Teen Pregnancy

We really need to get something straight; teen pregnancy is not an epidemic.…….teen s*x is. And adoption is NOT AN ANSWER to the epidemic. Adoption is a holy band aid. Or a band aid filled with holes anyway. It may make society feel better but it doesn’t do ANYTHING to address the real issue. It’s kind of like taking cold medicine. It appears to ease the symptoms but it doesn’t do JACK to cure the virus.

You know I have three daughters. One of which is quickly approaching her teen years. I have had The Talk with her of course. Actually a long while back we began talking about it and we continue to do so. The part that I struggle with is being very clear about things like self respect, love, responsibility and consequences to actions while in the back of my mind maintaining the very real possibility that she may just go ahead and have s*x anyway. I need to KNOW I have clearly conveyed reality and yet not perpetuated the belief that she would need to feel ashamed or afraid to come to me IF she became pregnant.

Obviously there aren’t many parents out there hoping their teenager has s*x. There are a million and one reasons why it’s NOT a good idea. I know first hand what a blow to ones self esteem it can be to have s*x when you are too young and for the wrong reasons. Like for instance thinking its a great way to make someone love you. Ugh right?

The problem with the whole “teen s*x is a SIN” angle is that it perpetuates the stigma of shame. GOOD you say? OK, lets say just for the sake of argument that one moonlit night in May your teenager allows hormones to override all of those Fear of God sermons you gave and ends up pregnant. Do you REALLY want her to be too ashamed to come to you for help? Because if we use the sin angle as an alternative to open communication about the subject that becomes a real possibility.

Frightening our teens with talk of s*x and sin is ineffective. Again, there are a million and one other reasons why it’s not a good idea. This is where personal responsibility, good choices and consequences to actions come in. This is where we talk about how difficult the REALITY of teen pregnancy is. Society perpetuating the belief that adoption is in any way a cure sends the wrong message. It cures nothing. In this instance as in so many others LANGUAGE MATTERS and our kids are listening!

The fact that we continue to allow religious organizations to get involved is not only irresponsible but often has disastrous results for our kids. Religious adoption agencies are nothing more than a biased dispenser of meds for symptoms of a virus they have no effective method to cure. The worst part about that is they don’t even clearly convey the painful and life altering side effects should one choose to take their brand of medicine. This is another strong reason why religion and adoption don’t mix. As things stand religious organizations that involve themselves in adoption services send this message to our kids; S*x is a sin so don’t do it. But if you do and you get pregnant we have the cure to wash away that sin. All it will cost you is your baby.

What a load of crap.

I am not saying adoption is not a viable choice. I understand that sometimes it may be the only choice. But at what point do we convey to our kids that being a parent when you are a teenager is insanely hard AND that the alternative may be even harder. When do we convey the fact that handing your baby over to strangers is something you NEVER get over? That choosing to have s*x may just end up putting you in the position to have to make any one of those other impossibly difficult choices? WHY aren’t we talking about this reality with our kids BEFORE they make the choice to become s*xually active?!!!

I tend to believe that it really might work if we sit down and truthfully play out the many possibilities for their future if they make the choice to have s*x too early. I am not suggesting we FEAR our kids out of having s*x like one does when they use that whole sin angle but we need to be very clear with our kids about the responsibility of choices and the reality of consequences to their actions. We can’t do that if we are too busy serving adoption up as a cure and not addressing the actual problem which is our kids having s*x too early.

I guess I could have eliminated this long post and simply said~

THERE IS NO CURE FOR TEEN PREGNANCY!!!

We have to QUIT implying adoption is some sort of cure-all pill and start addressing the cause of teen pregnancy….NOT the symptom itself. Saying adoption is in any way, shape or form a cure IS like handing out cold medicine. It may make US feel better but in reality the adoption pill hasn’t done one single thing to fix what ails our kids.

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19 Comments

Filed under Adoption Schmoption, Truthful Musings

19 responses to “Teen Pregnancy

  1. suz

    Did you write this with me in mind? LOL. Cuz let me tell you, as a good conservative catholic girl who got pregnant at 17 and surrendered her first born child at 17, I can relate way too much to this post of yours.

    I completely agree.

    I might also add that sex as sin resulting in your child being taken from you has the ability to damage all future intimate relationships and child bearing.

    If loving someone gets me pregnant and then discarded by my family and church and then losing my child, why the hell would I EVVAH want to have sex, marraige or children again?

  2. Coco

    Bravo, Mia. This speaks to the reality of things rather than focusing on the abstract concepts of sin and redemption.

    Teenagers, and everyone else for that matter, should never be made to feel as though they have to “pay” for having s*x by giving someone else their babies.

  3. I think it’s crazy that we demonize teen sex when all you have to do is wander around a mall and watch their hormones going crazy. I mean, c’mon. We’re programmed to want to reproduce at that age and yelling “sin! sin!” at them isn’t going to make ’em stop. (But it sure can cause a whole lot of trouble.) I’m not being all “whatever” about teen sex just saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if my kids have sex as teenagers (I sure did) and I wouldn’t damn them for it either. I hope that if/when they do have sex that they take care of themselves physically and emotionally and that if they need my help that they will let me help them. (And that includes if they need my help to raise children they hadn’t expected.)

  4. I agree with you Mia on a lot of this post. While I do believe sex outside of marriage is a sin, and I will share that with my children, I’ll also give them a whole host of other reasons that are probably more “important” to them as to why they should wait. I’ll also equip them with information on birth control. I didn’t wait until I was married. While I hope they will wait, I’m also realistic about the world we live in and know what I was like at that age.

  5. Mia, fantastic post.
    Ummm, so can you talk to my daughter in a few (far too few!) years? or at least back me up 🙂
    (I looked for and found your email — watch for a response).

  6. Oh. This is amazing. AMAZING.

    I hope my parented sons will be able to listen and learn by what I will share with them… hmm. Because I will share!

  7. You already know how I feel on the issue and my disagreement, but this quote:

    “I am not saying adoption is not a viable choice. I understand that sometimes it may be the only choice. But at what point do we convey to our kids that being a parent when you are a teenager is insanely hard AND that the alternative may be even harder. When do we convey the fact that handing your baby over to strangers is something you NEVER get over? That choosing to have s*x may just end up putting you in the position to have to make any one of those other impossibly difficult choices? WHY aren’t we talking about this reality with our kids BEFORE they make the choice to become s*xually active?!!!”

    Spot on! This is exactly the role that I would want a church to play with a pregnant teenager and with teenagers who are sexually active or who are considering it for the first time.

    Churches, like many parents, act like ostriches, putting head into the sand, pretending that teen sex just doesn’t exist. The church focus should not be on “oh, you sinner,” but it should be on truly being loving.

    More openness and more education means prevention, in my humble opinion.

    Christianity, in particular, is plain as day with the notion that we are ALL sinners. There would be no need for Christ were this not the case. To condemn, rather than care for is just flat-out wrong, and I know this happens in modern churches today.

    We only need read some of the blogs linked on your homepage.

  8. And funny how a lot of religious organizations try to stop Planned Parenthood, which doesn’t only provide safe legal abortions by the way, but also has a whole host of other services for struggling women.

  9. Some excellent points! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wish I had more time this second to respond more in depth to each comment. Kids are in an uproar upstairs.

    Quickly, I wanted to share a personal note from a dear friend of mine (who happens to also be very religious) that I really liked;

    “As far as “religion”, being associated with giving up a baby because of “sin”, nothing could be farther from what God would have us do. Absolutely nothing in the bible supports that idea. As a loving father would I want my grandchild handed over to some one else to love and raise? I don’t know where that got started but it’s not from God.”

  10. Such an awesome post, Mia.

    I’m so happy your voice is here. . .

  11. Add me to the list of people happy for your voice

  12. “And funny how a lot of religious organizations try to stop Planned Parenthood, which doesn’t only provide safe legal abortions by the way, but also has a whole host of other services for struggling women.”

    Give a call to Planned Parenthood and ask for help with adoption and see what happens.

  13. mia

    There actually ARE Planned Parenthood clinics that work in tandem with agencies by a system of referral. But if we’re talking about offering options I would like to see Planned Parenthood create a long list of resources and assistance for struggling women who may wish to keep their baby. It may exist somewhere but I have not found any information offered by PP along those lines.

  14. Excellent post, Mia.

    Although I am an adoptive mother, if my teenage son/daughter came to me and said they were expecting a child, I would do everything in my power to convince them to keep the baby and let me help them to do so. This may make me hypocritical but there you have it. Hopefully this will never happen but it may.

    I’m not sure what I’ll say to my children as they near those teenage years but I hope to encourage them to think long and hard about having sex as a teenager. You can bet that I’ll be focusing on helping them to understand the responsibility of choices and the reality of consequences to their actions.

    Thanks for such a thought provoking post!

  15. Oooooo – I’ve been absent from blogs – nice post Miss Mia.
    Sending you hugs gorgeous girl.
    Poss. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  16. I like that NBC is spreading a good message to teens about not getting pregnant. I will have my brothers and sisters watch this show. I think it starts on June 25th at 9pm!

  17. I believe it is a sin because I believe the Bible.But at the same time, I am glad my daughter is only 2 eyars old because I know I will make it very clear what the Bible says, but also, I don’t ever want her to be scared to come to me if she does it and falls pregnant. The nice thing about our African culture is that the only form of adoption is an open one. ie. if the teen has a baby, the grandmother/aunt raises the child while the mother continues with school etc. The only time being an unwed mom becomes a ‘burden’ is when it’s time to get married…(As you can probably tell, my husband and I aren’t very traditional so we won’t be charging anything for our daughter)We have a bride price/dowry system and women who are obviously not virgins ‘cost’ less than those who are (supposedly) still pure. And abortion is a ‘white’ thing LOL

  18. You guys are awesome 🙂 keep up the good work.

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