Pregnant 13 y.o. / UPDATE post 41 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter has just told me that her friend (age 13) is pregnant. My daughter encouraged her friend to let her fill me in on the situation, and she begrudgingly agreed. The friend does not want her parents to know, plans on having an abortion, but does not have the emotional, logistical or financial resources to make it happen on her own.

I will be speaking to the friend this evening on the phone and setting up a time when we can meet in person, confirm the pregnancy and plan what to do at that point. I will be bringing the parents in on the discussion at some point.

I am interested in any feedback wise women (and men, for MusicianDad) might be able to give me in dealing with this situation. Please no adoption or keeping the baby talk, it just isn't what she has chosen. Thanks in advance.
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#2 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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Well, she's 13. Clearly a minor. Her parents need to know immediately, and ultimately, it is their decision how to proceed.

I would provide a safe space for the girl and parents to meet and discuss things, but you could be in serious legal trouble if you intervene (going to the doctor, procuring an abortion, etc.).

Poor girl...no 13-year-old should have to be making that choice...too young...

ETA: Just was thinking - if you haven't already, this would be a good time to buy condoms "just in case". If her friends are sexually active, there's a good possibility that things might be happening sooner than later in that particular group. Not necessarily, but I'd play it safe...

Good luck! I do not envy your situation right now! Hope the parents are kind to her...
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#3 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I agree with the above poster as long as you determine that her house is safe and her parents or guardians are people who will be able to take care of her in this situation. (If there is any kind of abuse, substance abuse, etc. involving the parents then it is my opinion that you have every right to act in this child's best interest without the parent's involvement.) There are national abortion funds that could help out definitely if money is an issue. If you feel like she could use this just pm me your area and I can research and send you info on the agency that might be able to help.

Sad, but all too common situation. How amazing that your daughter feels comfortable coming to you with this.

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#4 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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Going to have to disagree with anjelike on bringing the parents in immediately and it being their decision on how to proceed.

It is the pregnant 13 year old's decision on how to proceed.

I wouldn't bring the parents in until you talk to the 13 year old though, because there could be a very good reason she doesn't want to tell them. I also wouldn't completely reject the possibility that what is in the best interest of the 13 may be not bringing her parents into the desicion, no matter how much that seems wrong it is a fact that parents can often ignore their childs best interest in favour of their own strict system of belief.

I would look into the legal side of things, but if you are in CA then I don't think there is any law that prohibits a minor from getting an abortion without parental consent.

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#5 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am grateful that my dd thought that I would be a safe person to tell. I am a high school teacher by profession so I have dealt with this issue before. This time it's different because I know the parents. I would never take the girl to the doctor or procure abortion services for her without her parents' permission. My plan is to confirm the pregnancy, help her tell her parents and then go from there.

The situation has given me the opportunity to have a long talk with my daughter; first to tell her that she did the right thing by telling me and that I was proud of her, and second to discuss the likelihood of her own sexual activity. Thankfully, this friend as two distinct and seperate peer groups, one of which is more advanced in this area and the other, which includes my daughter is more committed to waiting a LONG time. I will be getting my daughter some condoms, just in case, and I aksed her to tell me when she loses her virginity so I would be able to help keep her safe (no judgements.)

I feel really sad for this young girl; she has parents, actually three of them, who love her very much, and want the best for her. They are in an extreme state of denial about the depth of her problems though. She does have a therapist, with whom she has never connected. Perhaps a more appropriate therapist is in order as well.
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#6 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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i'm going to agree with MusicianDad on this one. there are so any details that just aren't known to us at this time.

i also commend what ever you are doing s a parent that this is something that is "comfortable" being talked about with you.

: the sun is always shining here. loving life with DP and DS
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#7 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I also wouldn't completely reject the possibility that what is in the best interest of the 13 may be not bringing her parents into the desicion, no matter how much that seems wrong it is a fact that parents can often ignore their childs best interest in favour of their own strict system of belief.
I actually thought about this and one of my first questions to dd what she knew about the parents' feelings about abortion. Mother is not opposed in theory, which I took as a good sign that the girls wishes would be respected. If she had been philosophically opposed to abortion, I would have planned to seek legal advice before proceeding.
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#8 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anjelika View Post
Well, she's 13. Clearly a minor. Her parents need to know immediately, and ultimately, it is their decision how to proceed.
This is NOT true. It is the 13 y.o. girls decision about whether to move forward with the pregnancy or not.
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#9 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For MusicianDad, I have edited the OP to include "wise men." Ah, the colloquial is never perfect...
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#10 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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I actually thought about this and one of my first questions to dd what she knew about the parents' feelings about abortion. Mother is not opposed in theory, which I took as a good sign that the girls wishes would be respected. If she had been philosophically opposed to abortion, I would have planned to seek legal advice before proceeding.
Then the next step is finding out about the parents from the 13 yo herself.

Also, just want to say that if it feels like a good thing to do. I would encourage the 13 year old to tell her parents herself instead of you bringing them into it. But offer a safe place for her to do it. If it doesn't appear to be a viable option, I would suggest bringing them into it somewhere outside their home. It can help provide a more level-headed response from the parents.

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#11 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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For MusicianDad, I have edited the OP to include "wise men." Ah, the colloquial is never perfect...
I appreciate that.

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#12 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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BTW imagine, you are doing a great thing here. At 13 sometimes having even one adult on your side with no judgement can mean everything.

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#13 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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Then the next step is finding out about the parents from the 13 yo herself.
I agree. I would be very wary of being the one to tell them this. If the girl hasn't, there's a reason.

ITA with pps who say this is the girl's decision to make, and it sounds like she's made it. At this point, it's a matter of logistics.
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#14 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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I would definitely not contact the parents without the girl's expressed desire. Her body, her choice, not her parents decision.

I have a 13 yr old and a 16 yr old.
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#15 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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ITA with pps who say this is the girl's decision to make, and it sounds like she's made it. At this point, it's a matter of logistics.
Totally agree there. She has made her choice, now it's making sure she isn't going to have others trying to take that away.

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#16 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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This is NOT true. It is the 13 y.o. girls decision about whether to move forward with the pregnancy or not.
Not in my state (PA) - one parent must consent, barring legal order or medical necessity.

I have to add - I'm floored at the lack of support for bringing the girl's parents into the loop. She could be making the decision under duress, or because she fears lack of financial support, or because she feels that she will be judged. Her parents could be her best allies - regardless of the choice made.

Yes - it's her body. But she is still a child who needs love and guidance...
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#17 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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Not in my state (PA) - one parent must consent, barring legal order or medical necessity.
Unfortunately not in my state either (IL). I am very against consent laws though because I think that people who are for consent laws take for granted that everyone has healthy, supportive parents or guardians.

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#18 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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And Imagine, I do give you credit for helping this girl, though I disagree with many of the other posters. You have a good heart. All the best to you...
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#19 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is the 13 y.o. girls decision about whether to move forward with the pregnancy or not.
The girl is in California and we don't have a mandatory parental consent law. If we did, I would be helping her get a judicial bypass if that's what she wanted. Ultimately, I think that she wants her parents to know and help her; I'll know more in a few days.

In this case, I know the parents and they are reasonable, rational people. I have no doubts that they will deal with the situation in the same manner that I would if the tables were turned.

I do believe strongly that the girl has to consent for me to tell her parents. I would rather that she do it herself and I think that my experience dealing with teenagers has made me quite persuasive. I think she is fearful of disappointing them. Really, she is still just a child in so many ways and although she is dealing with an adult problem, she should have the support of her parents. I can't and don't want to replace them unless absolutely necessary.
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#20 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And Imagine, I do give you credit for helping this girl, though I disagree with many of the other posters. You have a good heart. All the best to you...
Thank you for your support.

I think many of the previous posters agree but some assume the worst of the parents and some the best. If the girl's home situation was abusive, I would have no qualms about going this alone. Thankfully that isn't the case and the fears of a 13 y.o. need not be translated into an overreaction on my part. I think we can all work through this together.
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#21 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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I can relate to the disappointment factor. I became unexpectedly pregnant at the age of 20 (unmarried and in college), decided to carry the pregnancy, and it was SO tough telling my parents. And I was a legal and financially independent adult!

At 13 though - any choice you make is going to be rough! It really is something she shouldn't have to deal with in middle school. I really can't fathom it, and my heart is breaking for her!

My hope is that this brings them (girl and family) closer. I worry about girls sexually active at 13 - there is often an element of coercion there - sometimes outright. If it is her choice to be sexually active, that is one thing, but often it is symptomatic of underlying pressures. I just hope she's not being hurt...
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#22 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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I have to add - I'm floored at the lack of support for bringing the girl's parents into the loop. She could be making the decision under duress, or because she fears lack of financial support, or because she feels that she will be judged. Her parents could be her best allies - regardless of the choice made.
There was a case when I was a teen (30 years ago) when a minor sought an abortion and was denied because of parental consent laws her in state. The center notified her parents, and her father shot her. He was the father of her baby.

Assuming that all minors have parents who love them and want what’s best for them is naive.

I suspect that the 13 year old in this thread has been molested at some point (not necessarily when she got pregnant and not necessarily by her father, but at some point by someone).

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#23 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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I just don't assume anything about the parents. I know they could be the most wonderful and supportive parents in the world or they could be seriously controlling to the point of putting their child at risk. Basically, only bring the parents in if you are reasonably sure they aren't going to completely flip over the whole thing and take it out on their daughter.

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#24 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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I suspect that the 13 year old in this thread has been molested at some point (not necessarily when she got pregnant and not necessarily by her father, but at some point by someone).
That is a pretty big assumption to make considering a good number of young teens have sex everyday without ever having been molested.

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#25 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 09:05 PM
 
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Unfortunately not in my state either (IL). I am very against consent laws though because I think that people who are for consent laws take for granted that everyone has healthy, supportive parents or guardians.
You (general- anyone in a state where one or both parents must "consent") might be surprised how easy it is to bypass that...provided the minor has a ride to the courthouse. There are even lawyers that help them go infront of the judge probono and the minor doesn't even have to use their real name. It takes all of 15 minutes (here)

To the OP. Good luck with how you procede. I'm glad this girl has a trusted adult (you) who can help her. And your daughter sounds like a really good friend

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#26 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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Do you know anything about the baby's father? I would be concerned she was sexually abused (perhaps even at home) or raped. This could be a police matter too.

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#27 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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Although I am not a mother I just wanted to say that you're doing a great job helping out this girl, and it's so awesome that your daughter thought to go to you.

I also wanted to add that there is the possibility of running into legal issues depending on who this girl had sex with. Depending on what the statutory rape laws in California are and the age of her sexual partner there could potentially be an issue of stautory rape. Also along those lines there also may be a requirement for an abortion provider (or any other person in the medical field that becomes involved with this) to report this to child protective services because of the girls age and possibility of statutory rape (not sure what the age of consent is in california).

I ran into this issue a couple of years ago, a casual acquantiance's younger sister, she was 12 at the time thought she was pregnant but had not tested because she lacked information and resources (actually both of them lacked information and resources about even the most basic mechanics of sex, but were still both sexually active at the ages of 16 and 12). Her family was not in a very good place to support her in any way so when he told me I went and picked them both up (with their parents knowledge and permission) and got her a pregnancy test. Luckily she was not pregnant but before I knew that I had done some research and found that there was not a lot I could do for her beyond get her a test and help her tell her parents. It sounds like this is exactly what you plan to do, so you probably don't need to hear it from me. Anyway, I'll thank you for all the young girls out there, if i had become pregnant at 13 I don't know who I would have gone to but it's comforting to know there are people out there to help these young girls now.
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#28 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know much about the father of the baby other than the parents are aware that the two are "dating" and that he is 14 years old. I not sure what kind of statuatory requirements there may be in California. I am reasonably sure that the girl has not be raped by the boy.
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#29 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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I agree with everything MusicianDad has said, as usual.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#30 of 64 Old 02-06-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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I suspect that the 13 year old in this thread has been molested at some point (not necessarily when she got pregnant and not necessarily by her father, but at some point by someone).
I don't see how this could be a reasonable conclusion. Lots of children are sexually active at 13. Not that I condone it, but I know it is fairly common....would not say the majority of kids are having sex at this age but I can tell you many of my friends were sexually active at 14. I hear kids on the bus talking about having sex all the time that come from elementary schools which are K-8th grade. I have even heard 2 girls on my daughter's cheerleading squad talking about having sex and they are 6th graders. Sure, hearing them talking is different than actually knowing they are active, but it seemed from the conversation there was real intent.

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