I read an article recently proposing something as a solution for teen pregnancy. What do you think that solution was? If you were to propose a solution for teen pregnancy, what would you propose?
Abstinence? Surely that would prevent teen pregnancy. If you don't have sex, you can't get pregnant. Nope, that's not what this article proposes.
Birth control? That makes sense -- access to birth control for teens would surely solve (or at least reduce) the teen pregnancy problem. Nope, that's not the proposal.
OK, so if the solution to teen pregnancy isn't about keeping teens from getting pregnant, either through abstinence or birth control, what else is there?
Abortion? A teen would no longer be pregnant after an abortion. Was that the proposed solution? Nope.
Birth? Again, after giving birth, a teen isn't pregnant any longer. Is that the solution to teen pregnancy? Nope, not the proposal.
So what else is there as a solution to teen pregnancy? How about "promoting adoption?" That's the title of the article in the Journal of Law and Family Studies, Promoting Adoption as a Solution to Teen Pregnancy.
Seriously? How does adoption "solve" teen pregnancy? It doesn't prevent one teen from having sex. It doesn't prevent one teen from getting pregnant. Now, if you identify the problem as teen PARENTING, then proposing adoption as the solution is a colorable argument (I'll blog later about whether teen parenting is a problem, but this post at Adoption Critique makes a compelling argument that it isn't as bad as we sometimes hear). Abortion is then also a solution since it will not result in a teen parenting. Now, some argue that availability of abortion encourages teen sex because there's then a way to avoid the consequences of that sex, but that argument would apply to the availability of adoption placement since it would allow teens to avoid the consequence -- teen parenting. . . .
But don't we really think the solution for teen pregnancy is to prevent teens from becoming pregnant in the first place? We might disagree about how best to do that -- that whole abstinence v. birth control debate -- but we generally think avoiding teen pregnancy is a good thing.
Now, this isn't the only problem with this article (like the author doesn't reveal he's an adoptive parent until halfway through the article and he assumes, without discussion, that the only rational decision for a pregnant teen is adoption placement), but I'll reserve that for another post!
(BTW, this is all part of an article I'm working on about minors consenting to adoption of their children, something I also blogged about here and here.)