8 Steps: How to Tell Your Parents You’re Pregnant: Teenage Pregnancy

Finding out that you are pregnant is one of the scariest things a teenage girl can ever go through. One of the biggest fears can be, how do I tell my parents I am pregnant?

To tell your parents you are pregnant, pick a time when everyone is relaxed. Have a conversation and know that the decision is ultimately up to you. Do your research before you tell your parents to know for yourself what your options are. You will then feel more empowered and in control.

One of the biggest fears as parents is finding out that their teenage daughter is pregnant. Parents want the best for their children, and teenage pregnancy is often thought to be associated with young mothers on welfare, fathers that are not around as they are too young for the responsibility of fatherhood, and family embarrassment.

Scared young girl holding a positive pregnancy test.

You may find Am I Too Young to Have a Baby? 8 Signs You’re Not Ready is a good article to help you decide how ready you are to have a baby.

Although the rate of teenage pregnancy is going down in recent years, it still happens. Now is not a time to preach to you about birth control, as you are already pregnant.

What you want and need right now is emotional, mental, and physical support to make the best decision you can for yourself and your unborn baby.

How in the world am I going to tell my parents I am pregnant, you are asking? You might be feeling very scared, confused, and alone.

Telling your parents you are pregnant might even feel scarier than learning you are pregnant. How will they react? Will they yell, or will they talk with you calmly and rationally about what you are feeling?

Regardless of your concerns, there is no avoiding that you will eventually have to tell your parents. The fact that you are here visiting this article means you are mature enough to do your research to help assist you in this inevitable process.

No one knows your parents better than you do. Only you can decide how, when, and where to tell them you are pregnant. We can, however, give you some tools to assist you in this process to empower you to feel more in control of what surely must feel like an out-of-control situation.

The most important piece of advice we can give you right now is to know that no matter what anyone else tells you to do about your pregnancy, the decision ultimately belongs to you. Parents do not have a legal right to force a teenage mother to give her baby up for adoption. Nor can they force her to terminate the pregnancy. We will discuss this in more detail below.


Our pregnancy educators are ready to help you figure out your chances of pregnancy, refer you to a free and confidential pregnancy testing center, or offer you a safe place to talk about your pregnancy options.

Courtesy of American Pregnancy Association

Decide How You Feel About Your Teen Pregnancy

There are so many things to consider when first learning you are pregnant. Naturally, as a teenager, you might first think of how your parents will react. We will discuss this further down in this article, but first, let’s focus only on you. How do you feel about your pregnancy news?

It is important to know that despite what your parents think or say, the decision you choose about how to handle your pregnancy belongs to you and no one else.

You will, of course, want to respectfully listen to what your parents have to say about your pregnancy news.

Even if you already know in the back of your mind what you want to do, being a good listener shows respect and maturity, which in turn may help ease the tension in the air during your upcoming inevitable conversation.

How do you feel about the idea of raising a child as a young teenager? Have you given any thought to how your life would drastically change once the baby is born? Where would you live?

How would you financially care for a child? What about your friends and your social life? Are you ready to give that all up to be at home 24/7 with a child?

Now granted, there are assistance programs that can help you financially and places where you can go if you choose to keep your baby against your parents’ wishes.

Do not let your parents make you think you will be homeless with no money to care for your child if you decide to keep your baby. The legal system will not let that happen to you, and you will not be homeless.

I remember when I was 16 and pregnant. I had such romantic thoughts in my head of how things would be. I did not think about the struggles I would have to go through or the sleepless nights up with a hungry baby every three hours.

All I cared about was the excitement of wondering what my baby would look like. I also recall fantasizing about a future with my boyfriend who got me pregnant. I ended up losing my baby, so I do not have the experience of raising a child at 16, but I do know how I was feeling when I was pregnant.

At such a young age, we still do not yet grasp the concept of needing a job to pay bills, barely having enough money for food, and no money left over for a cute outfit. And if there is money left over for a new outfit, we cannot go anywhere to show it off, as we need to stay home with our baby. The friends we once had are gone, as it is no fun to hang out at home with a friend and her baby.

We all mature at different rates. Maybe you already have a job. Perhaps you have no rosy illusions about how difficult raising a child is. Your parents may want you to think that if you have this baby, you will be throwing away your future and your dreams.

No one, I repeat no one can take away your dreams and your plans. Just because you are pregnant and receive state assistance (AKA: welfare) to help you, that does not automatically mean you will live off the welfare system for the rest of your life.

Some women do that and do not take advantage of free college and all the other programs to help young mothers get ahead. You can be one of the young women who still graduate college and no longer needs the state’s assistance.

Can you imagine how satisfying it would be to prove everyone wrong?

Make no mistake, raising a child is hard. Yet just because you are pregnant does not automatically mean you are never going to go to college and have the career you dream about.

There are state programs that help pregnant teenagers who wish to keep their babies. You can be provided a safe home for you and your baby, as well as continued education assistance.

Whatever you decide for yourself, make sure the decision is yours and yours only. Do not let yourself feel pressured into something that does not feel right for you or your baby. A sign of maturity that will surely impress your parents will be how much you have researched your situation and how well you know your options.

You can help educate your parents on your options and feel empowered knowing that even though you will respectfully listen to their opinions and concerns, you have the information and tools to proceed in a manner best for you and your baby. Of course, you want your parents’ support, but in the end, you do not need it.

Research Your Teen Pregnancy Options

As we have already discussed, there are programs in each state that are there specifically to help teenagers who suddenly find themselves pregnant. Now it is time to grab some paper and a pen or pencil and start doing your research.

If you wish to reach out to the state in which you live to research the assistance programs that are available to you as a pregnant teenager, Google the Department of Children and Family Services in the state in which you live, narrowing it down by your city. Do not be afraid to call them! You will be amazed at the support you will receive.

What if, however, you decide that you are too young to have a baby? Would you consider giving your baby up for adoption? I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to carry a baby for nine months, give birth to it, and then give it to someone else.

I do know based on countless stories I have heard that birth mothers who give their babies up for adoption do so out of love.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our baby is a secure and loving home where we know our baby will be financially, emotionally, and physically taken care of.

If you wish to speak to someone about the adoption option, AmericanAdoptions.Com can be one of many resources to help provide you with information you will need to help you make an informed decision.

Their contact information is below for your convenience should you decide you would like to investigate that option.

AmericanAdoptions.Com – National Adoption Agency
Request Free Adoption Information – Contact Form
Filling out this form is a great option if you feel too uncomfortable talking on the phone.

Consider Your Parent’s Personalities First

You probably know each of your parent’s personalities better than almost anyone else. Therefore, you are the best judge as to when, how, and where you tell them you are pregnant.

Although most parents will want to be supportive in the end, they first need to get over their initial shock and reaction. How do they feel about teenage partner intimacy? Are they only OK with teenage partner intimacy if protection is being used? Do they instead forbid physical relations before marriage?

Even if your parents know you are physically active, they can still worry and be disappointed. Their initial reaction will likely be that of frustration, and things may get a bit tense.

As they are digesting the news of their teenage daughter being pregnant, it is best to sit quietly and respectfully listen to what they have to say. Arguing right-back will likely feed the fire and escalate the mood to a higher, more tense level.

Do you have one parent that would react more calmly than the other parent? You could always consider telling that parent first and letting them tell the other parent. That might be something to think about.

Some parents can be calm in a moment of crisis while others act out more emotionally. Some may cry, get angry, upset, or loud, while others may react violently and get out of control.

If there has been a known history of physical violence in your home, you will need to know how to protect yourself. In this situation, either tell the other parent that you feel safest with or have someone by your side when you give them the news.

If there is a pattern of physical violence, then having a friend with you may help buy you time if you see the situation getting heated to an unsafe level.

Have a plan in place if things escalate and have a phone with you ready to dial 911 should you find yourself needing to call for help.

If there is no way to avoid a violent encounter and you are afraid, then I would highly encourage you to tell another adult first that is not your parent, and then have that adult be with you when you tell your parents.

Be mindful that no matter the personality of your parents, some will need a chance to absorb the shock of the news and want time to internalize their feelings before reconnecting later to discuss the situation further.

Lastly, some parents will want to take charge and tell you what you will do and how you will handle this situation. I kindly remind you to remember that the decision on what you ultimately do belongs to you and no one else.

National Domestic Violence Support Hotline

Chat online option available, or call

1-800-799-7233 or 911

Prepare to Tell Your Parents You are Pregnant

At this point, you have probably given your pregnancy some thought. It is okay if you have not decided what you want to do about your pregnancy. After all, this news is new to you, too!

Also, you will naturally want some adult input to help you feel secure in any decision you ultimately make for yourself.

So far, you have at least given some thought to how you feel about your pregnancy and may have even done some research to know some of your options.

You have also thought about your parent’s personalities and their possible reactions to your pregnancy news. Now it is time to prepare to tell your parents you are pregnant.

You will want to have any information you have collected neatly with you to have ready when discussing your options and what you might be in favor of doing.

Also have any questions you still do not have answers for written down, as well. Being prepared for this conversation will help you feel more in control of what must be an out-of-control feeling. After all, being a pregnant teenager is scary!

Pick a time of day when your parents are not rushing around, perhaps during what seems to be a relaxing evening. Only you can be the best judge of the timing. My advice to you, though, is to not pick an evening where either parent is doing any heavy drinking.

Even moderate alcohol consumption can trigger great mood swings and cause people to overreact even more than they normally would when not drinking.

Now get some good sleep so you are refreshed and ready for the big day; the day you tell your parents you are pregnant. Feel good knowing you did your due research the best you could to prepare for this big day.

And most importantly, know that whatever your parent’s reaction, it is likely to be worse in the very beginning. Once you get the hard part over with, chances are they will calmly help you get through this new journey in your life.

Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy

Interesting statistical information on teen pregnancy.

Courtesy of the CDC

Have the Conversation – Prepare for the Worst

Today is the day, and you have prepared yourself the best you know-how. Yet you may be wondering, okay, but how do I tell them? What do I say? What should I not say?

Again, pick a time of day that is not rushed and not in the middle of dinner. When everyone seems to be relaxed, go for it. Depending on your relationship with your partner, you could have him with you when you tell your parents. This is a sure sign of maturity, and they will respect the courage it takes for your partner to be there.

If you fear your parent’s reaction and your partner cannot be there with you, have a friend with you. Also do not rule out the option of telling your parents when you are with a school counselor, for example.

You could start by saying that you have something important that you need to tell them. This gets their minds ready for big news. Then just say it. That is right. Just take a deep breath and get it out.

If things escalate, then it may be best to hold off on sharing your thoughts, research, and possible decisions with them. Unless, of course, you have made a decision that will immediately ease their concerns.

I encourage you to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That way you are not getting your hopes up too much on the result. And whatever you do, try hard not to engage in any negative back and forth if or when you start to feel attacked.

That will only add fuel to the fire and escalate an already tense moment.

Tell Them Your Decisions and Be Strong

As a side note, if you have made a decision that you feel strongly about, then be strong and confident when sharing your thoughts with your parents.

For more helpful tips on how to tell your parents you are pregnant, Telling Parents You’re Pregnant, courtesy of KidsHealth.Org is another great resource.

After all, you have likely done your research and know a bit about what you are talking about with your research to back you up.

If you plan on keeping your baby, share with your parents what you have learned. Respect your parent’s input, but do not let them think you do not know what you are talking about if you have already done your research.

Offer them the information you have researched. Tell them you want their support, but you also know that you do not need it to keep and raise your baby.

They may try to tell you that you are ruining your life if you keep your baby. Hold your head up high knowing you will prove them wrong! There is no better motivator than proving someone else wrong.

If you have decided that giving your baby up for adoption is the best route for you, know you are doing what you feel is best for your baby. If you feel you are not mature enough to have a baby, yet your parents still want you to, the choice ultimately belongs to you.

And again, if you need some time to decide what you want to do about your pregnancy, that is okay too. Just keep in mind that pregnancy doesn’t stop just because you are scared or cannot figure it out.

Seek some counseling with a school counselor or other third party to bounce your thoughts off. In time you will know what is right for you.

Know Your Outside Resources to Help You

You are not alone. You have your school counselor to help you, as well as your local state Social and Health Services for Children and Families.

You can Google the location in your area to get into contact with them to see what resources they offer pregnant teens.

The more research you do on your own and less relying on your parents will make you feel much more in control of a crazy time that may otherwise feel very scary and out of control.

Showing initiative is also a very strong sign of maturity and independence; both qualities needed for a young lady who is pregnant.

Adolescent Pregnancy | WIC Works Resource System

Know the Decision of What to Do Belongs to You

In the end, the decision as to what to do about your pregnancy belongs to you. The decisions regarding your body are yours, and you will have to live with them for the rest of your life.

Try to make choices you feel good about, that belong to you, and that you are confident you will not regret.

Trina Greenfield - Adoption Author

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield is passionate about providing information to those considering growing their family. Trina does not run an adoption agency. Her website is strictly information-based, so she is able to provide unbiased, credible information that she hopes will help guide those along their journey.