Some of the comments to my post about Adoption Awareness Month got me thinking about teenage pregnancy and adoption.
Coming from my passion for attachment parenting, I deeply believe we each understand our abilities to care for and be safe with our children. And if someone things she/he can't give their child what they need, I support them following that intuition.
There are several issues that come to mind, though, in relation to teenage pregnancies. First is that I doubt most teenagers who find themselves pregnant are in the loving supportive environment they need. Studies I've seen indicate that young girls seek sex when they don't have the love and guidance of significant adult males in their lives. So by the time they get to teenage pregnancy, we've got another big indication of the breakdown of the social fiber that should be family relationships. Once these girls find themselves pregnant I'm sure few of them find themselves in nurturing situations with plenty of coaching and education about healthy birth and parenting ideas. Heck, it was tricky to get that in my 30s.
Second, I think our US culture has a huge bias against young moms. I get that they're pretty green in the way of the world. And, the discount of these girls abilities to bond to their babies and respond to their needs angers me. As the daughter of a teenage mom, I've kept an eye on the young mothers around me. The ones who get the coaching I mentioned above, and many who don't, are great moms. Again, to me another symptom of the illness of our society - shame the young ones for getting pregnant, discount their ability to parent, then don't give them any guidance or support to succeed.
On a similar vein, I'm interested that adoption conversations rarely include the dad. If my son helped create a pregnancy and the mama wasn't ready to parent the baby, I would aggressively support him taking on the role of primary caregiver for his baby. Surely daddies count, too.
And again, with fully met needs and enough support, I really do believe a gigantic percentage of women would never let their babies out of their arms. As always in life, there will be exceptions. I want those women to get all the respect and support they need, too.
If I could just push a magic button....