Quick disclaimer: this is a rant. Please don't be offended. If you disagree with me, I'd love to hear why, just please be respectful.
Okay. So I have a friend who is 19 years old. She is currently pregnant with her boyfriend's child. They have only been together about a year and a half and have decided to keep the baby and raise it. As far as I know, they have no plans to get married. She recently went public with the news on Facebook. There were upwards of thirty comments saying something along the lines of "so happy for you! You'll be a great mom." I, on the other hand, read the post and thought "you're ruining your life." Thus, this rant was born.
Teen pregnancy has become more and more socially acceptable in the last decade, but especially in the last few years. I don't understand this at all. At 19, it is almost impossible to support a child, especially when you are unmarried, uneducated, and essentially still dependent on your parents. Therefore, if you decide to keep the baby and raise it, you are most likely unable to give that child all of the opportunities they deserve. In addition, you are ruining your own life and will never be able to get a leg up in the future. You and your child will probably be poor forever, which typically creates a destructive environment for the child, sparking a vicious cycle.
It is now 2013. In America, I believe that it is more socially acceptable to be a teen mom than it is to be gay. That offends me. Why is it that being gay is considered a "lifestyle choice", but being a teen mom is a normal part of life?
As a society, we appear to be moving away from traditional marriage. Unmarried couples living together has become common, even after being together for decades. After being together for so long, why wouldn't you get married? Society no longer values marriage. It is now seen as an option, rather than a requirement for life together.
This leads to the acceptance of teen moms and the downfall of adoption. People seem to believe that there are only two options for pregnancy out of wedlock: abortion or keeping the child as your own. There's a third, seemingly forgotten, option: adoption. If a child is given up for adoption, they will most likely have a much better life than any teen parents could possibly provide. However, adoption is an extremely selfless choice, and I believe our society has become too selfish to consider it. That's dissappointing.
Instead of adoption, however, people seem to believe that it's okay to force the brunt of the child raising labor on their parents. Grandparents, unable to say no, end up paying for their children's mistakes. This is unfair to all involved. Consequences should not be able to be dodged. If you make a poor choice, be prepared to deal with the fallout.
Anyway, that's my 2 (or 22) cents. Whether you agree or disagree, I hope you enjoyed reading.