Q:

What do I do if I am a foster child who is having a baby?

A:

A foster child who is pregnant and is under the age of 18 should first notify their caseworker and foster parents of the pregnancy. After this first step, there are many options available for pregnant foster children, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services lists several advocacy groups that focus specifically on pregnant teenagers who are in foster care.

Since a foster child is a ward of the state in which he or she resides, the caseworker is ultimately responsible for helping a pregnant foster child find the advocacy group and medical attention that she needs, although foster parents may provide emotional support. Whether or not a pregnant foster child remains in foster care during or after pregnancy is dependent on several factors, including her age at the time of the pregnancy.

Although a caseworker is responsible for helping to put a pregnant foster child in touch with the right people to help her explore her options, the caseworker should not be the sole individual consulted. Caseworkers may have pre-existing opinions based on the impact that the pregnancy that one of the children under their supervision may have on their jobs. For that reason, a neutral party who has no specific interest should be consulted for guidance and options.


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