Teen keeping pregnancy secret

Teen keeping pregnancy secret

QUESTION:

your avatar   Temesha (15 year-old woman) from Arlington, Texas

I just found out I am pregnant, but I can't tell my parents. I'm afraid they might hate me. My mom is always telling me don't get pregnant or you are going to be in big trouble. I told my aunt, but I know she won't tell my mom. I took a home pregnancy test and it came out negative. The thing is that I am 16 weeks pregnant by now and my stomach bigger than 9 weeks ago. Plus I have all the symptoms of being pregnant and everything that comes with being pregnant.

What should I do, my mom still doesn't know and abortion is not an option.

ANSWER:

    Susan Maroto,

Dear Temesha,

There are several things that you need to do. You need to see a doctor, whether it is your regular doctor or at a clinic such as Planned Parenthood (which is usually much lower in cost). There may be something going on medically other than pregnancy that is causing your symptoms since your test was negative. If you are pregnant, you need to start getting prenatal care so that you and the baby are healthy throughout the pregnancy.

You also need to talk with your parents, even though you're very scared. Sooner or later, they are going to find out, and it will be better if you tell them on your own. They may not react the way you expect, but even if they are very angry, the sooner they know and adjust to the situation the sooner you can begin to plan for the next steps that you need to take.

If you are planning to raise the baby, you will probably need your parents' help and support to do so. You may also want to consider placing the baby for adoption. You could look in the yellow pages for adoption agencies in your area. Many also offer free counseling services to help you determine whether or not adoption is the right choice for you, and will not pressure you to place the baby if it's not right for you. It is usually possible for you to be involved with choosing the adoptive parents for the baby, meeting the parents, and arranging for them to keep in touch with you afterwards by sending you pictures of the child as s/he grows if those are things that you want (you certainly don't have to do things that way, though). Sometimes an adoptive family is also willing to have face to face visits with the birthmother as the child grows up.

You don't mention the father of the baby, but you need to know that he has legal rights to the child also. Will he be a part of the child's life if you choose to raise the baby? Will you share custody? Will he pay child support? Will he give consent to an adoption, if that's what you choose to do? Would he want to be involved in choosing an adoptive family? These are all things to consider as you make your decision.

It's scary to be alone and afraid of what's going to happen next. Taking active steps such as seeing a doctor and talking with your parents will help you to get a handle on the situation and figure out what's going to happen from here.

Good luck, Temesha.

Sincerely,

Susan Maroto

This question has been answered by Susan Maroto. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working out of Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She uses an eclectic approach to holistic healing, mind-body relationships, life transitions, depression, and anxiety.For more information visit: http://www.therapywithsusan.com/

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