Pregnant & Parenting Teens
If you are pregnant and decide to have an abortion:
- In Maine, for a teen to consent to an abortion she has to do one of the following:
- Provide the doctor performing the abortion with her informed written consent and the written consent of a parent or another adult family member (aunt, grandmother, etc.)
- Provide the doctor performing the abortion with her informed written consent and have abortion counseling. The counseling can be provided by a doctor or an approved counselor, who may be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, an ordained clergy member, a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, a guidance counselor, a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.
- Provide the doctor performing the abortion with her informed written consent and the written consent of a judge.Visit our abortion resources page for a list of organizations you can contact for additional information.
If you are pregnant and decide to have the baby:
You have a right to receive child support from the father
If you decide to raise your child yourself, you have a right to some child support from the father, even if you’re not married to each other.
You can decide to place your baby for adoption
If you aren’t ready to be a parent, but don’t want to have an abortion, it’s your right to place your baby for adoption. Adoption means giving up your legal rights as a parent, as well as your responsibilities. Until all the final papers are signed, you still have the right to change your mind. After that, the adoption is permanent.
You have a right to stay in your school
It’s your right to keep going to school while you’re pregnant and after your baby is born. It’s against the law for schools to treat you differently because you’re pregnant or a parent. Some schools have special programs for teen parents. But you do not have to change schools or classes just because you’re pregnant.
You may have a right to take maternity leave from work
Working women are entitled to maternity leave, as long as they meet certain requirements about how long they’ve worked for their employer and the size of the employer. And Maine law prohibits employers from discriminating against you because you’re pregnant.
You can change your mind after the baby is born
Maine’s safe haven law lets new parents leave their baby at a hospital, with a health care provider, or law enforcement officer as long as the child is less than 31 days of age. You can also choose to place the baby for adoption, even if he or she isn’t a newborn anymore.
You may qualify for MaineCare coverage
MaineCare may cover your pregnancy-related healthcare costs and your child may be eligible for MaineCare.
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