This last weekend my wife and I have been entranced by the show 16 and Pregnant and the follow up series Teen Mom. Normally I don’t like to watch too much TV, but seeing these kids having their own kids made for some interesting viewing. I was particularly taken by one of the stories featuring a couple that was still at school when they fell pregnant and had a child. Neither of them had jobs, they both still lived at home and they ended up making the decision to give the child up for adoption to a couple that was unable to conceive.
Most of the couples in the show decide to raise the child themselves and eventually end up breaking up with each other, and in most cases there is a lot of resentment towards the other person. It would have to be tough being in school and having a child. I have found it challenging having our son with all the different things you never had to think about before. I just couldn’t imagine how I would have handled everything should I have had a child at 16.
My wife and I spoke a bit about the one couple that decided to put their child up for adoption. We both agreed that we could never do something like that with our little boy, but that it was probably the best thing for the child that it was going to be raised by the older couple that obviously wanted a child, but for whatever reason couldn’t have one. Without jobs and education these teens would never have been able to provide for the child the same way that the adoption parents would be able to.
What I found the most interesting is that the teens parents wanted them to keep the baby and were very much opposed to putting it up for adoption. I hadn’t seen the start of the episode and I assumed that it was the parents idea for them to go through the adoption process. To me this shows a high level of emotional maturity on the parts of the soon to be parents and I think it is probably the best outcome for everyone involved. I do wonder though if in a couple of years time if they still feel like it was the right choice to make. For me personally it is easy to sit back and say that I wouldn’t be capable of providing for a child in my teens, but if it had happened to me I am not sure what I would have done. I didn’t think the same way that I do now when I was a teenager, and I know that my life would have been so vastly different that I would invariably be a different person at my current age.
There is probably no right or wrong answer when it comes to putting a child up for adoption when you are in that situation. I am sure many people make do when they find themselves in a similar spot in life, but I am interested in what you would do.
If you were 16 and were having a child, would you keep it and do your best, or put it up for adoption?