We hear about teen pregancies from Florida to California all of the time. Ranging from politicians to pop stars, the issue seems to be a constant in our lives. Sarah Palin’s daughter was 17 years old and pregnant, Jamie Lynn Spears was 16 and pregnant, and most likely your Florida teen knows someone in high school that’s pregnant. Taking the political nature of the question out, as in Pro Life or Pro Choice, what are the options one has?
I’m pretty certain that many of these young girls really don’t want to get married right now, but obviously that is an option. But, does it really solve the problem? In Florida we recognize that parents have the right to child support, so the old fashioned idea of pregnancy equals marriage is not really necessary. In fact, it statistically causes more problems later since the majority of marriages that end are due to the couples being too young when they got married.
Another answer is for a paternity test to be done and filed with the court in order to prove the child does have a father, and hold that father responsible for any child support obligations. In teen pregnancy the mother and father are sometimes in school, but the court can impute income for child support to be assessed. Also, the child does have the option of going on state funded medical insurance. However, this is a tough road altogether and it’s important to make certain you’re making the right choice.
The option that is often overlooked because emotions control is adoption. Adoption is a great way to provide a good home for a child and make certain that all of the child’s needs are being met. The popular movie “Juno” focused on a 15 year-old making that decision and though it was a movie it actually did a great job of showing how many good parents there are that are not capable of having them on their own. For a teenage girl willing to carry a child for 9 months, but not being able to recognize the long responsibility and affect the choice will have on her life, adoption is a wonderful option.
Any of these options are available, but making certain that all parties, especially the child are cared for properly, it would be beneficial to meet with a family law attorney that handles these types of issues on a regular basis.