Learning that your underage child is pregnant can be a trying time for any parent. Despite the circumstances, you'll need to help your child weigh all of her options for dealing with the pregnancy. Some of the options, such as abortion and putting the baby up for adoption, may or may not be available, depending on the laws of your state. State law can also affect whether you, your child or even the baby's father has a say in the matter.
Parental Consent for Abortion
When your underage child decides to have an abortion, you need to consider whether she has the right to make this decision on her own or if your consent is required. Many states require parental consent, and if you disagree with your child's decision to have the abortion, you might be able to prevent it. Any law that deals with abortions for underage children is likely to be complex. But since time is of the essence, it's prudent to contact an attorney who can give you some sound advice.
If your child decides to proceed with the pregnancy, placing the baby with an adoption agency soon after birth is always an option. There are many agencies, but you and your child should understand the implication of going this route and your rights, if any, before and after the adoption takes place.
Choosing the Adoptive Parents
Allowing your child to choose the adoptive parents to ensure that her baby will be in good hands may provide some comfort as years go by. Arranging this type of adoption requires the input of an attorney who can advise you on all aspects of the adoption - from evaluating prospective parents through finalizing the adoption in court after the baby is born.
Rights of Fathers
The father of your child's baby may have certain rights that can affect your ability, and your child’s ability, to decide the best course of action for dealing with the pregnancy. Some states may require the father's consent before your child can place the baby with adoptive parents, while others may not. If your child decides to raise the baby, the father may be ordered to make child support payments for a number of years.
A Family Law Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding choices in underage pregnancy is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a family law lawyer.