As soon as you learn that your teenager is pregnant, you may feel overwhelmed with many mixed emotions. For example, you may feel upset that your teenager has made life choices that have led to this, and you may be worried about how your teen will fulfill her goals while raising a child. Some parents may feel anxious about meeting with the baby father's parents to learn about their opinion about the unplanned pregnancy. Remember that you have several available options to consider, and you should carefully analyze each one to determine how you and your teen should proceed.

Consider Adoption

Your teen is probably not ready to be a parent and even if the baby’s father and his family are supportive of the pregnancy, raising the child can be very difficult for a teenager to do. A teenager may not have a job, and if she does have one, it likely does not pay enough to pay for all of the child’s expenses. Your teenager may have plans to go to college or to pursue other dreams to get her life started on the right track. Through adoption, the baby can be placed in a loving home and can lead a healthy, happy life. The mother can also pursue her life goals. However, adoption can be emotionally difficult for your teen, and you may even feel disheartened about the possibility of not being in touch with your grandchild in the years to come. There are plenty of groups available that can provide your child with the support that they need to make this important decision.

Assist Your Teen to Be a Parent

Even if your teen is not quite ready to become a parent, you can help her to finish growing up herself while taking on the responsibilities of a parent. It is difficult for any mother to raise a child on her own, and it can be even more challenging for a teenager who is still trying to figure things out herself and who is dependent on her own parents for her own necessities. Your support and assistance with childcare, daily care, clothing, and more may be necessary to help your teen make the transition to becoming a responsible parent and an adult. This is an option that you should carefully consider because it will require substantial effort from you, and you should discuss it openly with your teenager if you are agreeable to this option for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

Raise the Child for Your Teen

Rather than your teen giving the baby up for adoption to strangers, you could raise the child as your own. From the first day, the child is brought home, you could assume a parental role to the baby. Your teen could then bond with the child as a family member without taking on a parenting role. Your teen could continue to grow up through her teen and adult years while still remaining close to the baby. While this requires you to take on a long-term commitment associated with raising another child, it is a good idea to consider if you or your teen are not comfortable with the idea of adoption. It also is a viable option to consider when your teen is not mature enough or financially secure enough to raise a child on her own.

Teen pregnancy is unfortunately common. Each teenager and her family handle the issue of an unplanned pregnancy in different ways. While your teenager should ultimately take full responsibility for the decision, this is not a decision that she may be able to make without your guidance and support. You may need to spend several days or even weeks discussing the options before everyone is in agreement on the right option for everyone involved.

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Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.