R.W. asks from Granbury, TX on January 31, 2007
I just found out that my daughter, who is a senior in High School is pregnant, and I am an emotional roller coaster that I can not get to stop. My husband is scheduled to leave for Kuwait next week and I have to help her get through this without him here. Of course we are devasted, but we have to stand behind her. One of my biggest questions is in regards to child support or assistance of any kind. ' Does anyone have good advice ?
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L.G. answers from Dallas on February 01, 2007
S.S. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2007
All you can do is stand behind her and remind her every day that you love her.
With respect to child support, assuming that the father is also fairly young, she is not likely to receive much immediately. That does not mean, however, that you wouldn't benefit from contacting an attorney to discuss you daughter's options. David Wassermon is very good. His number is ###-###-####.
H.S. answers from Dallas on February 01, 2007
I don't know the situation you are in exactly but got pregnant at 21. The biological Father took off and left me. I never received any child support and was able to have his rights taken away when my son was 4. It is a long story but I have been a young unwed mother and had parents too who had a hard time dealing with it.
Having been young and single I can tell you it is the toughest journey I have ever encountered. My family was VERY disappointed in me. They didn't know I was even in a relationship with my son's Father again because I had sworn I would not see him anymore. Big shock! He was the first man I had ever been with and I did love him but he was not a good match for me at all. However, I needed my family. My parents could not speak to me or look at me at all for days - actually weeks. I was a stranger in their home. Finally, they called their minister to our house and he gave us some great advice:
He said "Good girls are the ones who get pregnant sometimes because they are not expecting and preparing for their actions to go that far. They are not thinking about protecting themselves because they are usually good girls and don't put themselves in that situation." He told my parents that I gave into the temptation but that doesn't make me a bad person and this doesn't have to be a negative in my life. He also suggested I keep my child if at all possible because in his experience adoption doesn't work and abortion of course he could not recommend. He offered counceling free of charge to all of us and we took it.
Your daughter needs a mentor - someone who has been down the road she is taking to help her get through it. A friend of mine had been down the road I was headed a year before me and she helped me soooo much. I felt like a failure and a loser my whole pregnancy. I lost my goals of moving to Nashville for school - I was moving the next fall(I wanted to be a country music recording artist) and I could no longer compete in pageants which was my outlet to sing. I was lost. Had my parents not turned around and supported me I may not have had the strength to let the biological Father out of my life. I don't know where I would be today without my family. I definitely would not be the person I am today!
After years of struggle, I finally recorded that country album I wanted to and I wrote songs about my life - kinda like therapy for me. Everything I have today I have because of my son and that road I traveled. I did not have child support ever but I did have the support of my parents. I did not finish college but today I work for the family business and I love my life! I got married 4 years ago and my son now has a real Dad. Life goes on and it's a hard road. But it's not the end of the world - it's just the beginning. We learn more on the climb up the mountain then we do standing on the summit. This experience will teach your daughter life lessons that will forever change her. You will grow too.
My relationship with my parents is 100 times better today then it was before I got pregnant and I am a better person for it. God has a way of making what seems like a bad thing work out in the end.
It's not what happens to us in life that matters - it's what we do about what happens to us.
Be patient with your daughter and forgiving. This is very tough on her especially being so young. It would be good to explain to her how tough it is on you as well when the time is right. She needs to understand that you aren't going to raise this baby for her.
Make her pay for all of the baby needs if possible - she should be working if not now at least once she gets out of high school. I had to pay for everything for my son. I was able to stay with my parents but as far as my son was concerned I had to do it all. Mom did help me watch him for a while but she made sure I did not take advantage of her generousity.
Party time is over for her....the first 2 years of my sons life I worked and I was a volunteer but I was not hanging out with friends, wasting time partying or playing - I made a grown up decision and I had to be a grown up.
Help her create a plan and goal set for how she will make it on her own. List all obstacles she is facing and devise a plan to overcome those obstacles.
Have her keep a journal - not just any journal, this would be good for you too. Keep a journal of all of the positives of each day - not the trials and issues but the good things. If the Dad is not a good person than she should keep the info on him too if there is ever a court situation - but maybe that is in a separate journal. By recording what goes well in life we can help change our self image about things. Self image is changed from imprinting and what we write holds greater impact than what we say or imagine.
I work for Mental Management Systems - we teach people how to control their mind under pressure - mainly athletes and business professionals....however our information and the journaling exercise above can work for anyone. www.mentalmanagement.com
As far as child support goes:
If she wants to keep this boy in her life than find a family attorney and set the ball rolling for support and visitation. Or maybe they should get married if they are in love and want to. When I was going through it child support and visitation was a separate issue - he could not pay me a dime and still see my son. So, I never pushed the issue. I felt like if he wanted to be a Dad he would have to come around and be there. The back support mounted up even though I had never filed and years later when he decided he all of the sudden wanted to see my son I asked him to pay up. He chose to sign away his rights instead.
Seek an attorney's advice! Know was the laws are and what they are not. Find out what the intentions are of the biological Father and what your daughter wants.
it's a long road ahead - good luck!
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C.G. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2007
This is not the end of the world. It is the end of the road you and your daughter have been traveling on. Now, you are going in a different direction - the scenery is different and things are very unfamiliar, but you are still mother and daughter, and you still have a lot of living to do! Best of all you have a precious gift arriving in a few months that will turn your world into the most delightful mix of new experiences you have ever had!
I have never been where either of you are, but I just wanted to encourage you. I also know from friends and family members who have found themselves in this situation that the parents of the father can be required to pay the child support for him until he is old enough to pay it for himself.
May the next 9 months be a time for you and your daughter to become closer.
2 moms found this helpful
J. answers from Dallas on February 01, 2007
You know, everyone's thought on this is very different. I know that I would support her 100% as long as she was going to school and continuing in College. I would even be willing to let the dad stay with us as long as they were both attending college full time and getting good grades. My husband and I have discussed this same scenerio several times, and we both feel that the best thing for everyone would be to help our children become successful!
1 mom found this helpful
J.B. answers from Dallas on February 01, 2007
R., how far along is your daughter? When is she due? I am sorry to hear about the news and the shock to everyone I'm sure, but let me offer a story to you and your family.
I work with a Primrose School in McKinney and we work together with the MISD. They have a program they offer for students who are pregnant and have their babies and need care while they're in school. It is an amazing program where they actually pay for the care of the school which allows the girls to stay in school (there are rules to the program though). I have a contact name and number of a wonderful, wondeful lady who works with this program and has a daughter in our school too. Maybe she could help you with other support ideas. She would be a fantastic resource for you at the least.
I have one student who has her little one at our school and she too is in your daughter's situation but is flourishing as a lovely young lady - very responsible, has a lot of home support and loves her little one dearly! Her husband is a marine too! She's a seemingly single young mom (due to dad being deployed) but has friends that support her and her parents too. It's very refreshing to know there are responsible young adults out there!! It's also wonderful to see that their family has turned something unexpected and not necessarily picked as the "perfect scenario" into something beautiful and a normal part of their lives now. She is so in love with her little one and is continuing her education.
Feel free to respond to my note or email me at ____@____.com if you are interested in more information. Make sure you put "momasource response" in the title or I will think it's spam. : ) Hope this helps even in the smallest way.
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A.T. answers from Little Rock on January 31, 2007
PS: After reading another response I just want to make it clear that me saying "other options" was NEVER implying abortion! I so no agree with that option at all in this case which is why I was attempting to adopt my niece/nephew to keep my sister in law from abording cause she was pregnant and "her heart wasnt in it". I see NOTHING wrong with getting help from the state to use as a stepping stone to become self-reliant. That's what it is there for. Just wanted to make sure that no one was thinking I was encouraging you to abord! Sorry if I came off that way. I didnt think I had. Best of luck.
Hi - I am along the lines of Gladys. You are DEFINATLY doing the right thing of not alienating her and though devistating you know we all make mistakes and by continuing to love her and help her the best way possible I give you kudos! You're a wonderful mom! So many mom's unfortunatly turn their kids away as my grandmother did to my mom when she was pregnant with me. She had me at 17. I agree with where she and other moms said though that not only is your daughter in not the best financial situation to support a child that the dad most likly isn't either. So I would encourage you to take your child to pregnancy counseling to explore all options for this child. I have many friends who are either adopted or chose adoption when they got pregnant because even though it was hard they loved their child enough to know that there are SOOOOOOOO many people out there who are just dying to be parents and who have established themselves well to be able to give this wonderful child the life that your daughter at this point can not offer to her/him. Some people say giving your child up is selfish cause you need to take care of your choices - adoption is a choice and the most unselfish one one can make because they are choosing to give the child everything that they possibly can in this life. I love my mom tremendously and she gave us all she could. I admire her strength and know many who have kept their child and done the same. I also know the effects it had on me to see my mother suffer as a young single mother too though and it is hard for any child to watch that no matter who they are. If she chooses to keep it then best wishes, a child is a joy no matter what. :) But I would suggest at least thinking and PRAYING about the option of adoption as well. Then she can finish college and get a good foundation under her to start her family. There are many different types of adoptions like open adotions where she still had contact with the family, my mom and step dad just adopted a baby boy from her ex-daughter in law so their are personal adoptions that are cheaper if someone you personally know adopts them and so on. I have TONS of friends who are either adopted or have adopted so I can point you to some good people if you are interested. As well as to some people who are looking to adopt. Best wishes to you and your daughter and again thank you on behalf of your daughter for being such a wonderful mother and standinging by her through this. What ever choice she makes will be hard and she will need your love and strength. :)
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N.P. answers from Dallas on February 03, 2007
R., as a person who endured pregnancy as a teenager, I can truly say that hindsight is 20/20. For starters, if you haven't already, make every effort to communicate and develop a relationship with his parents. Child support, in my opinion, causes more heartache, especially if the other parent is not ready to grow up. Although a very decision was made to get you guys to this point, the average teenager is not fully ready to be an adult, especially right after high school. I know first hand the emotional roller coaster she rides. You will need to put yourself aside as well as the feelings you feel and focus on her right now. This is as devasting for her as it is for you and her dad. Realize that she also had plans for herself that did not include preparing a baby bag and bottles the night before. Child support is also an emotional roller coaster that caused me to face my issues (and lack of planning) each and every time I had to go to court. It takes time from your life and you are forced to find child care because children (of any age) are NOT allowed in the court room. The process is antique and cumbersome and takes forever for any reinforcement to come. It does come, eventually, but, at what cost? You are forcing someone to parent a child that simply has chosen something else. Is this the situation you want to put your daughter as well as your new grandchild through?
M.H. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2007
I was a teenage mother also and I was able to get assistance from the state as far as medical help during pregnancy and for the baby when he was born.
N.P. answers from Denver on March 06, 2007
You already got lots and lots of good advice. I just want to say that I am an adoptive mom and would like to give you this website : http://www.adoptionhelp.org/ Where you will get more information about open adoption.
We were fortunate to have a birthmom choose us to love, raise and take care of her baby. It was a difficult decision for her. But a decision of love for her baby. Keeping in touch with her with letters, pictures, phone calls and even visits has help her a lot.
You and your daughter should visit the website. You can also talk with a councellor from this wonderful and very trustable agency. They will help you understand how it works and help your daughter make the best decision for her.
Good luck to all of you!