She's Having a Baby

My sixteen-year-old friend, M.J., just discovered that she is pregnant.

She’s handling it very well. She’s not exactly happy about it, but she’s not freaking out, either. Her family is being very supportive, and the father of the child is trying not to be an asshole.

They’ve already decided that they are absolutely not going to get married, as the pregnancy is a result of a one-night stand and both feel they are too young to get married - to anyone (he’s 20).

He’s told her that he is not willing, however, to consent to giving the child up for adoption, nor does he want to be a father. She’s not willing to have an abortion. Her mother has offered to take legal guardianship until such time as MJ has finished her schooling and has found stable financial footing and is self-sufficient. I told her that that sounded like the very best idea for all concerned.

The bitch of the whole situation is this: MJ has had sex with exactly two men in her lifetime. The guy to whom she lost her virginity at age 14, and the father of her baby, a man she slept with after having been decidedly celebate since the first time she had sex. I don’t know why she chose to break her celebacy and sleep with this guy, I didn’t ask. I just think it bites that
“the-girl-who-doesn’t-have-sex” gets pregnant the one time she decides to go for it.

She had that Norplant thing but it was screwing up her periods, so she’d gone off of it. Evidently she wasn’t aware that that was equivalent to opening up a floodgate. Add that to a broken condom and you have the perfect ingredients for bad timing.

I have no idea why I feel compelled to post this, probably just because it’s foremost on my mind right now and due to the late hour, I have nobody to talk to about it.

I told her that I would help her anyway I could, loan her my pregnancy books, accompany her to OB appointments, take her to see my doula friend, be there with her during the delivery, etc. I just wish that I could turn back time for her.

That’s all. I suppose if any of you who “started early” have any advice for me to pass along, it would be appreciated.

Advice? If she’s decided to bring an innocent human being into this world, don’t you think it’s a little late for advice?

Rant if you want. Let us know how she is. But advice?

I’m sorry if I sound too harsh, but it pisses me off to see how SELFISH we are every time we bring a new baby into this world, without its consent. Just who do we think we are?

What, do we think we will make up for the baby? “Well, honey, your Dad was a one-night-stand, but I love you soooooo much. In fact I ALWAYS wanted to have you.”

16 years old? and 20?

My Gosh! I can’t even type what I want to say. I wish the baby well. And I still think it’s a crime to bring babies just like that!

Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.

If the guy is not willing to be a father, then it should be no big problem to get his rights terminated in court. I have 4 sisters who all had children before they were 18. One had a baby at 15 and another at 17. She married the father, but it was a big mistake.

I am not trying to judge your friend, but I would hope she gets the fathers rights terminated and gives the baby up for adoption. There are so many people who would give anything for a child.

At 16 she really hasn’t got a lot to offer, and she needs the chance to have a life too.
My sisters all said they wished they had waited before they did this. They had love for their babies, but love will not get up at 3 am and be ready for school the next morning. Nor will it pay for what a baby needs.

JMHO. of course.


I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s really hard to pronounce.

The biological father refuses to let the child go up for adoption, yet he doesn’t want to act like a father to the child? You say he’s “trying not to be an asshole”, but he sounds like a sphincter to me.

She didn’t get pregnant on purpose. Sheesh. Yes, it’s a bad thing, but you have no right to condemn her for her mistake.

So, this guy doesn’t want to give the baby up, but he doesn’t want it either? What exactly does he expect his role to be in this situation?
I do think that the idea of her mother taking costody of the baby for now may be good for everyone. But, what role does your friend expect to take? Is she going to act as the baby’s mother? Or a sister? Better get that cleared up right away.
One of my close friends found out last year that her freshman in high school sister had been pregnant since July (and nobody knew until the father’s mother called anonymously to tip them off). It was the one and only time that this girl had had sex, and it had been an effort to save a failing relationship (never a good idea). The girl (call her “Katie”) still lives with her mother (and she may have legal custody of the child, I’m not sure), but Katie takes care of that baby. She is totally responsible for making sure that the baby is happy and healthy at all times (and she does a great job).

Chris, I’m a little puzzled myself about what the baby’s birthfather is trying to do here. It seems to me that he’s almost trying to punish her in some way. “No, I won’t sign off, but I’m not going to be a father. You deal with it.” I can’t pretend to know what’s going on in his head, though.

But if she ever thinks about adoption, feel free to give her my email address. I’m a birthmother who has been through it. I can at least answer some questions.

Exactly what is the alternative you have in mind?

An ideal case for all sorts of moralistic advice. Let the kids do what they want to. MJ should not feel she can hand over the decision to someone else. So as to avoid taking responsibility for the decision.The guy she should mostly ignore, unless he’s going to be major trouble.

Sounds like the father wants to put the decision off for a while. He wants to be able to pop back into her and the child’s life somewhere down the line. Have your cake and eat it too sort of thing. Not have to take care of it but have it around when it gets older. Just my opinion though, sounds like a butthole thing to do to both the mother and the child.

What a waste.

Her life is essentially over (all the fun parts for sure), all she has to look forward to now is a life of drudgery, and poverty.
(dont flame me people, we all know what the reality is…IF she finishes high school, she will PROBABLY never manage a post secondary program…thus she will NEVER get a decent job )

AND, if she hands the baby over to her Mamma… well, dont be surprised if mamma wont give the baby back.If she raises it all that time, she will get pretty attached.
Her mother has offered to take legal guardianship until such time as MJ has finished her schooling and has found stable financial footing and is self-sufficient.
When is that ? After college? so you are talking what 6 years?
Oh yeah, a custody fight for sure…and the wont fuck up the kid at all.
LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP…oh yeah, she could get the kid back, no problem.Yeah right.

Your friend -if she gives a rats ass about the baby- should give it up. It doesnt matter what the father says…if he isnt willing to raise it himself, he will have to agree. If she cant bear to give it to strangers, let her mother have it-permanently. A child deserves a real home, with an adult parent.

My whole life I was anti abortion, till I had kids and really understood how hard it is to be a mother. I was 22 when I had the first one, I was done school, all that stuff, I thought I was an adult…HA!
I was 26 when I had the second…and I was a far better mother than I was for the first one. And the single mother stuff…dont even get me started! It will be harder than she can imagine.

If your friend was my daughter, I would encourage her to NOT keep it, or not have it at all.

I’m going to second kellibelli’s opinion here. I have kids, and I have the most wonderful, helpful, and loving husband on earth to raise them with me. Parenthood is still awfully hard. If it’s this hard with someone to help me, and it takes both of our full-time incomes to pay for it all, how in the world do people do it alone?

One more thought: people (especially teenagers) think that the baby will be perfect. They just don’t seriously contemplate the possibility that there could be anything wrong with that child. Let me tell you, lots of babies are born with problems. Just a little extra treat to make the job of parenthood all the more challenging (and horrifying). I don’t recommend parenthood to ANYONE, much less a 16 year old girl.

Ummm, what’s the age for statutory rape in your area?

The father is being a selfish immature prick. Perhaps some counseling would be in order. Adoption is the best option for everyone all around. It will allow MJ to get on with her life, the dickwad father to grow up and MJ’s mother who is probably pretty through raising kids, a chance to enjoy the road ahead with a brighter outlook.

You might want to have MJ check into WWW. Adoption.COM and WWW. Adoption.ORG just to see that it isn’t the bogey monster that she thinks it is.

Also, before the baby is born ( if she decides to keep it for her mother to raise, which in my opinion is pretty damn saintly of her mom.) get it in writing what MJ’s responsibilites will be that way her mother will have a leg to stand on if MJ totally wigs out and runs away with a band of gypsies, then Mom can get full custody.

If the Father doesn’t want anything thing to do with the child, he is still liable for child support and go after him. Yeah, life is a bitch, but it woulda been cheaper to put on a condom, buddy, than 18 years child support and lawyer fees.

I have to come down in favor of adoption here. I have my own kids and parenthood is damn hard even with a supportive partner, an income, and a life. Sixteen and a mother, cheezenrice, no thank you.
My husband, and good friend were both adopted children, and we’re big fans of the process. There are so many out there who really want a baby and cannot or have difficulty having their own biologicals what could be better for both the prospective parents and the child?
My good friend was in the reverse situation. He got a girl pregnant, but he arranged for a private adoption, handled all the details, took care of her until the birth, and then she reneged, and cut him out of her life. Now she has three others and is living on welfare and has no real future, all because she said she could handle parenthood at 17.
If the father won’t be a father give him a choice between 18 years of child support payments or giving up all his rights to the child in writing with a lawyer as witness. I can guess which one he’ll pick.
Personally, I don’t believe that grandparents should have to raise their grand kids, too, they’ve already done their bit.


{{{She didn’t get pregnant on purpose. Sheesh. Yes, it’s a bad thing, but you have no right to condemn her for her mistake.}}}

I’m not condemning her. I’m criticizing her, and all the others that do not consider THE BABY’s future when making such a decision.

MJ is not the only one who’s going to have a hard time, you know?

Mike King:

{{{Exactly what is the alternative you have in mind?}}}

How about getting pregnant ONLY if and when both future parents are ready (emotionally, financially, etc.) and willing to do it.

It’s incredible that when we are going to get a pet, we plan it ahead, we start thinking about the responsibilities of the caring and nurturing of a living being that is going to be in our hands, but a human being? C’mon! That can’t be so hard, can it? It’s only a child… how difficult could it be? We are going to become parents sooner or later, aren’t we? That’s NATURE… (please insert as much sarcasm as possible here).

Almost everyone here has criticized the father’s attitude, and I agree, up to a point. #1, we don’t know for sure if he said what Chris says that MJ claims he has said (not doubting your honesty, Chris, or MJ’s, but am I right by assuming that we only have one side of the story here?). #2, he’s only 20, and obviously quite immature (please, think about it people, he has sex with a minor, he doesn’t wear a good quality condom -Chris mentions a broken condom-, he doesn’t want the fatherhood, and at the same time he doesn’t want to give the baby up for adoption? This guy is CONFUSED!)

But what about MJ? She was wearing “…that Norplant thing but it was screwing up her periods, so she’d gone off of it.”
She didn’t know about the risks involved when having unsafe sex? “Oooops, I got pregnant, but it was an accident! I didn’t do it on purpose.” Puh-leeeze!

“Well, I don’t know if I can be a good mommy, and the baby will have a good life, but I know that I want to keep it…”

I stand by my original post. Bringing a baby into this world is the ULTIMATE SELFISHNESS. It’s not matter of “preserving the species”, or a “biological thing” any more. At least not among educated people that have options and resources to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

It is a conscious choice (it should be) that will have important IRREVERSIBLE consecuences for all those involved. And it can be one of the most WONDERFUL experiences in a person’s life. But unfortunately, it can also be HELL for some.

I said before that it seems to be too late for this kind of advice in MJ’s case, and I still think so, but maybe some people here might start thinking about the responsibilities involved in bringing a precious new life into this already screwed up world.

Let’s listen to Lioness, Kellibelli, Holly, and Yankee Blue. Maybe they can explain my points a little better.

Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.

Once again, my proposal for mandatory male vasectomies at age thirteen (with vasectomy reversals upon marriage and completion of a parenting course) sounds better and better with each passing day.



I need to restate. Evidently, NO decision has been made, MJ doesn’t particularly want to have an abortion, but she hasn’t completely decided against it yet. The guardianship thing was an offer that her mom made to her, MJ wants to talk to her mom more about it before she decides to go that route. The father is not ready to be a father, but he’d rather take on the responsibility of the child before signing away his rights so that the baby could be given up for adoption.

I misinterpreted what she told me on the phone last night to mean that decisions had been made, or were in process. She has since corrected me, and in fact, she’s completely unsure what to do. She only knows that SHE wants to make the decision herself, and she’s damn happy to have her parents supporting her no matter what she decides.

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

I have to agree with E1Skeptic. Preventing pregnancy in the year 1999 is the easiest thing in the world.

It used to be that you’d have kids to help on the farm or to please your religion/culture - now there’s no excuse for a 16 year old to become a mother.

There are so many neglected kids living in poverty just because their parents didn’t “believe” in abortion or couldn’t bear to put them up for adoption.

Overpopulation is the root of all social problems. By contributing to the problem, the 16 year old is going to lead a very sad, hard life.

A friend of mine became pregnant at age 22 (she’s 26 now). Although she loves her daughter, she is depressed, anxiety-ridden and totally living in the past. I wouldn’t wish a child on anyone who is not 100% prepared, financially and emotionally. IMHO, I suggest the 16 year old considers abortion or adoption.

I have to strongly disagree with the above statement.

Not only does love for our babies drag us out of bed at 3:00 a.m., it lets us sit up with them all night when they are sick and then drag our sleepless butts into work the next morning, it keeps us sitting up late for them to come home from dates and worrying about things like car accidents and laying dead in ditches.

I agree that 16 years old is very young, but she may be very capable, especially with the help of her mom, to raise this baby and be a wonderful mother. Only her and those who are close to her know if she is responsible and has the ability to do this.

I think that it is sad that not knowing anything about this girl except for her age has made some people jump to the conclusion that her child should automatically be put up for adoption. I know of a few women in their 20’s and 30’s and even older who are very poor mothers but I also know of some women who had children very young and are wonderful mothers with great kids.

If your friend is immature and too irresponsible to raise a baby, then yeah, I too feel that adoption is the best option. However, if she can take responsiblity for her child (especially with the support of her mom), then she should keep it.

It won’t be easy, but is raising kids ever easy?

Coffee, chocolate, men . . . Some things are just better rich.

Chris: Your OP is then the most sofisticated “trolling” (I know you didn’t mean to) I have ever seen in my time with the SDMB. The new version is a totally different story.

Now, still want advice?