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Great Expectations for Young Mothers

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Teen mothers report:

"It's hard, but it's worth it—that's what I think."

"If you have a baby, it’s not the end of the world, and you have to make the best decision for your kid. Don’t let it stop your dreams—just keep pursuing them." (5)


The role of family and society is to support all expectant mothers and mothers, not to judge who is “deserving” of the joys of motherhood and who is not based on arbitrary factors such as youth or finances. All mothers-to-be deserve to receive unbiased information the pros and cons in objective terms and assistance to go forward with their decision.

The Gloucester High School pact is an anomaly, and according to many psychologists has more to do with teens seeking peer support in defying social norms. According to Gracie Hsu of the Family Research Council, "contrary to the common perception that teenage sex and pregnancy typically stem from two teenagers getting caught up in the heat of the moment, new research reveals that many teenage girls are being sexually exploited and impregnated by adult men." That is a serious situation that needs to be addressed rather than shaming young victims.

Adoption is not a solution for teen pregnancy. According to Bernadette Wright, PhD and president of origins-USA, a national non profit that advocates for the rights pf mothers and keeping families together: “It merely exploits the situation to fill a demand for infants to adopt while creating lifelong grief, guilt and shame for mothers and feelings of abandonment and rejection for their children.”

The way to reduce teen pregnancies is to broaden and increase health and sex education from “abstinence-only” to including birth control methods.

(1) Teen Pregnancy Losing Stigma: Report, January 21, 2008, Staff

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Mirah Riben is a human rights activist with a focus on families, children and adoption reform. She is author of two internationally acclaimed books - "shedding light on...The Dark Side of Adoption" (1988) and "THE STORK MARKET: America's (more...)

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