WHAT ARE MY CHOICES IF I AM PREGNANT?
You have two choices:
- have an abortion
- continue the pregnancy and give birth
If you choose to have the baby, you can:
- Raise the baby yourself
- Place the baby for adoption
- Place the baby in Legal Guardianship. *If you choose legal guardianship, it is a good idea to discuss this with your attorney.
CAN I HAVE AN ABORTION IF I AM UNDER 18?
Yes. California law gives you the same right to abortion as an adult woman.
- decide on your own to have an abortion or not
- make an appointment for an abortion on your own without your parents, caregivers, group home staff, attorney, social worker, or probation officer knowing or agreeing.
You do not need your parents’ or anyone else’s permission to get an abortion if you are under 18. It is also your choice whether to tell anyone if you do get an abortion.
If a doctor, caregiver, social worker or someone else tells you that you need your parents’ or anyone else’s permission to get an abortion, find a different doctor and call your lawyer.
HOW CAN I GET AN ABORTION?
Your regular health care provider may provide abortions for patients or may send you to another provider.
If you aren’t sure where to make an appointment, call one of the following three hotlines. They are all confidential and private:
- ACCESS Women’s Health hotline helps girls and women in California who want to talk about pregnancy options. If you decide you want an abortion, they can help you find a clinic. ACCESS may also help you get free childcare, transportation, or housing if you need to travel to another part of the state for the abortion. 1-800-376-4636.
- Backline’s Talkline, 1-888-493-0092
- The National Abortion Federation’s hotline also has counselors who can help you for free: 1-800-772-9100.
HOW CAN I PAY FOR AN ABORTION?
Medi-cal covers abortions. You can call your clinic directly to give you more information.
CAN I BE FORCED TO HAVE AN ABORTION?
No! No one, including your parents, caregivers, or your partner, can make this decision for you. It is never okay for you to be forced to get an abortion or be forced to stay pregnant.
It is completely up to you to decide whether you want to give birth or get an abortion. If someone is pressuring you to get (or not get) an abortion, tell your health care provider immediately.
If your doctor or another health care provider pressures you to get (or not get) an abortion, think about seeing a different provider and then contact a legal services agency near you or contact teenhealthrights.org. Find legal services near you.
IF I AM PREGNANT AND IN FOSTER CARE, CAN I KEEP MY BABY?
Yes, you can. The law says that what you decide to do is entirely your choice, even if you are a teen.
IF I AM IN FOSTER CARE, WILL MY BABY GO INTO FOSTER CARE?
Your baby will NOT go into foster care just because you or the baby’s other parent is in foster care. You are the parent and have all the rights and responsibilities for caring for your child. Learn more about having a baby while in foster care.
IF I AM IN FOSTER CARE, CAN MY CHILD STAY WITH ME?
Yes. Even if you are under 18 and in foster care, you can keep legal custody of your child. That means you can make all the important decisions for your child. No one can take your child from you just because you are under 18 or un foster care. But you must care for your child, just like any parent.
WHAT TYPE OF SUPPORT CAN I GET FOR MY BABY?
Teenparent.net has great information about places and resources you can take advantage of to make the system work for you and your child.
IS ADOPTION RIGHT FOR ME?
Maybe. If you do not want an abortion, but cannot or do not want to raise a child, adoption may be a good choice for you. Click here to learn more about adoption.
HOW CAN I GET HELP WITH PLACING MY BABY FOR ADOPTION?
You should talk to your court appointed attorney to make a plan. Learn more about adoption.
CAN I BE FORCED TO PLACE THE BABY FOR ADOPTION?
No! No one, not even your social worker, your parents or the baby’s other parent, can force you to place the baby for adoption. You have the right to keep your baby if you choose. If you do not want to place the baby for adoption, do not sign any papers without talking to a lawyer. If someone tries to force you to place the baby for adoption, you should tell your court appointed attorney.
CAN I PLACE MY BABY IN LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP?