Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pregnant Teen Has Regrets; Will Her Baby Be One Of Them?

Dear Tazi:

How I wish I could pick you up and give you a big snuggle and make everything right in my world again. I have a big problem, one I am not so certain that even a cat could solve. I am 15 years old and pregnant, and I do not know how to tell my parents or if they would even believe me when I tell them how it happened.

A few months ago my best friend and I got dressed up, put on make-up, and made ourselves look older in order to sneak into a frat party at one of the local colleges. We did it on a dare and because it felt sooooooo cool to be drinking with college students and to be escaping from my parents firm rule. They are fundamentalist Christians, and have tries to raise me to live by the same rules, but I hate it. Now I feel like I am being punished for breaking the rules.

I take full responsibility for going to the party, Tazi, but I did not have sex on purpose. I can't remember how much I had to drink, only that I got really dizzy after my last one and may have blacked out or passed out - I can't remember! I know I would not willingly have sex with a stranger, so I am thinking maybe someone at the party slipped something into one of my drinks - but I can't be 100% certain! My best friend wasn't with me at the time; all she remembers is seeing me sitting on a couch looking "out of it" and then finding me at the end of the night with my clothes pulled off.

Obviously, I am far too young to be a responsible Mom, but there is no way I could have an abortion, either, even if I believed in it. Sooner or later I am going to have to tell my parents - I just can't imagine how! I just wish this was all a bad dream.

Growing Problem

Dear Growing Problem:

You have my deepest sympathies for your plight. Your situation is a difficult one all around, and the sooner you work on setting things straight the sooner your life will start to make more sense. The first thing you need to do is tell your parents everything you have told me here - you can even print out this letter and tell them it is from you, if that is easier for you. The second thing you must do is report your sexual assault to your local authorities.

Normally, a few months after a sexual assault occurs is a few months late to collect evidence; however, your assailant left undeniable evidence that now grows inside of you. Regardless of whether the sex was consensual or not, at fifteen you are considered to be too young to give consent, so your assailant is guilty of statutory rape at the very least. If you provide the police with the time, date, and location of the party they may be able to track down the man who has fathered your child. Fraternities - especially those that are chapters of a national organization - have a reputation to protect, and will generally cooperate in exchange for keeping the house name of their organization out of the negative spotlight that is about to be shone upon it.

Your parents will be understandably upset, to put things mildly. As fundamentalist Christians, though, it is their avowed duty to practice the love that they preach. This means forgiving you of your sins (going behind their backs to a party qualifies as a sin) and offering you the emotional support you need to work through this difficult time. This child you carry is their grandchild, so they have a duel emotional stake in what is happening.

Since termination of your pregnancy is out of the question, this leaves you with two choices: putting the child up for adoption or raising the child yourself. There are several non-profit resources out there that would be willing to offer you assistance as you attempt to find the right path for you to follow. I would suggest that you start with the church that you and your family attend.

I realize this is a scary situation for you to be going through, but I want you to take a deep breath and think for a moment how your decision will affect you down the road. Can you picture your life ten years from now? Do you see raising your child as a daily part of it? Or do you see yourself content with the decision to offer him/her to a loving couple who are seeking to start a family? In the end, the final decision is yours to make; but I do hope that your family will be supportive of whatever you decide.

Extra snuggles and a purr,

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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