Originally created 02/13/01

Xtreme advice: Trapping guy with pregnancy at 15, or any age, is bad idea



THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM

My boyfriend lives at Fort Gordon, and this year or his senior year his family is planning to move. By then, he'd be 19 and able to support himself and live alone. I love him, and I don't want him to leave. I have strong feelings for him, and we feel that we're ready to bring a child into this world. If I do get pregnant, there is no way he could leave me, and I won't be losing someone I love. What should I do? - 15-year-old Augusta girl

Here's what you had to say:

- Girl, let me tell you, if you think you're going to get pregnant just to hold him here, that's the worst thing you can do. That's when you really will lose him because no baby will hold a man.

- At 15, you have no idea what love is or whom you should be with. Do not bring a child into the world. You'll lose your teen-age years and so much life has to offer. And don't be surprised - men can leave you when you have their child. So wise up. Wait. If you're meant to be together, he'll come back.

- If this boy really loves you and you love him, his moving to Texas would not change anything. A baby is just going to tie you down and cause trouble for you and your family. Wait until you're a little older to have a kid. I should know, I have a kid, and her daddy's done nothing for her.

- One thing you shouldn't do is try to get pregnant so he'll stay. But what you should do is try talking to his parents and him about it, and see what happens.

- Support himself how, when he's 19? With what? At that age, with a high school education, with a bottom income level - which is what it would be - and chances are at that level forever. You would probably rent a house or apartment in a low-income neighborhood. If that's what you want out of life from now on, make your decision based on that. And when did getting pregnant ever stop a man from leaving a woman, married or otherwise? Adding a wife and baby to all the other pressures may drive a 19-year-old or anyone else off. And then, like other young girls, it means going back home to Mommy and Dad, and you're left holding the whole thing.

- Fifteen and 19? That's statutory rape. What are your parents going to think, little girl? What are you going to tell them? "Sorry Mom, I just woke up one morning, and I was pregnant?" That won't work.

- You're 15 years old, and you don't need a baby. If the only way your boyfriend will stay with you is if you get pregnant, then he really doesn't love you.

- I also had strong feelings for someone once and was in a similar situation, but just because you get pregnant doesn't mean he can't leave you. He can leave you. You need to wait until you're both in stable lifestyles and can support a child, and you need to think with your head, not your heart. Remember, no matter what you feel today, you're 15. And your feelings can change in a heartbeat.

- No. 1, he's too old for you. You are 15, and he's 18 years old. No. 2, you have to get on with your life and let him go. If you love him so much, don't have the baby, wait until you get a certain age to do that. What you should do is not have his baby but stay together with him if he's old enough to live by himself.

- You have no idea the responsibilities that come with a child. You need to stop and realize what you're doing. Why don't you first get out of school or go to college and get a job before you think about having a kid?

- You have nothing to worry about - if it's true love, then he's going to be there no matter where he goes. A child isn't something you bring to make him stay with you. If it's true love, he's going to be there, and you have the rest of your lives to have that child. Put it off and live your life while you're young.

- First of all, I think 15 years old is too young to have a child. Second of all, you don't need to get pregnant to keep someone you love from moving away from you. I think you should think about what you're doing. Sit down and talk to your boyfriend, wait on having a child, maybe get a place together and see how you're going to react together before you try to bring a child into this world.

Xtreme reporter Alisa DeMao says:

First of all, you need to be aware that your boyfriend would be guilty of statutory rape. Having sex with anyone younger than 16 is a crime in Georgia - even if you agree to it - and he could face up to 20 years in jail. By creating indisputable evidence in the form of a pregnancy, you could make him vulnerable to prosecution. The complaint to the police doesn't have to come from you.

There also are health risks in getting pregnant as a teen, both for you and for the baby, points out Donna Scott, the adolescent health and youth development coordinator at the Richmond County Health Department. Your body is still growing and changing, which means you could have complications, and there's a big risk your baby could be born too soon or too small. And you already have enough demands on your time - dealing with a child could interfere with school or bring down your grades, leaving you badly prepared to get a good job.

"Trying to deal with a relationship and a pregnancy at the same time is not worth losing your youth," Ms. Scott says. "She's too valuable to set herself up for the stress that's involved with that."

Teen couples rarely end up getting married or staying together, even after a baby. Trapping yourselves into that is a bad foundation for a relationship. As Ms. Scott points out, if he really loves you, he'll love you without a baby. If he is able to stay in Augusta, he can stay without being tied down by a child.

NEXT WEEK'S PROBLEM:

I think my cousin and my boyfriend have something going on because he always comes over asking for her and I don't know what to do. Should I confront her, or should I confront him?

Do you have any advice for this 17-year-old Augusta girl? Call the Advice Line at 442-4444 and press 8614. You'll have one minute to answer.

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