Teen Pregnancy Among Youth in Foster Care

Teen pregnancy and parenting are associated with a host of negative consequences for young parents, and the incidence of teen pregnancy tends to be higher for youth in foster care. In “Cause for Concern: Unwanted Pregnancy and Childbirth Among Adolescents in Foster Care,” an article published in Youth Law News, author Jennifer Friedman reports on a project initiated by the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) to examine the problem of unwanted pregnancy among youth in foster care.

The article presents an overview of recent research that documents the poor outcomes experienced by teen mothers, including lower levels of educational attainment, higher rates of single parenthood, and less stable employment than youth with similar backgrounds who postpone childbirth. The children of teen mothers also experience poorer outcomes. They are more likely to drop out of high school, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as teenagers, face unemployment as young adults, and end up in foster care. Research also shows that adolescents in foster care engage in sexual activity at an earlier age and have higher rates of pregnancy and births, both intended and unintended, than youth of the same age not in out-of-home care.

To read the full report, please click here.

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