision which choice to make. And for everyone’s sake, I hope you’re able to allow her to make it - and then fully support her no matter which choice it is.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Adoption would be a wonderful option, I agree. I would prosecute the case if possible as well. To think a guy this age will be some resonsible father for the next 18 years defies all stats of such circumstances. Some legal consequences might have him think twice next time even if it’s just a slap on the wrist. There is a big difference between 15 and 17 in maturity level/

What will he do and what kind of employment would he seek to even pay child support this age and are his parents really going to demand he work and pay support?

A child deserves a mother and father that are in the position to adquately care for him or her femotinally and financially and these two are children themseves still in some ways. I grew up in a single parent home in proverty and read the stats regarding these cases. I was one of the lucky ones.

That said to withdraw emotional support from your child is a grievous error and to force her into adoption is just sadly wrong albeit it seems the best option. If you can’t support the child I guess the next step is to kick her out and I’ve seen cases of such and the results are just as deletrious.

Pray your hearts out and seek the counsel of a priest.

Mary.

A child is always a gift from God, no matter what.

Continue to pray fervently for your daughter that her heart be open to doing God’s Will for the child and that your own hearts might be softened not to see this circumstance so much as a terrible thing but as an event that God has permitted to happen in His providence.

The Rosary can work wonders.

God bless you and your family.

This^^^^.
It’s about the new life. You’ll get over your “disgust” when you see the new baby.
Remember how much you love your daughter.
It’s going to be hard, probably a bit embarrassing, but rely on your church friends and your priest for emotional and spiritual support. There’s always room for one more at the table.
Give yourself a chance to get over your initial shock and anger.

God bless your daughter for choosing life, and for you and your wife for trying to support her and her baby in this unexpected situation.

It is not an unheard of situation, and you know what it takes to raise children. I don’t have any ideas of how you can convince your daughter to step up and face the hard reality of her situation because she is only 15 and you have always provided well for her. You would not send her away so you will have to deal with her growing pregnancy and the reality of the arrival of this new life.

Please do not shun the baby’s father. Contact his parents asap and together work to come up with a viable, fair and loving way for the young man to accept and live up to his responsibilities. Their baby deserves a mother and father who, while young, are committed to his well-being.

Take all this one step at a time. Don’t fret over what will be in six months - you have a little bit of control over what happens today and next week. Your daughter is so young! Always try to keep that before your eyes. Fifteen year olds have been in this situation plenty of times, but it’s the first time for her, as well as for the young man, AND for your other children. Your position now will effect all their lives, and the little life within your daughter, for ever.

I pray for patience, peace, and wisdom for you, your wife, and the young man’s family. It’s up to you all, the adults in the situation, to cobble together a workable solution to this unexpected gift of new life.

God be with you all!

I agree whole-heartedly with filiaecclesia. This is a difficult time for you all, particularly for your daughter, but she is a young woman at 15 and she will cope, just as millions have before. She’ll need the support of her loving family, though.

I used to be a midwife in the UK and delivered the babies of many young girls (even younger than your daughter), and without exception the love they showed to their babies from the moment they were born was clear to everyone. Although this isn’t what any of you wanted or planned, I don’t believe that having a baby, bringing it up and loving it is going to ruin your daughter’s life forever, even though she is only 15 now.

Good luck to you all and prayers for you, too.

I also concur with adoption. Open adoption is the best way; it will significantly ease the pain by having the kids involved in the process rather than by just making the baby disappear right after birth.

First step is family counseling, to help both kids understand the ramifications of trying to keep and raise the baby vs. giving it to a pair of well-adjusted stable parents.

It’s time to contact the boy’s parents and open a conversation with them. The boy has rights as father of the child, and he will have to consent to the adoption. It is not enough to persuade your daughter alone to consent. If she agrees to give him up but he does not, there will be no adoption. The child would then be most likely taken in and raised by the boy’s parents.

You may be faced with the choice of keeping the child in your home vs. turning it over to his parents. If that happened your daughter would probably run away from home and go live with them. That’s probably not what you want. If she did that at age 16, and your local police are anything like the ones near where I live, the chance that they will try to return your daughter to you are pretty slim, plus you will probably be liable to pay for her living expenses until she reaches 18.

I pray for your family. May your daughter find wisdom, and may God lead you to a resolution for this painful dilemma.

A baby is always a blessing, even though the situation is very difficult, and will make your daughters life take a sharp turn. Every baby should be celebrated as a gift from God.
Every baby should be looked forward to with anticiaption and joy.
In this situation, the baby will be cheated out of all of this. Not a great beginning for a precious baby. Adoption may be the answer to this.

Now your daughter and the father have to face the music, and not be sheltered from each other. That’s letting him off the hook.

If this were my situation, after the initial shock, disappointment and disbelief that this has happened, and my anger dissapated, I would schedule a meeting with the boys parents and the boy, along with my spouse and daughter. I would hammer out responsibility, child care, finacial support and everything else. I would show the reality of what this entails, and how your daughter is now tied for life with the father becuase of this. No stone should be left unturned.

Maybe when she sees and realizes what is expected of her from this day forward, she may decide the loving option would be adoption. If she still does not want to go this path, instead of suing the father, I would see a lawyer and I would also let this be known at the meeting too that a legal financial agreement will be drawn up for the benefit of the baby, which includes maternity care, child care, medical bills, support and and so on.

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