Teen Pregnancy - Baby Ruins Lives??

Updated on October 23, 2012
J.C. asks from Old Monroe, MO
29 answers

My friend just emailed me to tell me her boyfriend's 15 yo (will be 16 next month) son's gf is pregnant. She is 15 & I don't know when she will be 16. Supposedly they only had sex the once and used protection. In her email she states, so now we have 2 15 yr olds with their lives ruined. My question is...Why do people think babies ruins lives? If anything, it is the baby's life that may be ruined. I know a lot of young people that have survived this and so have their kids with great family support. I just don't understand how some people see a baby as "ruining their life". For the record, I am not asking what they should do about it.

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So What Happened?

Thanks, everyone. I do get all of the different meanings of "ruined". I just don't like that word being associated with a baby. & yes it is a bad situation but what is done is done...let's move forward as positively as possible. I am sure these kids "freaked out" enough without adults telling them how "ruined" everything is.

The comment about the boulder is exactly how I see it. & for the one that said they have successful teen parents & then grown adults that should be spayed, I can attest to the same.

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answers from Portland on

I do understand how it can ruin their lives, but only if they let it.

I got pregnant at 17, the father left because I wouldn't get an abortion, but I didn't let it ruin my plans. It simply changed them a bit.

I still went to college, just a couple years later than I'd originally planned on. I have a good job. I can support myself & my kid. I have a house. I've met a wonderful man & we are TTC right now :-)

So, having a baby young doesn't have to ruin anything. That doesn't mean I recommend it however.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

For some people, having a baby does ruin their lives. AND ruins the baby's life. Not everyone has the support of friends and family, and not everyone (especially teens) has the means to support a baby.
Giving it up for adoption doesn't necessarily solve the problem. Some young parents feel guilty for not keeping it, and that guilt can persist well into adulthood. Also, giving it up doesn't guarantee that it will be adopted. Some kids grow up miserable as wards of the state/foster care system. While most people who foster kids do so for the right reasons, there are some who are abusive/neglectful. And some kids never get adopted - they age out of the system without ever having had a real home.

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answers from Chicago on

My SIL had her first kid when she was young, and then a second a few years later. She wouldn't tell you that they ruined her life, but they did. She is grumpy, feels like they are a giant imposition on her, and she loves to dish them off on other people. Because of having kids so young, she had to put off college. Now at nearly 40 she finally has a degree, a stable job, and the ability to truly care for her kids, i.e. not live off the state and hand outs from her parents. She is cruel to her oldest, and I believe very resentful for having to give up her youth caring for babies. My MIL totally supported my SIL. She even basically raised my SIL's oldest. So my SIL had support, but what she didn't have was the freedom to be young.

Babies are blessings, but babies shouldn't be having babies.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

I could see how this could "ruin" their lives. Its children raising children. At 15/16 you are not emotionally ready to provide support for another human being. The key word in your post is "great family support". Some just can't or won't do that.

I would have been devastated if this had happened to my daughter. I would feel that her life just got a hell of a lot harder.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It certainly changes the trajectory of their lives. Having a baby at this age will hard at best. They may rise to the challenge, mature and become responsible and handle it well. Statistics are not in their favor though. Their lives just became exponentially more complicated.

I was the child of a teenage mother who was put up for adoption. I met my bio parents later. I can say, their decision to put me up for adoption was probably the best decision for everyone.

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answers from Dallas on

Most people are not equipped to parent at 15. Our society is not equipped to support 15 year old parents.

I've known a couple of people who chose to parent before they were 18 who made a successful go at it, but I know several more who would say they failed both themselves and their child trying.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Of course having a baby can ruin a child's life. These kids may now never go on to college and pursue their dreams. They may 'settle' for each other and never really meet and marry the person they will love all their lives. They are likely to divorce. They are much more likely to live in poverty than if they completed high school and pursued college. They are so much less likely to be great parents than they would be when they were mature adults making this decision. Sure some people survive this as do many children. But I don't believe for a minute that this is what you want for your children.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Notice its not the pregnant mom that is saying this. Its someone that see's a 15 year old pregnant and possibly her life will be changed. The person complaining also see's that its possible HER/HIS life is ruined by having to help the said teen through the pregnancy.

I know a few teenage moms, that are absolutely awesome, and if you asked them, did your baby ruin your life. They would be furious and saddened you ever asked that question. They would aggressively deny that their baby did anything but make their lives better.

Now I also know some people well beyond 18 that never should have had kids, and needs to be spayed.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Babies change lives and not always for the better. My cousin was pregnant at 15, married by 16 and divorced by 26. She settled with the father because he wanted to "do the right thing" and probably only stayed married that long because he was deployed often. He said he missed out on his youth and needed to find it and left her with two children to raise. She finished HS but did not go to college as originally planned. Her life was not "over" in the sense that she had no future, but her son did impact it greatly. Never having gone to college and not having worked much during her marriage left her at a huge disadvantage when he left.

My nephew and his then-GF had a child at 19. He has had to work vs going to school to support his child, and now he has a custody situation with his ex-GF for the sake of their toddler. His life is very different than he had planned as well. The baby may have been good in that she caused him to grow up and be responsible, but he now has a lot of other things like the heartache of not being able to see his baby girl every day because things fell apart with her mom.

In my book if someone who is too young to hold a job and support themselves has a baby and keeps that baby to raise, then their life is going to be "ruined" in the sense that things will not be easy. Teenage years are over. Many plans for the future need to be changed or cancelled. This is a forever kind of event, for ALL of them.

Further, the parents of the teens are often the ones that have to step up and support the new family - and that can be hard as well. My cousin lived with her mom for a time, and my nephew lives with his mom to afford to pay child support for his daughter. My SIL was and still is very active in the care of the child. Her kids are grown now, but she's often babysitting a toddler, picking her up from daycare, making sure she's fed and bathed...doing more than the fun grandma things she would if her son had been more stable and independent when the child was born.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Ruined? No. But it certainly isnt the ideal situation.
The way I look at it, it effects at least 3 generations of people, that is if the vicious cycle does not keep occuring.
For the parents of the pregnant children, the pregnant child and the baby. None of it is going to be easy for any of them.
Children are a blessing, but deserve stability. It is always a shame when that is not possible, which in this situation, it will be hard.

I will be 36 when my daughter is 15, and I do not plan on raising her baby then, considering she wont even be legally able to drive.

Ruined, isnt what I would call it, I would be crushed for my kid and feel guilty as hell that somehow it was my fault.

Not good.

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answers from Dallas on

making adult decisions, before being an adult...ruins lives. Engaging in acts, beefore you are ready for he consequences...ruins lives. A child, is the innocent collateral damage of their bad decisions. No, a baby does not ruin lives. People ruin their own lives, and blame a person who isn't even on earth, yet.

The blame, should go squarely on the shoulders of those who had sex...and the parents who clearly weren't keeping tabs on their children.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Babies change things and can make them more difficult but with the right support they can get through it fine. But most families don't want to stand behind and support kids in this situation. I feel sorry for all involved!!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

Babies CHANGE lives that's for sure. For a 15/16 year old that change is so...dramatic and opposite to what they once knew, in an essence their life is ruined.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

She's just sad at the loss of the kid's childhood and scared for their future. Makes perfect sense to me.

Of course teens can overcome the challenge of having a baby at 15 and rise to the occasion to educate themselves, support their family, become good parents and find their own version of success. Having a baby just makes it much, much harder and probably a whole lot less fun.

I would be CRUSHED if either of my daughters ended up in this position. I would mourn the loss of their youth and freedom. My late teens and early 20's were a time of great growth, maturation and FUN. To think my daughters would not get to experience that and instead be home with the overwhelming responsibility of raising a child would be heartbreaking.

A "ruined" life is just a figure of speech but I could see myself saying it in context to my own girls being in that situation. Having a child out of wedlock is the single most contributing factor to poverty for women. Life's a whole lot harder when your a kid with a baby to take care of.

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answers from Detroit on

ruined no.. but certainly the baby will complicate the lives of the young teenage parents.. and the soon to be grandparents..

were the teens hoping to go away to college?? not so easy with a baby..

maybe the grandparents will have to pay for the baby's things possibly not saving as much $$ for retirement..

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answers from Austin on

I would think it does not ruin their lives, but ruins any immediate plans and puts them on hold and alters them..
It is such a shame since it is so easy to avoid getting pregnant.

I would be heart broken if this had happened to our child. She graduated this spring from college... She had the best experiences..met amazing people

She is ready to follow her dreams.. She s 22..

So if she was pregnant at 15... Her child would be 6 in 1st grade... Where would they live? What type of job? Could she afford to live on their own? Her focus would be on raising her child.... Not much else if you want to be a good parent.....you want your child to have the best of you....

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answers from Seattle on

My sister had her first child at 16. Did it ruin her life - no. Ruin is not the right word. But it made her life very difficult. She is going through her second divorce, she has always and will always live paycheck to paycheck and work low paid jobs as a unskilled worker.
She loves her kids, she would not think her life is ruined - but if she was my daughter, this would not be the life I want for her.
I do know that some women make it work beautifully, graduate high school, go to college... but the reality is that most teen moms will end up unskilled and poor.

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answers from El Paso on

It comes from a difference in expectations and hopes. Kids today are EXPECTED to graduate from high school and go on to at least a trade school of some sort, but most parents also hope for a four year degree for their children. The occurrence of a teen pregnancy all but makes that impossible. These children now have the full responsibility to raise a child, which means more work for lower pay now and (potentially, although not certainly) less opportunity for financial independence and stability. These children aren't even legal voting age yet, and they are going to be parents. Will it "ruin" their lives? I certainly hope not, but it will DRAMATICALLY change the course of their lives at least for a while and maybe permanently.

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answers from Los Angeles on

The inconvenience of children is the standard view in our society. You must not be surprised.

Just think about it. The big national conversation is providing free contraception to every American (to avoid the inconvenience of children), 18% of 40-44 year old women are childless (a record number and growing) and in the US 24% of college educated women by age 40 were childless.

Then, in my personal experience, people "warned" me against having children too young and that I should "enjoy my life first".

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answers from Boise on

With the right support their lives should only be a little more difficult. Not ruined. There success will come down to a few things, family support and motivation. I think family support is crucial, even as adults we need a good support system, this is no less true of teenagers.

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answers from Dallas on

I suspect she meant that they just made their lives a whole lot harder....that includes the child and anyone around them that will help support them.

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answers from New York on

if i was 15 and got pregnant i totally would have said my life is ruined... i mean really, how many 15 year olds do you know that are ready to be parents? You have to grow up in an instant when a baby comes along. i mean thats was a sophmore is highschool!!??
- that is in no way saying babies ruin lives, thats not true at all and i dont think thats what your friend was saying, (i wasnt ready to become a mom at 24, but im an adult, im not still in highschool, i love my daughter with all my heart and wouldnt trade her for the world) , but for a 15 year old, yeah id say thats pretty much right on... just my opinion

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answers from Philadelphia on

it ruins their childhood. it ruins a lot. sure they will look back after they know that baby and say wow i'm so glad i had this baby because this kid is the world too M., sure they can be good parents, but it does ruin all current plans without a HUGE support system...and even then the baby is getting thrown around so not to ruin the parents lives
lose lose sittuation as far as i'm concerned. yes good can come from it, but their current childhood and life is ruined

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answers from New York on

Perhaps ruin is not the correct word. How about - look, these two 15 year olds can never get to live out their childhood. Can you imagine being 18 and having a 2 year old. Or being 21 and having a 5 year old. I bet you if you ask most people who had kids under 18 if they would have had the exact same child but maybe 10 years later, most would say yes. And that it would be with a different person!

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answers from San Francisco on

It's just an expression.
Their lives are "ruined" at least in the short term.
They have lost their freedom, their adolescence is over very suddenly, and they are forced to give up the joys of being a teen (dances, parties, sports, clubs, looking forward to college and a bright future) because they are now responsible for the care and well being of a child.
Whether or not their lives (and their child's) are REALLY ruined depends on many things, how mature and responsible they are, what kind of relationship they have with their parents and extended family and the overall support of the community.
So only time will tell. But sadly the odds are not in their favor. I can't even IMAGINE what it would be like to be a parent at 16 :(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Attitude is All.

Some people honestly believe that. For many reasons.

- Some believe that being pregnant or a mom means you can't finish highschool OR go to college. Having STARTED college when my son was 2 months old this makes me fall on the floor clutching my sides and crying in laughter!!! Going to school 10 hours a week is a CAKEWALK compared to working full time!!! Seriously. 10 hours. You set your own schedule. Do most of your work from home. Get to speak in full sentences/keep your brain turned on (the SAHM lament of going nuts just doesn't surface). Can skip class when your kid is sick snd not get fired. It's the best of both worlds, with almost none of the downsides of both worlds!!! Love. It. And then when your baby is 5 and starting K? You're degree'd up and ready for a good paying job. Seriously. College is soooooo amazing for new moms. I

- Many people don't know you can finish highschool on a college campus, and MOREOVER get your first 2 years of college FREE if you're still in highschool (dual enrollment), whether taking highschool classes at the college or taking them at a traditional highschool.

- Some people equate "living" / "life" with being stupid and irresponsible, selfish and shallow. Aka partying every night. I'll be the first to admit I live dancing. Is my life over if I can only go dancing once a week? Bwahahaha! Or once every couple weeks? Seriously. And the whole getting smashed and stupid thing, is, stupid. Being 'responsible' hardly means your 'life is over'. But many people believd that without 4 years of drunkem debauchery and self centered shallow decision making, life is 'ruined'. Puh-leeeze.

- and lots of other social & cultural & religious reasons but the above 2.5 is what gets brought up the most.


There is literally ALMOST nothing that you could have pursued in life without a baby, that you cannot still pursue with a baby. In fact, I challenge this board to come up with one thing (except be married as a virgin). I put almost literally, because I'm sure there's DOME thing out there that being a mom means you can't do. But I can't think of anything.

News flash : Moms work outside the home. It's called daycare.
News flash : Premarital sex no longer 'ruins' a young woman and means she'll never be able to marry an upstanding an honorable man.

Mom & Dad 2B are only limited by their inteligence & hard work.
Just like the rest of us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Babies don't ruin lives. Bad decisions made by mentally, & emotionally immature people ruin lives. The baby is the one that ends up being at a disadvantage.

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answers from Norfolk on

It's arguing over semantics.
Not being prepared to support and raise a child when you still are not finished growing yourself means major path changes in your life.
Rather than bettering yourself to the point where you are self sufficient emotionally and financially and can take on raising a child, you now pretty much have to rely on family and/or social services to help you out.
It's not an ideal outcome - not for the child/parent(s) and not for their child and not even for the grand parents who now are forced to raise an extended family and decimate their hopes for retirement and money for their old age.
If the parents don't finish their education, they get stuck in low wage jobs for a large portion of their lives and when it's harder to scrape by, there is a greater reliance on public assistance.
It can lock you into a cycle of poverty that is very tough to overcome.
A teen can decide they THEY are ready for sex and then that THEY are going to have the baby and then they dump this on everyone around them and society in general with "what are you going to do about it?".
I'm sorry but holding your ability to reproduce over the heads of those around you is just irresponsible and selfish.
I delete hate mail so don't bother.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Okay, maybe saying that it will "ruin their life" is a little exaggerated, but 15 year old teenagers having babies is a pretty terrible thing. Even if the baby is put up for adoption there will be trauma, and if they keep the baby, their lives will be prematurely altered forever.

I think almost everyone can agree that's it's a bad situation.

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