About 376,000 unmarried teenagers gave birth in 1997, according to figures provided by the National Center for Health Statistics. An estimated 5% of teenage mothers place their infants for adoption.
About one-third of all births to teenagers are to married teenagers, and consequently, the children from these births are often planned and can be considered socially beneficial. According to a report on "Wanted and Unwanted Childbearing" by the National Center for Health Statistics, married teenage women in 1982 had the highest rate of wanted births of all ages of mothers: 95%.
In considering wanted versus unwanted births among unwed teenagers, the National Center for Health Statistics found 24.4% stated they had not wanted a child at the time of conception. (The highest rate reported was the rate for black teenage girls-31.8%.)
Studies of Teenage Mothers
One study revealed that some teenagers purposely became pregnant, which seems likely given the fact that so many teenagers have reported that the child was wanted at conception. Allan F. Abramse, Peter A. Morrison and Linda J. Waite reported their findings.
The researchers asked high school sophomores if they would consider having a child out of wedlock. The researchers found 41% of the black girls, 29% of the Hispanic respondents and 23% of the non-Hispanic whites said they would consider bearing a child while single. They followed up the students two years later and found that many of the girls who had said they would consider having a child did in fact have a child.
Find more information on teenage parents
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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