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What are some challenges for teen parents in Texas?

Last week, we discussed how teenagers who have a child and need to go through the family court system regarding child custody and child support need to have a next friend. That post might have some of our Texas readers wanting to know more about teen pregnancy and how related issues can affect the teen parents.

How common is teen pregnancy?

Almost 275,000 babies were born in 2013 to girls who were 15 to 19 years old. That number, however, is lower than in previous years. The decline started in the early 1990s. It was at a historic low in 2012 and even lower in 2013. While that is good news, the United States still has a higher teen birth rate than many developed countries.

What are some challenges for teen parents?

Teen parents might have to rely on public assistance, including public health care. It is also possible that the teen will go through the criminal justice system or that foster care will have to be involved. These teen parents are more likely to be poor when they reach adulthood. These teen girls aren't as likely as their peers to finish high school.

Some teen mothers might find it necessary to seek child support payments from the child's father. Some teen fathers might have to seek custody of their child. In both of these cases, the family court system can help. Learning your rights regarding the baby and learning about how teen parents need to go about seeking the assistance they need can help as you go through the process of giving your baby the best life possible.

Source: Office of Adolescent Health, "Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing" Dec. 21, 2014

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