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Teenage Mothers

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Becoming a parent permanently and profoundly alters a teenager's life.
Most of the girls forget about their dreams of happy marriage, college is almost always out of the question, graduating High School becomes a goal most teenage moms don't achieve. Young girls having babies isn't new, as a matter of fact, teenage parenthood was higher in the 1950 then it is today, but things were different. Most of the girls were eighteen or nineteen and many of them already married. Only a few of single mothers actually kept their babies. Today many mothers are fifteen or sixteen years old. Some are even as young as twelve. Fathers contribute little or nothing to the care of the baby, therefore it's even harder for the mother. All of a sudden the girl is thrown into the world of responsibilities and duties, where the baby's needs come before her own. She is expected to balance her school or a job with the full time task of raising a baby. Her world is changed from her world of dates, parties, sleepovers and waiting for a Saturday so you can sleep late, to the world of doctor appointments, diapers, baby formulas, bills, and day care. Experts say that girls have babies from lack of self-esteem. "Too often, adolescent pregnancy is what happens to poor kids," says psychologist Judith
Musick. "It can be a symptom of having no better options." They need someone to love and someone to love them back. What's cuddlier and cuter than a baby is? A baby gives them something to look forward to and something that gives meaning to their life. Studies show that a lot of teenage mothers come from poverty and some of them don't know any better. There's definitely a lack of education but it doesn't have a direct relationship to race or ethnic background. A lot of teenage moms don't think that they have anything to lose by having a baby.
Communities and Governments have tried to help out teenage mothers but sometimes what they do just isn't enough. There is After-School Care for young adolescents and there are community learning centers. In 1984 about 8.7 million girls were living with a baby and without the father. Only 58% of those girls have been awarded child support. Of those who were supposed to get child support in 1983, only half received the amount due.
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