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She’s 16 and wants a baby. Now.

Not a great plan, says our elder. Read on for his thorough and thoughtful analysis on what it takes to raise a child at such a young age.

Dear EWC:

I am 16. I know it’s kind of crazy to be asking this but I want a kid and so does my boyfriend, but we have some questions. How long does it take for a teen to get pregnant? I have a cyst right outside my ovary but I don’t think that it causes anything on the topic of infertility. Plus, we have been trying for the past two months, having sex during my fertile window (unprotected sex).

Salvador replies:

I highly recommend you do not get pregnant at this stage of your life.

First, I ask what is your boyfriend’s age? Is he a minor like you are or over 18? If he is over 18, depending of the state where you live, he may be accused of statutory rape. If he is found guilty, he can be in the national register for life besides any possible jail time he may have to serve. If both of you are minors, still, the law may apply in some ways.

Another point I must mention, are your parents and his parents aware that you are trying to have a baby? If not, why not? If so, do both of you have their support?

Why do you want to have a kid? Whatever the reason, have both of you made plans of how to take care of the baby? In other words, does he have a job? Have you planned where you will be living? If you want to have a baby, you have to be ready to support him or her, have a home, and be employed. If so, who is going to take care of the baby during the day? A day care center? If that is the case, have you inquired how much it will cost to take care of the baby? Also, the medical cost to have a baby is very expensive – the hospital costs and the prior doctor visits, and then the cost for the baby’s pediatrician. 

There are a lot of other things, but these items are the minimum I can think of. Now, after you do your research and add how much it will cost to meet those demands, how much will he or you or both have to earn to support the family. Do you think you are ready with the level of education you have?

Now, I cover another angle, the physical toll, on you mostly. Are you willingly and cheerfully ready to wake up in the middle of the night a few times to feed the baby or to help him or her to go back to sleep once he starts crying? If you get a job, do you think you will be able to perform your duties with very little sleep? Try this. Set your clock to ring about 4 times during the night and stay up for about 20 minutes each time. See how you will feel during the day. Try that for a week and see how you feel about it.

Another thing. If you plan to stay at home, do you have cooking experience to feed the baby, yourself, and your boyfriend when he gets home from work? Unless he likes to cook, he will probably expect a dish on the table after a day’s away from home. But, if both of you work, how will both of you share the responsibilities after work. The same if he is the only one working. You have to sit down and have a plan.

I go back to your parents now. Some parents are willing to help their newlywed children; others are not. You want to be an adult; you are on your own. As an adult, you are expected to be self-sufficient.

My advice? Wait until you are ready for all the responsibilities required to support a family in every sense, emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially.

Look beyond the pleasure it takes to make a baby, please.

If you are set on having a baby despite what I wrote, all I can say is that you may have to talk to a doctor to find out why you do not have a baby yet. He or she is the expert on fertility.

Please, take heed of the advice I provided. Sit down with your boyfriend and have a plan if you both of you want to spend your lives together.

Dating/Relationship 

#469725

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