Teen Pregnancy Facts
The Perfect Gift
The Perfect Gift
Thesis statement for the Adoption paper!

Three thousand teenage girls become pregnant each day. Teen pregnancy is a rapidly growing problem in the United States. Teenagers are choosing different options when it comes to parenting. Unfortunately, the option that is the least used by teenage mothers is the option of adoption. Adoption can bring benefits to the mother and the baby. Less than 1% of unplanned teen pregnancies result in adoption. Most families raise their children, even when unplanned.

1. Three-quarters of a million teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant each year.

2. Very few teens who become mothers plan on doing so.Out of all teen pregnancies, 82% are unintended. Teen pregnancy accounts for 20% of all planned pregnancies annually.

3. Two-thirds of teen pregnancies occur among teens 18-19 years old.

4. Teen mothers account for 11% of all births in the US.

5. Out of all teen pregnancies, 57% end in birth.

Another 14% end in miscarriage.

6. Nearly a third of pregnant teenagers choose abortion.

Out of all teenage pregnancies, 29% are terminated by abortion.

7. Teens who become pregnant are less likely to attend college.

Although teenage mothers today are more likely to finish high school or earn their GEDs than in the past, pregnant teens are less likely to attend college than teens who do not become pregnant.

8. US teen pregnancy rates are higher than those of other developed countries.

US rates are twice as high as in England and Wales or Canada, and eight times as high as in the Netherlands or Japan.

9.Teen pregnancy rates declined between 1991 and 2005 but are on the rise again.

The teen pregnancy rate reached an all-time high in 1990 with an estimated 116.9 per thousand and an all-time high birth rate of 61.8 births per thousand in 1991. By 2002, the pregnancy rate had dropped to 75.4 per thousand - a decline of 36%. However, a December 2007 report by the Centers for Disease Control shows a 3% increase in teenage pregnancy from 2005 to 2006.

Teen Abortion Facts

Teen abortion facts - What are the risks?

There are many risks involved with teen abortion. To begin with death can occur because of teen abortion. It is reported that legal abortion is the fifth leading cause of maternal death in the United States. These deaths are caused by infection, embolism, hemorrhage, anesthesia, and undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies. The actual figure of deaths caused by legal abortion is probably much higher than reported since many of the maternal deaths reported are not recorded as being caused by legal abortion.

Teen abortion facts also report that the risk of breast cancer almost doubles if an abortion is performed on a first pregnancy during the first trimester of the pregnancy. The risk of cervical cancer also increases with the number of abortions the woman has undergone. The risk jumps from 2.3 to 4.92 in women who have had more than one abortion. It is thought that the unnatural disruptions in the woman's hormonal balances caused by the abortion, contributes to the increase risk for cervical cancer.

Teen abortion facts also report an increase in uterine perforations and cervical lacerations. It is estimated that 2-3% of all women who undergo an abortion experience uterine perforation. However, the injuries frequently go undiagnosed because it requires a laparoscopic visualization to find the perforations. Uterine perforations can result in complications during pregnancy and/or other problems that may require a hysterectomy. Cervical lacerations that occur in about 1% of abortions can result in complications during pregnancy, premature birth, and/or the inability to conceive.

Teen abortion facts also report a ten to fifteen fold increase in the risk of placenta previa, a life-threatening complication during pregnancy that threatens the life of the mother as well as the infant she carries. In addition, abortion is regarded as increasing the risk of future etopic pregnancies, a life-threatening condition that can, in turn, decrease a women's fertility.

Other teen abortion facts about the risks of abortion include such complications as pelvic inflammatory disease, excessive bleeding, infection, convulsions, endotoxic shock, fever, hemorrhage, chronic abdominal pain, vomiting, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

All in all, teen abortion facts report that teens are at a much higher risk for these life-threatening complications and long-term reproductive problems.

Learn about Teen Abortion

Abortion Statistics

More than half of abortions are obtained by women under 25 years of age. In fact, 35 percent of pregnant teenagers have an abortion, according to the National Abortion Federation. The Guttmacher Institute reports that in 2006, there were 200,420 abortions among teenagers, and the majority of these teenagers are ages 15 to 19 years

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/88415-teen-abortion/#ixzz13g4wexwO

  • Teens are 6 times more likely to attempt suicide if they have had an abortion in the last six months than are teens who have not had an abortion.
  • Teens who abort are up to 4 times more likely to commit suicide than adults who abort, and a history of abortion is likely to be associated with adolescent suicidal thinking.
  • Teens who abort are more likely to develop psychological problems, and are nearly three times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals than teens in general.
  • Teens who abort are twice as likely as their peers to abuse alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine.
  • Teens are more likely to abort because of pressure from there parents or partner, more likely to report being misinformed in pre-abortion counseling, and more likely to have greater difficulty coping after abortion

Teen pregnancy choices

Teens who decide to carry through with their pregnancies have further choices and arrangements to consider. Will they keep the baby or put it up for adoption? How will the baby be looked after? How will it be supported? How will their own education be completed? What role will the baby’s father play in all this? Should they get married?

(1) What is an adolescent's age? It is somewhere between 10 and 19 years. Getting pregnant at this age can be life-threatening. Mortality rates are four times higher for a pregnant teenager in the age bracket of 15 to 19, than for women aged between 25 and 29 years. The unborn child is at increased risk too. For girls falling into the age bracket of 10 to 14, it is even worse. Should they have live births, the infant is likely to die soon or face serious health challenges.
(2) Teenage pregnancy makes it difficult for the girl to continue with her education. The drop-out rate is therefore pretty high. Even if they come from similar backgrounds, 61% of adolescents wait till the age of 20 to 21 to have babies and therefore complete high school. In contrast are those girls who give birth to children before they have completed 18 years of age; only 41% become high school graduates.
(3) Even after giving birth, the young mother finds it difficult to keep up with her peers where academic performance is concerned. She is forced to repeat classes and exhibits poor scoring in standardized tests. Ultimately, she may never graduate at all.
(4) Finding a regular source of income becomes difficult as every job position demands certain skills which are markedly lacking because of not having a proper education.
(5) The only alternative left after a teenage pregnancy is to take public assistance, that is, go on welfare. Most of these teens are unmarried and over 75% of them ask for support within five years of becoming mothers. Some researchers feel that poverty-ridden teenagers welcome pregnancy so that they can get financial support from the child's father; this is supposed to be a survival mechanism to escape hopeless poverty.
(6) Children born to such young parents often display retarded psycho-social development and malnutritional effects. This is because a teenage mother lacks parenting skills. She fails to understand what her child needs and does not realize the importance of smiling, touching or verbally communicating with her child. Anger against society is taken out on the child and physical abuse is possible.
(7) When grown up, the young ones of these 'teen mothers' exhibit behavioral tendencies which are deemed socially unacceptable. This is in fact the worst effect of a teenage pregnancy. The son can become a criminal offender and land up in prison - the rate is three times more for these boys than normal criminals. The daughter may follow in the footsteps of her mother and become a victim of teenage pregnancy herself.

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Less than 1% of unplanned teen pregnancies result in adoption. Most families raise their children, even when unplanned. Unplanned pregnancies does not = unwanted or unloved children!
Teen pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences a young person might ever face when it interrupts school or other plans. It can create an emotional crisis resulting in feelings of shame and fear, and it may appear that you will crumble under pressures in your environment. The stress of how you are going to break this news to your parents might be even greater, and finding help may seem an impossible task.
If you are pregnant and not sure that you want to keep the baby, you might be thinking about adoption. Pregnancy causes many changes, both physical and emotional. It can be a very confusing time for a woman, even in the best of circumstances.
The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world. The Center for Disease control says that one-third of girls get pregnant before the age of 20. Teenpregnancy.org, a site managed by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, states that there are "750,000 teen pregnancies annually. Eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended and 81 percent are to unmarried teens."
The Public Health Agency of Canada states that 25 percent of young women who have intercourse without using a method of birth control will become pregnant within one month.
Every year almost one million teenage girls become pregnant. More than half of them are 17 years old or younger when they have their first pregnancy. Approximately one-third of the girls who get pregnant carry their pregnancies to term and keep their babies. About another third have abortions, and the other third has spontaneous miscarriages.
Only about five percent of pregnant girls put their babies up for adoption. Approximately 40 percent of young women become pregnant before they reach 20 years old. The United States of America has double the adolescent pregnancy and birth rates of any other industrialized country. The poorer the young woman, the more likely she will become a mother. Less than one-third of teens who have babies before the age of 18 finish high school. Almost half of all teen mothers end up on welfare. Less than 25 percent of births to teens occur within wedlock. The birth rate for teens has been declining in recent years, especially among African American girls (this is good news).

Most public agencies place only children with special needs, which is defined differently in each state. Up-front fees and expenses range form zero to $2,500, including travel and attorney's fees. Most states, under a federal match program, will reimburse non-recurring adoption expenses up to a set limit (which cannot exceed $2,000). Federal and state adoption subsidies may be available for the ongoing care of children with special physical, mental, or emotional needs; the adoption subsidy agreement must be negotiated and signed before the child's adoption is finalized. However, there is a process whereby adoption subsidy can be applied for or renegotiated after finalization, but only under certain conditions.
Adoptive families who pursue independent adoptions report spending $8,000 to $30,000 and more depending on several factors. Independent adoptions are now allowed in most states, but advertising in newspapers, magazines, etc. seeking birth parents is not allowed in all states. Costs for advertising for birth parents can be in the $5,000 range. Adoptive parents may find that they pay birth parent expenses for birth parents who then change their mind and that money is not reimbursed. Some couples have had more than one arrangement with a birth parent fall through. Some states require that adoptive parents pay for separate legal representation for birth parents, in addition to their own legal representation. If the child has medical difficulties, birth expenses can be much higher.
Licensed private agencies charge fees ranging from $4,000 to $30,000, which includes the costs for birth parent counseling, adoptive parent home study and preparation, child's birth expenses, post-placement supervision until the adoption is finalized, and a portion of agency costs for overhead and operating expenses. Some agencies have sliding fee scales based on the family income over the preceding one or more taxable years. Families who locate their own birth parent and find an agency which will provide designated or identified adoption services (such as birth parent counseling and home study and supervision services only) often find this option is less costly.
In the 1990s, there are approximately 120,000 adoptions of children each year. This number has remained fairly constant in the 1990s, and is still relatively proportionate to population size in the U.S. (Flango and Flango, 1994)
The estimated total number of adoptions has ranged from a low of 50,000 in 1944 to a high of 175,000 in 1970. (Maza, 1994) The number of adoptions by unrelated petitioners declined from a high of 89,200 in 1970 to 47,700 in 1975, while the number of adoptions by related petitioners remained constant between 81,000 and 89,000 during this period. (Maza, 1984)
The National Center for State Courts, Court Statistics Project, has released detailed adoption statistics for the decade 1985 to 1995, and the years 1988 to 1997. The statistics are available for 29 states only and only include data collected from State courts, and are presented in these areas:
  1. Public:
Children in the public child welfare system are placed in permanent homes by public, government-operated agencies, or by private agencies contracted by a public agency to place waiting children. In 1992, 15.5% of adoptions (19,753) were public agency adoptions. (Flango and Flango, 1994)
Between 1951 and 1975 the percentage of adoptive placements by public agencies more than doubled from 18% in 1951 to 38% in 1975 (Maza, 1984), and has since fallen to approximately 15% to 20% of all adoptions. (Flango and Flango, 1994)
  1. Private:
In a private agency adoption, children are placed in non-relative homes through the services of a non-profit or for-profit agency which may be licensed by the State in which it operates. In an independent or non-agency adoption, children are placed in non-relative homes directly by the birthparents or through the services of one of the following: a licensed or unlicensed facilitator, certified medical doctor, member of the clergy, or attorney. There were 47,627 adoptions (37.5%) of this type in 1992. (Flango and Flango, 1994)
The highest percentage of adoptions completed by private agencies was 45% in 1970. Between 1951 and 1975, the percentage of adoptive placements not made under agency auspices declined substantially from 53% of all adoptions in 1951 to 23% of all adoptions in 1975. The lowest percentage was in 1971 and 1972 when independent adoptions constituted only 21% of all reported adoptions. (Maza, 1984)
  1. Kinship:
Children are placed in relatives' homes, with or without the services of a public agency.
  1. Stepparent:
Children are adopted by the spouse of one birth parent.
Of adoptions in 1992, the plurality (53,525, or 42%) were either kinship or stepparent adoptions. (Flango and Flango, 1994)
The proportion of adoptions by related individuals steadily increased from 1944 to 1975 until they constituted over 60% of all adoptions. Since almost all adoptions by related petitioners are handled independently, it is likely that by the 1970's a substantial proportion of independent adoptions were by related petitioners. (Maza, 1984) The late 1980s and 1990s showed dramatic increases in kinship placements in public agency adoptions as children entering foster care were placed in the homes of relatives, and these placements were finalized as kinship adoptions.
  1. Transracial:
Children are placed with an adoptive family of another race. While these placements may be made by either a public or private agency, or may be independent, the term usually refers to the adoption of a child through the public child welfare system. The most recent estimates, which include intercountry adoptions, found that 8% of adoptions were transracial. (Stolley, 1993)
  1. Intercountry/International:
Children who are citizens of a foreign nation are adopted by U.S. families and brought to the United States. This area of adoption has been practiced since the 1950's, but has shown a dramatic increased in the past decade. In 1992, there were 6,536(5%)international adoptees brought to the United States; in 1997, that number increased to 13,620. (United States Department of State)
States with the highest number of adoptions are states with greater populations. In 1992, California lead with 14,722 adoptions. New York was second with 9,570, Texas third with 8,235, Florida fourth with 6,839, and Illinois fifth with 6,599 adoptions. (Flango and Flango, 1994)
It is estimated that about 1 million children in the United States live with adoptive parents, and that between 2% to 4% of American families include an adopted child. (Stolley, 1993)
The majority of Americans are personally affected by adoption. In 1997, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute conducted a benchmark survey of 1,554 adults to examine public attitudes toward the institution of adoption and members of the adoption triad. The survey found that 6 in 10 Americans have had personal experience with adoption, meaning that they themselves, a family member, or a close friend was adopted, had adopted a child, or had placed a child for adoption. (Evan B. Donaldson Institute, 1997)
There are no statistics or estimates of the number of adults adopted each year.

Fully Disclosed
Confidential: Minimal information is shared between adoptive and birth family members and is never transmitted directly; any exchange of information typically stops with the adoptive placement of shortly thereafter.
Mediated: Non-identifying information is shared between parties through adoption agency personnel, who serve as go-betweens; sharing could include exchange of pictures, letters, gifts, or infrequent meetings at which full identifying information is not revealed.
Fully disclosed: Involves full disclosure of identifying information between adoptive and birth families; may involve direct meetings in each others' homes or in public places, phone calls, letters, and sometimes contact with the extended family.

The origin of statutory requirements in the early 20th century, that adoption be confidential and that birth certificates and adoption records be sealed, began with early laws such as the Minnesota Act of 1917. By the early 1950s almost every state had amended its adoption statues to create complete anonymity for the birth parents. Beginning in 1974, research demonstrates that some of the psychological problems observed in adolescent and adult adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents appeared to be directly related to the secrecy, anonymity, and sealed records of adoption. Open adoption became increasingly common in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s as research and practice began to promote the principles of open adoption.
  • Research to date indicates that birthmothers commonly view open adoption positively. (Berry, 1993)
  • In Belba's 1987 study, measuring minimum, moderate, and maximum contact with birthmothers of 12 adoptive couples, adoptive parents reported that they appreciated having contact with birthmothers to answer questions as they arose. (Berry, 1993)
  • Not all outcomes, however, have been positive. In a 1990 mailed survey of 59 relinquishing birthmothers, 18 in open adoption and 41 in confidential adoptions, Blanton and Deschner found that birthmothers in open adoptions were significantly more troubled than those in closed adoptions in the areas of social isolation, sleep complaints, physical symptoms, despair and dependency. ("Openness" was defined as meeting at placement.) (Berry, 1993)
  • In a 1993 study, Gross interviewed 32 adoptive parents and 16 birthmothers, and surveyed 75 adoptive parents from a private agency. Gross found that 72% of adoptive parents were "very satisfied" with contact with birth mothers, 19% were "basically satisfied" but had some reservations; 2 families were dissatisfied and had ceased contact. Fifteen of the sixteen birthmothers were satisfied with contact. In the questionnaire sample, a relationship was found between more frequent contact and a higher degree of satisfaction with the placement. (Grotevant and McRoy, 1998)
The following statistics are based on the Grotevant and McRoy longitudinal study on open adoption. Between 1987-1992, information was collected from 190 adoptive families and 169 birthmothers experiencing varying levels of openness in their adoptions.
The data from the study, a snapshot of families taken 4 to 12 years after the adoptive placement, revealed:
  • Fears that birth parents would attempt to reclaim their children or otherwise intrude on adoptive families' lives are not apparent in families with fully disclosed adoptions.
  • Openness does not interfere with adoptive parents' emerging sense of entitlement to parenthood.
  • Having a fully disclosed adoption does not guarantee successful grief resolution, as is evidenced by the broad range of grief resolution ratings among birthmothers across all adoption arrangements in this study.
In the same study, thirty-one adoption agencies were also interviewed on their practice toward the range of openness. The agencies were measured in two time intervals: Time 1 was between 1987 and 1989 and Time 2 was 1993.
  • Only 11 of the original 31 agencies (35%) offered fully disclosed adoption options as part of their standard practice at Time 1. Four to five years later, 22 of the remaining 29 agencies (76%) offered full disclosed adoptions.
  • By 1993, 2/3 of the agencies offered the continuum of openness in adoption, from confidential to fully disclosed. In 1987, most agencies offered only confidential and mediated adoptions.
  • 2/3 of the fully disclosed adoptions in this sample did not start as fully disclosed: 5% began as mediated and 14% began as confidential
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