A far-reaching event
Becoming a mother is a profound event in any woman's life. Pregnancy at a young age is intense and also raises many questions, both for the teenager and those around her.
If you discover that you are pregnant, and it was unplanned, it is normal to experience different feelings and conflicting thoughts. For example, you may be confused, anxious and happy at the same time, as well as doubt whether you will be able to combine parenting with your studies and other dreams.
There are several choices and it is important that you make a choice that you fully support.
Keeping the child
You can carry the pregnancy to term and raise your child on your own, or, if you have a partner, with them too, if they want to be involved, and you want them to be involved. In addition to friends and relatives, there are many professionals who can support you with this. For example, Kraamhulp (Maternity Care) offers household support in the first weeks after you give birth, and you can go to Huizen van het Kind (Houses Of the Child) with all your questions about your growing baby.
You can also get help from foster care. Your child will then go to a foster home for certain periods of time. This way you slowly grow into your role as a mum.
You can carry the pregnancy to term and give the child up for adoption. You then permanently choose to have your child raised by other parents. You lose your legal rights and duties as a parent.
You can choose to have the pregnancy terminated by abortion. You can do this up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. That corresponds to 14 weeks if you start counting from the first day of your last period. If you have been pregnant longer than that, you can still go abroad, such as the Netherlands, until 20 weeks.
Abortions can only be carried out in approved centres. An abortion is performed with vacuum aspiration or the abortion pill. Both methods have significant advantages and disadvantages. It is best to discuss these with your doctor.