If you’re unexpectedly pregnant before you have had the chance to finish high school, you may feel overwhelmed and discouraged about how you might be able to continue going to school while also juggling the demands of pregnancy and deciding whether to place your baby for adoption.
Finishing high school should be a high priority because it will help set you on the path of other educational pursuits and better job opportunities. If you’re uncertain about how you might approach your education during pregnancy, here are some considerations to help you know what you can do.
Speak With Your High School Counselor
As soon as you have discovered your pregnancy, you should make an appointment to meet with your high school guidance counselor. You can explain your decisions and desires for yourself and your baby, and you can also learn about the support your school offers for teen mothers.
If you are in public school, you cannot be kicked out or expelled for becoming pregnant. Your school is legally obliged to help you continue your education as far as their resources will allow. Your parents are also not legally permitted to keep you from going to school if it is your desire to go. If your family is encouraging you to drop out, get direction from your guidance counselor.
You might be able to rearrange your schedule or take fewer classes. Your counselor can also let your teachers know what you are facing so they can implement changes to test dates or homework assignments as necessary.
Consider Alternative Education Methods
Some young women struggle with the idea of continuing to go to public school when they are pregnant. You may feel continually sick and tired, or you may have difficulty concentrating. Some women need to be on bed rest if the pregnancy require extra care.
You might also wish for privacy, especially if you have friends who will ask you questions before and after the baby is born. Recovery from delivery can also take several weeks, which can be hard for you if you give birth during the school year.
Finally, adoption may be the right choice for you, but you may struggle with concentrating on schoolwork directly after placing your baby, simply because it is an emotional time. If you feel like attending high school regularly will be problematic for you, you still have options. Consider:
Online classes. Most public school districts have home study class options. You can usually do these at your own pace, so taking a day off because you’re feeling too sick is easy. You can also continue to work on classes if you’re on bed rest or recovering.
Community classes. If you have already dropped out of your high school, you can look for community education resources. Some community centers will offer adult education courses or courses especially for young mothers who have not finished high school.
Community college. Some community colleges will offer “gap” courses to help you get the GED prerequisites to attending college.
Alternative methods of achieving your education are just as valid as attending public school. Make a plan for what you’d like to do with your future. After getting your basic diploma, you might take some simple certification classes to help you get a good job in your community.
Get Outside Support
Many young women end up dropping out of high school because they feel they don’t have the support necessary to succeed. In low-income schools where many young women need assistance, it’s easier to fall through the cracks than to stay on the course. It helps to have outside support to encourage you, especially when you are making decisions about adoption while also managing your pregnancy.
There are many sources for support even if you don’t have a parent at home to help you. Consider leaning on:
Another relative. An aunt, cousin, or even sibling can help you on days when you feel overwhelmed.
Your adoption social worker. When going through an agency to place your baby for adoption, you have access to a social worker who can help you navigate the legal and emotional challenges of finding the right family for your baby.
A counselor. Pregnancy counseling may be provided by your adoption agency. A standing appointment can help you to work through personal barriers that might be preventing you from finishing your education.
A teacher. If you have a school teacher who is willing to provide counsel and advice, you’ll have a better chance of completing your education.
If you don’t have adult you feel you can trust, consider reaching out to community support services. You could attend a group session for other young moms who are placing their babies for adoption. The camaraderie of those facing similar challenges can be healing.
For more information on adoption and options for young moms, contact us at A Child’s Dream.