Dear Barb – Student Must Consider Parenthood Options

Dear Barb:

I am an 18-year-old college student and I have just learned I am pregnant. My boyfriend is also 18 years old and in college. He is very supportive, but we both realize we are not ready for marriage, let alone parenthood. My parents feel I should have the baby and put it up for adoption. My boyfriend feels I should consider abortion. I don’t know what to do. I just know we are not in a position to raise a child at this point in our lives. What should I do?


Hi, Kim. As you know, there is no easy answer to your situation. You and your boyfriend have to carefully weigh all your options.

If you choose to have the baby and give it up for adoption the pregnancy will present a considerable disruption to your life. You may have to take leave from school and you will have to deal with questions from others, who may or may not have an opinion about your decision. Also, as your pregnancy progresses and you feel the life within you, you may question whether you are really able to give this baby up for adoption. When the day comes to say goodbye to your baby it will be extremely difficult for both you and your boyfriend as well as other family members.

On the other hand, if you decide to have an abortion you will have a completely different set of problems. You will have minimal disruption to your life in terms of your school year, as it will continue uninterrupted for the most part. Whom you choose to tell of your decision will be entirely up to you. However, as you probably know there are a lot of strong feelings associated with abortion. Right-to-life groups are constantly spreading the word that abortion is wrong. Before making a decision to get an abortion I would suggest you discuss it with a professional counsellor. As well, if you have strong religious ties discuss your decision with one of your faith leaders, such as your minister or pastor.

If you make the choice to give your baby up for adoption you may be able to find some comfort in the fact that you have brought joy to someone who was not able to have children of their own. However, you will have to live with the knowledge that you have a child somewhere in this world. For the rest of your life you will remember their birthday and wonder how they are doing. One day you may have an opportunity to meet this child.

If you choose abortion you have to make peace within yourself and believe that you are making the best decision for all concerned.

It is a difficult situation and I don’t know that I have been able to make it any easier for you. My advice is always to follow your heart. Good luck, Kim.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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