No parent expects to hear the words "Mom, Dad, I'm pregnant" come out of their daughter's mouth. But if it does, you as the parent need to know what the options are and where do you go to from here.
According to StatsOnline there were reportedly 66 000 teenage girls in 2002 who gave pregnancy as a reason for them not attending school. This number rises and falls from year to year, but one thing remains the same - the implications are enormous!
What are the options?
Keep the baby:
No, it won't be easy having a little one in the house again and yes, they're expensive, but yes, it will be worth it.
There are obviously factors to take into consideration when deciding on whether or not your daughter keeps her baby, such as will your daughter be going back to school? If so, who will be taking care of the baby?
This need to be discussed with a counsellor who can assist and advise which route would be the best to take when it comes to adoption. Adoptions can be open or closed, which means there can be contact with the child's adoptive parents.
Adoption can also be done by the grandparents of the baby. If your daughter will be going back to school or has decided that she can't take care of the baby, or she is simply too young - grandparents are able to become "mom and dad".
Abortion is an option for accidental pregnancies. There are many abortion clinics who offer counselling before and after the actual procedure has taken place.
Abortion is legal in South Africa up until the 12th week of pregnancy.
And although possible, termination beyond the 13th (and up to the 20th week), according to the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, is only permissible under either life-threatening circumstances for the mother, the proven likelihood of mental or physical defects of the fetus, dire lack of economic or social resources, or if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.
It can help to discuss your options and emotions with an outside counsellor who can be neutral and help your daughter decide which option is best.
Call any of the following numbers to get in touch with a counsellor.
If your area is not listed, contact any of the numbers above and they should be able to assist you in finding a care centre in your area.