16 and pregnant


16 and pregnant


your avatar   Sash, 16 years old

Three days ago I found out I am pregnant. I haven't told anybody but him and he is willing to support me and the child, but I am worried because I have one year left in school and my father will be really disappointed. My mom had me when she was 13. I don't want to have an abortion.

Can my boyfriend get into trouble? He is 21 and I'll be 17 next month. Do you think I should tell my dad?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Sash my dear,

I did a search for "legal age of sexual consent" in your country, and got: "The age of legal consent for sexual activities is sixteen (16) years old. The age of consent for the marriage is eighteen (18) years old." So, legally you are safe. He has not broken the law by having sex with you, because you were over 16. However, you cannot marry for another year, although there is probably a process for having that approved by a court, if the two of you want it.

I am very touched that your concern is more for him than for yourself. That's lovely. If your father got your mother pregnant before she was 13 years old, then he can't very well object to you getting pregnant at nearly 17, although people often do react with emotion rather than reason. You certainly need to tell him, especially if you plan to keep the child. It should be done in a respectful, loving way, asking his support.

However, I feel you should seriously consider an abortion. What your parents did or didn't do as youngsters is not relevant to how you and your boyfriend should handle your current situation. The pregnancy is still very new. Since it's in the first 3 months, a termination done by a doctor will be safe, and over in a day. Then you can continue your education, enjoy being young, and become an adult before taking on parenting responsibilities.

Some people have religious or ethical objections to an abortion. You need to make up your mind, given your beliefs and circumstances, but in my opinion it is a reasonable choice in the situation you described. The two of you might want to talk it over with a respected person, such as your family doctor, who is obliged to keep confidentiality.

Have a good life,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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