Are you a teenager who had to leave high school due to a pregnancy? Have you decided to give your child up for adoption? You may have questions or concerns about returning to school after the birth and adoption. Take a look at the answers to some common questions.
Do You Need to Return to School?
Most states have a compulsory school age. If you are under this age, your state requires you to attend school. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go to in-person classes. Some states allow students to take cyber classes or complete classes through a homeschool curriculum. Your local school district guidance department, a community social worker/caseworker, or a similar professional can help you to better understand the legal issues surrounding your return to school.
Along with the possible requirement to go back to school, a high school degree can help prepare you for your future. The median weekly income for a high school dropout in 2019 was $606. High school graduates earned a median pay of $749 per week.
While this may not seem like a major difference, a high school diploma is the first step to a college or other post-secondary type of education. Workers with an associate (two-year) degree or some college courses made a median weekly income of $874 and those with a four-year bachelor’s degree made $1,281 per week.
A return to school after you give birth helps you to take control of your future. Whether you choose to stop after high school or go on to college, you’ll have more employment opportunities in the future (in comparison to what you’d have if you did not finish high school). This can set you on a path to financial freedom for the rest of your life.
What Should You Tell Your Friends and Classmates?
Do most of your friends and classmates know about your pregnancy? Now that you’ve given birth and chosen adoption, these people may have questions. What you share with other people about your adoption and how you choose to share it depends on your individual preferences and needs. There’s no standard or one-size-fits-all way to navigate your return to school.
Your adoption counselor, social worker, or mental health professional is here to do more than guide you through pregnancy and the actual adoption. These professionals can also provide post-adoption services and help you to return to your pre-pregnancy life.
It’s normal to have concerns about what your friends or classmates will think about your decision. But this shouldn’t stop you from returning to school — and it shouldn’t make your feel awkward. Even though your classmates may want details on your decision, you don’t have to share anything you’re not comfortable with.
Will You Feel Emotional at School?
Birthmothers may feel a range of emotions after an adoption — including guilt, sadness, loss, or grief. Even though you may have powerful feelings you aren’t sure how to deal with right now, you can get help. You can return to school and move into the next phase of your life with the assistance of others.
Along with the professionals who will stand by you and help you to cope with post-pregnancy emotions, you may also need to lean on a few close friends or family members. Again, you don’t have to tell your friends or classmates about your adoption or your feelings about it. Close friends can provide you with the support you need to get through the school day successfully.
What should you do if your friends don’t understand your needs right now? Other teens may struggle to understand the challenges you face. This can result in what may feel like insensitivity. If you don’t feel comfortable leaning on friends or classmates or if they don’t provide emotional support, ask for help from a school professional such as your guidance counselor or a trusted teacher.
How Can You Catch Up in Your Classes?
The emotional and social aspects of a post-pregnancy return to school are primary concerns for many young birthmothers, but you may also have academic issues to deal with. If you took several weeks (or longer) off from school during the end of your pregnancy and after childbirth, you’ll have to play catch-up in your classes.
Ideally, you’ll have been able to plan for your school absences and arrange for online or at-home instruction. This isn’t always possible for some young birthmothers. Whether health, emotional, financial, or other issues took you away from your schoolwork prematurely, it’s still possible to continue your education.
Work with your school advisor, guidance counselor, or teacher to create a catch-up plan that meets your needs. This may mean you have to take online classes, study with a tutor, attend summer school, or graduate a semester (or more) late.
Is adoption the right choice for you? Contact Arizona Adoption Help for more information.