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<p>I have recently taken on a volunteer position at a Christian Crisis Pregnancy center, and I will be teaching them parenting type classes.  I am looking for a few more ideas to add.  I cannot teach things like birth control because the group believes in abstinence, so because of this I am not teaching anything in that area (I don't want to sound like I bummer, but I believe it is the rare teen that will abstain once they started having sex and have had a baby).  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>The class is a teen week series, and this is what I am teaching so far:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class one: prenatal care, nutrition/healthy habits, medications to avoid, things to avoid in general, pregnancy discomforts and warning signs to call the healthcare provider</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class two: postpartum care, what to expect during the postpartum period, postpartum depression, warning signs to call the provider, what normal newborns look like, bonding immediately after birth</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class three: breastfeeding (how to do, engorgement, mastitis, how to prevent both), warning signs to call the provider, how to express / pump, bottle feeding, feeding cues</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class four: caring for baby (bathing, diapering, cord care, mouth care, etc), choosing an appropriate carseat, safe sleep, SIDS prevention, when to call the provider for baby</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class five: crying (whats normal, how to deal with it), Happiest Baby 5 S's, babywearing, create a plan for how to deal with crying</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class six: feeding baby (making homemade baby food), making homemade wipes, how to interact with baby (play), social life after baby comes, choosing an appropriate babysitter, </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class seven: childproofing, </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class eight: infant massage</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class nine: review, question and answers, and round table discussion</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Class ten: graduation</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anything I might be missing that would be feasible to add?  Oh yes, and they take separate childbirth classes - this is strictly more towards parenting.</p>
 

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overall, very very strong curriculum.<br><br>
my big critique: it sounds like you have a ton on the infant phase but little to nothing about raising toddlers or young children. i think classes 4 to 8 could be combined somehow and you could include a section on 'toddlers' and then 'preschoolers' talking about the developmental milestones, some of the major issues that come up in each phase (like potty learning), and gentle discipline.<br><br>
also perhaps a piece on relationships after baby is born (partner, boyfriend, husband, extended family) and how these can change once you become a parent. i would make it broad enough to be inclusive of single parents, GLBT partnerships, and hetero couples. ETA: it sounds like your group is perhaps christian oriented, but i would just say be as inclusive as possible...lesbian teens actually have a high rate of unplanned pregnancy. plus teen mamas take a lot of crap about being 'unwed', so be gentle there, whatever the beliefs of the group.<br><br>
i also think it's really important to stress child development, because a strong knowledge of what is normal, what is OK to expect at a specific age goes a long way to being able to parent appropriately.<br><br>
those are my thoughts, as a once young mama. have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p>Thanks for looking it over.  Unfortunately the group doesn't support them past toddlerhood (I do plan on talking about toddlers in class six - sorry I interact with baby - to me toddlers are still babies :)  I can't go into the preschool years though because our time with them is done by 2 yrs old.  Also the relationship part I am putting in social life.  I planned on talking about their relationships with partners (how that might change, what it might be like if a new partner is in the picture, relationships with parents, and friends as well.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Honestly other then looking over the curriculum and wanting me to add a few things (like a daily devotion) the woman seems very open to just about anything.  She seems very nice!  Abstinence must be presented if the topic comes up (don't have to teach it though) and the daily devotion to add in a Christian component.  She actually seemed very happy to have someone to finally teach because the woman that taught it years ago said she needed a break from it when her father was ill and passed away and then she never came back.  </p>
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>la mamita</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16059774"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
overall, very very strong curriculum.<br><br>
my big critique: it sounds like you have a ton on the infant phase but little to nothing about raising toddlers or young children. i think classes 4 to 8 could be combined somehow and you could include a section on 'toddlers' and then 'preschoolers' talking about the developmental milestones, some of the major issues that come up in each phase (like potty learning), and gentle discipline.<br><br>
also perhaps a piece on relationships after baby is born (partner, boyfriend, husband, extended family) and how these can change once you become a parent. i would make it broad enough to be inclusive of single parents, GLBT partnerships, and hetero couples. ETA: it sounds like your group is perhaps christian oriented, but i would just say be as inclusive as possible...lesbian teens actually have a high rate of unplanned pregnancy. plus teen mamas take a lot of crap about being 'unwed', so be gentle there, whatever the beliefs of the group.<br><br>
i also think it's really important to stress child development, because a strong knowledge of what is normal, what is OK to expect at a specific age goes a long way to being able to parent appropriately.<br><br>
those are my thoughts, as a once young mama. have fun!</div>
</div>
<br><br>
 

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<p>I was a teen mom. I was very involved in a church and upon group discussion with my parents the elders convinced them to take me off birth control that they thought was a wise decision in order to "remove the temptation." that's a whole different discussion I suppose, just still ticks me off that it was the church's business at all. Not pointing that at you, just had to blarph it out real quick lol.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My relationships changed with my partner but also my parents. Things I wish someone would have helped me with: I get how to do diapers and clothes, all that comes together eventually. What was hard for me was planning how I was going to move forward in life. Where could I find support? How can I provide for my baby and myself? What were my rights? I honestly thought since I was a minor my mom had custody of my baby and was responsible to get his shots and such! Luckily my mom didn't abuse my nievity and helped me in many many ways. Seriously...help them make a five year plan or even a one year plan. Who can help them finish school? How can they secure childcare when needed? etc.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also wish someone would have told me how important it was to give up a few things and build relationship with my baby. I understood the whole bonding at the hospital part (this is before I discovered homebirth obviously) but Attachment parenting was a foreign concept. It never dawned on me to NOT go out to coffee with my christian youth group friends 3 times a week and stay home to be a mommy. I was still extremely self centered. Teach them to BABYWEAR! Teach them CO-SLEEP! I was so scared of all that crunchy stuff and listened to fears of safety etc....I could have had a much deeper bond with my baby and it would have motivated me in so many ways...teach them to listen to their instincts. Somewhere underneath, certain aspects of parenting didn't feel right to me but I couldn't put a finger on in. It took me 15 years and many more kids to understand that it was the attachment parent in me screaming at my intuition but was stifiled all that time by what someone else said was the right thing to do. As a pregnant teenager you are already SO self conscious and hang on every word of what you can do to prove to society you are a good parent and deserving of your baby. I got all his immunizations, circumcision etc. I WISH someone would have told me to worry more about my baby and our relationship, to research my parenting decisions and weigh my choices carefully and not do the first suggestion I was given. Teach them to Google! I'll never forget letting my son cry it out for a week and then backing out of it because I was so tired and done with being woke up all night but crying it out broke my heart. I had no resources for stuff like that. <em>At least teach them where they can find more information. Make them write down authors and book titles and tell them to save them that they will want that information one day soon.</em> It's hard to project a year into the future. I remember wondering what it would be like to have a 2 year old-it seemed so far away. I would stand at night and stare at his little carseat on my bedroom floor next to my backpack and try my hardest to imagine a squirmy baby in there. It was so out of grasp for my mind...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Sorry if I kinda went off there, it's all so fresh even now...and obviously I have a few regrets. You're in such a great place to prevent some serious heartache! I'm a totally different person and mom these days but not without a lot of stumbles along the way. You are such an awesome person for putting your heart out there, you are going to fall in love with these mamas! Please feel free to PM me if you want to ask me anything-I'd love to help! Best wishes!</p>
<p>RF</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<p>I am so sorry they did all of that to you.  Like you I was a teen mama too, but I actually had the opposite experience.  My mom tossed me to the wolves and basically said "you made your bed now lie in it".  Thankfully I had my dh by my side and his parents kind of did the same and so we had to sink or swim.  Thankfully we were good swimmers (so to speak), and I was so darn pigheaded that I did practice attachment parenting before there was a name for it :)  I can remember sleeping with my babies right from the start and my mom, mother in law and everyone else telling me how I was going to destroy my children and they would never become productive adults.  Well, now 22 1/2 yrs after having my first baby I can proudly say I didn't ruin her LOL.  She actually just graduated from college in May and is a nurse with a good job and is someone I am so proud of.  The best part is that I see my older kids APing their younger sibling when they come home and it warms my heart.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>So all of that explanation to say - Yes I am definitely going to be adding in AP type stuff because that is what I know.  I don't know crying it out because I never did it.  I will be teaching more breastfeeding then bottle feeding because that is what I know.  I will be teaching babywearing because that is what I know.  I will be teaching them how to bond with their babies, spend time with their babies, etc, and the list goes on because that is what I know.  Like I said I won't be teaching abstinence because while I believe it would be best for them I know it isn't reality based either so my choice is to avoid that topic and they can teach them whatever they want, but in my classes I am focusing on parenthood stuff so that they can become better parents and actually grow up wanting to be with their babies and loving spending time with them, etc.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks for your experience and I am so sorry!!!!<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Crispie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16059971"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I was a teen mom. I was very involved in a church and upon group discussion with my parents the elders convinced them to take me off birth control that they thought was a wise decision in order to "remove the temptation." that's a whole different discussion I suppose, just still ticks me off that it was the church's business at all. Not pointing that at you, just had to blarph it out real quick lol.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My relationships changed with my partner but also my parents. Things I wish someone would have helped me with: I get how to do diapers and clothes, all that comes together eventually. What was hard for me was planning how I was going to move forward in life. Where could I find support? How can I provide for my baby and myself? What were my rights? I honestly thought since I was a minor my mom had custody of my baby and was responsible to get his shots and such! Luckily my mom didn't abuse my nievity and helped me in many many ways. Seriously...help them make a five year plan or even a one year plan. Who can help them finish school? How can they secure childcare when needed? etc.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also wish someone would have told me how important it was to give up a few things and build relationship with my baby. I understood the whole bonding at the hospital part (this is before I discovered homebirth obviously) but Attachment parenting was a foreign concept. It never dawned on me to NOT go out to coffee with my christian youth group friends 3 times a week and stay home to be a mommy. I was still extremely self centered. Teach them to BABYWEAR! Teach them CO-SLEEP! I was so scared of all that crunchy stuff and listened to fears of safety etc....I could have had a much deeper bond with my baby and it would have motivated me in so many ways...teach them to listen to their instincts. Somewhere underneath, certain aspects of parenting didn't feel right to me but I couldn't put a finger on in. It took me 15 years and many more kids to understand that it was the attachment parent in me screaming at my intuition but was stifiled all that time by what someone else said was the right thing to do. As a pregnant teenager you are already SO self conscious and hang on every word of what you can do to prove to society you are a good parent and deserving of your baby. I got all his immunizations, circumcision etc. I WISH someone would have told me to worry more about my baby and our relationship, to research my parenting decisions and weigh my choices carefully and not do the first suggestion I was given. Teach them to Google! I'll never forget letting my son cry it out for a week and then backing out of it because I was so tired and done with being woke up all night but crying it out broke my heart. I had no resources for stuff like that. <em>At least teach them where they can find more information. Make them write down authors and book titles and tell them to save them that they will want that information one day soon.</em> It's hard to project a year into the future. I remember wondering what it would be like to have a 2 year old-it seemed so far away. I would stand at night and stare at his little carseat on my bedroom floor next to my backpack and try my hardest to imagine a squirmy baby in there. It was so out of grasp for my mind...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Sorry if I kinda went off there, it's all so fresh even now...and obviously I have a few regrets. You're in such a great place to prevent some serious heartache! I'm a totally different person and mom these days but not without a lot of stumbles along the way. You are such an awesome person for putting your heart out there, you are going to fall in love with these mamas! Please feel free to PM me if you want to ask me anything-I'd love to help! Best wishes!</p>
<p>RF</p>
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Michelle, that is fantastic that you are doing this! I've wanted to do something similar but don't think it would be supported here. Is there any way you can include anything about birth itself? I wish someone would have told me as a teen mom, myself, that I have the right to empower myself at birth and make my own decisions-not just do what I was told.
 

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<p>Looks great!  When I was working with teen moms I found it crucial to always offer a healthy snack (yogurt smoothies....stop light pizzas <english muffins, sauce, low fat cheese and red yellow green peppers>). I also liked to include some sort of relaxation experience for them, something to make them feel cared for and special...foot soaks, have a (volunteer )massage therapist do 10 back massages.   </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p>Carenet is a national group, so you could see if there is one near you and just go in and offer to volunteer.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>As far as birth stuff - that is a separate class that they take, so this is strictly parenting classes.  I don't really know what they get in their childbirth classes, and I think they take those elsewhere, but was told to pretty much keep these classes as parenting especially since many might already ahve their babies so birth is behind them.  We have a setup for "entertaining" babies and will have someone there to help care for them while mom is learning too.  </p>
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kittywitty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16060253"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Michelle, that is fantastic that you are doing this! I've wanted to do something similar but don't think it would be supported here. Is there any way you can include anything about birth itself? I wish someone would have told me as a teen mom, myself, that I have the right to empower myself at birth and make my own decisions-not just do what I was told.</div>
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Discussion Starter #9
<p>I will check to see if they have it in their budge to offer snacks, but I am pretty sure she is going to tell me they won't.  Even the day I am making homemade baby food I will be purchasing the apples to make it.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Massages might be do-able.  In fact I am a massage therapist, so maybe I could go back to the school I went to and see if they could do a free day (I know when I went there we did chair massages for different community happenings so it might be an idea).  Thanks!<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mamasunflwr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16061013"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Looks great!  When I was working with teen moms I found it crucial to always offer a healthy snack (yogurt smoothies....stop light pizzas <english muffins, sauce, low fat cheese and red yellow green peppers>). I also liked to include some sort of relaxation experience for them, something to make them feel cared for and special...foot soaks, have a (volunteer )massage therapist do 10 back massages.   </p>
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<p>What about giving out a reading list at the first class and offering prize drawings for people who bring in book reports about books on the list? You could list books like:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Positive Discipline: The First Three Years</p>
<p>The No Cry Sleep Solution</p>
<p>The Breastfeeding Book</p>
<p>So That's What They're For! (breastfeeding)</p>
<p>Nighttime Parenting</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also, DVDs! When I had my 10yo ds at 16, I watched everything I could get on parenting. You could have them watch the "Happiest Baby" DVD in class.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<p>That's a good idea - the only problem is I would have to buy the prizes and financially can't at this point.  Unfortunately I am paying for all of the printing of all of the materials and everything else.  My budget through this group is $0.  They won't pay for anything which is making it hard.  My husband is supportive of me volunteering my time, but doesn't want to pay anything because financially we are strapped as it is (paying out of pocket each month for my college tuition and have two kids in college as well).  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I really wish there was some way I could get some sort of a small budget.  As it is I am buying all of the food and/or cake for the graduation party.  There will be five of those a year since we will be running five sessions a year, and like I said I am paying all of the printing expenses and when I teach will be paying for all the examples, samples, etc.<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16062317"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>What about giving out a reading list at the first class and offering prize drawings for people who bring in book reports about books on the list? You could list books like:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Positive Discipline: The First Three Years</p>
<p>The No Cry Sleep Solution</p>
<p>The Breastfeeding Book</p>
<p>So That's What They're For! (breastfeeding)</p>
<p>Nighttime Parenting</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also, DVDs! When I had my 10yo ds at 16, I watched everything I could get on parenting. You could have them watch the "Happiest Baby" DVD in class.</p>
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<p>Have you tried hitting up local businesses for donations? I had good luck a couple of months ago getting prizes donated for an event our doula group was having. The smaller businesses were more likely to donate. You could try children's consignment stores, small toy stores, any sort of "natural" stores that sell things like cloth diapers, small bookstores, even local massage therapists and salons for gift certificates.</p>
 

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<p>Great idea!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As a former teen mother, I wish I had known about AP from the start.  I never did CIO or bottle feeding, but it felt really wrong to be following my insticts instead of the conventional "wisdom".  It was a solid 3 months before I was really confortable and confident in APing.  (Back then, "AP" wasn't even a term, I just did what felt natural and right and later on learned of Dr. Sears.)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So my suggestion would be for you to put an emphasis on the fact that these new mamas are in charge of their babies.  They can opt to take suggestions from others, but ultimately they need to understand that they (and the dads if they are involved) are the decision-makers.  Teach them to develop their instinct and trust it and go with their guts. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>HTH</p>
 

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<p><br>
I might just might have to do that, because with no budget it makes it hard.  I did talk with the coordinator and she said that they are trying to swing a small "prize" for each class attended (i.e. socks, pacifiers - ugghhh, and stuff like that).  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I am hoping to talk more with her tomorrow.</p>
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16063501"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Have you tried hitting up local businesses for donations? I had good luck a couple of months ago getting prizes donated for an event our doula group was having. The smaller businesses were more likely to donate. You could try children's consignment stores, small toy stores, any sort of "natural" stores that sell things like cloth diapers, small bookstores, even local massage therapists and salons for gift certificates.</p>
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Discussion Starter #15
<p>Definitely plan on doing this!!!  I am an AP mother, so really that is all I know.  I don't know crying it out or anything like that, so I won't be teaching from that mindset :)<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>blessedwithboys</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16063550"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Great idea!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As a former teen mother, I wish I had known about AP from the start.  I never did CIO or bottle feeding, but it felt really wrong to be following my insticts instead of the conventional "wisdom".  It was a solid 3 months before I was really confortable and confident in APing.  (Back then, "AP" wasn't even a term, I just did what felt natural and right and later on learned of Dr. Sears.)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So my suggestion would be for you to put an emphasis on the fact that these new mamas are in charge of their babies.  They can opt to take suggestions from others, but ultimately they need to understand that they (and the dads if they are involved) are the decision-makers.  Teach them to develop their instinct and trust it and go with their guts. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>HTH</p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br>
 

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<p>I was a teen mom. I read all the books recommended to us at the time, and I came to the conclusion that cosleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, etc. was the right thing to do. While the teachers encouraged it in theory they were not supportive of it in practice. :/  Provide information on local groups that are supportive of these practices so these moms don't succumb to peer pressure to be mainstream.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The one thing I would have liked to learn about is how to go about going to college while being a teen mom. Mention the grants available to them. Suggest they trade childcare with other moms they trust to keep babysitting costs low. Discuss pumping, because if these moms are going to continue to go to school/work and breastfeed, they're going to have to figure out the logistics of that. Mention their legal rights. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Provide information on WIC, public assistance, public transportation, community colleges, budgeting classes, etc. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Empower these young women to start their own support networks, playgroups, etc. I might go so far as to have a "field trip" where the moms have an opportunity to bond with one another. Just hang out outside the classroom, encouraging friendships to form and blossom.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'd say devote an entire class to learning self sufficiency and independence while having a dependent. </p>
 

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<p>Hi there. I'm a doula who has worked with a number of teens over the years, and one of the things they often don't think about is naming the birth father (or not) on the birth certificate, and the implications that has for child support, custody, passports, and out of country travel down the road.  You might have to consult with a lawyer/legal aid to find out the laws in your area, but I think it's worth it. Nobody seems to tell these young women: "Look - I know you liked him enough to have sex with him, but that doesn't mean he's still going to be around in a year... or 10 years... and if his name is on the birth certificate, it has to be on the passport.  That means that when your kid is 8 years old and has the opportunity to travel out of the country with you - - - your child can't go unless you still have contact with the birth father and he is willing to sign the passport and give you permission to take 'his' child out of the country.  On the other hand, having his name on the birth certificate MAY make it easier to get child support.  But it also MAY make it harder for you to have full custody"  There is a lot to consider and nobody seems to talk about it. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #18
<p>In my state unless they are legally married dad's name cannot go on the birth certificate without them going through a process (either going to court to get it added or filing some notorized paperwork).  <br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Nutter</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280600/teen-parenting-classes-what-would-you-teach#post_16065559"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Hi there. I'm a doula who has worked with a number of teens over the years, and one of the things they often don't think about is naming the birth father (or not) on the birth certificate, and the implications that has for child support, custody, passports, and out of country travel down the road.  You might have to consult with a lawyer/legal aid to find out the laws in your area, but I think it's worth it. Nobody seems to tell these young women: "Look - I know you liked him enough to have sex with him, but that doesn't mean he's still going to be around in a year... or 10 years... and if his name is on the birth certificate, it has to be on the passport.  That means that when your kid is 8 years old and has the opportunity to travel out of the country with you - - - your child can't go unless you still have contact with the birth father and he is willing to sign the passport and give you permission to take 'his' child out of the country.  On the other hand, having his name on the birth certificate MAY make it easier to get child support.  But it also MAY make it harder for you to have full custody"  There is a lot to consider and nobody seems to talk about it. </p>
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