As if being a teenager in foster care isn’t tragic enough, imagine having to go to court to get permission for your abortion. Going to court would entail telling your case worker and then your attorney and probably a dozen other people before even getting to the judge. And if you’re lucky enough to have a closed court room, there’s still the bailiff, stenographer, and attorneys present.
Now, imagine after going through all of these channels, plus counseling, THREE ultrasounds, and testifying twice, being told by the Nebraska SUPREME COURT that you’re too immature to consent to an abortion.
Yet, somehow she’s mature enough to become a mother against her wishes.
Nothing about the court’s decision makes sense to me, and it breaks my heart. During the appeals process for consent for an abortion, this foster teen’s own parents’ rights were terminated. Her world is being turned upside down, and she doesn’t have any say in the legal, and now medical, decisions in her life.
We know one thing: another foster child will be born in a few months, and her mother’s problems have only begun. Hopefully, one of the judges is willing to become the foster parent of 4 children in order to keep this family together. That’s right, a home is now needed for the 16-year-old mom, her baby, plus the mom’s two siblings. As cited in court documents, one of the reasons (I’m still upset that she had to even give reasons) the foster teen was requesting an abortion was because she believed that her very religious foster parents would alienate her from her younger siblings. If that’s the case, a good argument can be made for moving all of them to a new home. But then, there’s a good chance there aren’t even any foster homes available with that capacity.
Yes, adoption is a choice. However, it’s not the choice this foster teen has made, and it can’t be an assumed default. I want to know, where is this brave teen girl right now? What is she going to do? Will she ever feel in control of her own life? Who is supporting her? How can I support her? Is there anything we as Internet strangers can do to make her life easier in the long run?
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