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Providing sexual services to a variety of individuals for pay; illegal in every state except Nevada.

Few prostitutes place their children for adoption, probably because most prostitutes are aware of methods of birth control; however, with the increasing rate of drug addiction, even well-informed prostitutes may fail to use birth control and become pregnant. If an abortion is not obtained within the first two trimesters, it becomes more difficult to obtain an abortion in some states, and a prostitute may opt to place the child for adoption.

Because of the high risk of AIDS and the high probability of drug use among prostitutes, few adopting parents are willing to adopt the child of a prostitute, and agencies may consider such a child to fit into the category of a child with SPECIAL NEEDS.

If a child born to a prostitute is ultimately adopted, it is likely the termination of parental rights by the state occurred after some time frame during which the child had been removed from the home and placed in foster care. In a study of children born to teenage prostitutes, 38 of 55 infants had been placed in the protective custody of the state with most of the babies being referred to protective services either prior to the child's birth or at the time of delivery. Unfortunately, according to the researchers, in many of the cases the infant was placed in the home of the prostitute's mother, "in whose home the girl may still be living while prostituting."

Motherhood did not change the girls' lifestyles. According to the researchers, "These young women usually continue with prostitution, drug involvement and a destructive lifestyle. Many return to the streets within days of delivery."

Many adopted persons who fantasize about their birthmothers imagine the birthmother at two ends of the spectrum: either a prostitute or a wealthy socialite. The reality is usually neither: most are ordinary girls or women who became pregnant as the result of a long-term relationship. (See also DRUG ABUSE; FANTASIES OF ADOPTED CHILDREN; AIDS.)

Robert W. Deisher, M.D., James A. Farrow, M.D., Kerry Hope, M.S.W., and Christina Litchfield, R.N., B.S.N., "The Pregnant Adolescent Prostitute," American Journal of Diseases of Children 143 (October 1989): 1162-1165.

Find more information on prostitution

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