In the March 12, 2009 edition of The Sophian, the Smith College student newspaper, a feature article was published discussing the life of Charlie Rose, a young mother who chose at age 15 to have a child. Though the article was published nearly a year ago, it discusses issues that impact the way we talk and think about teen pregnancy and young mothers, issues that have not gone away.
A response from Sarah Perez McAdoo:
The article frames teen pregnancy and births as an empowering experience for young women. Teen mothers that are able to have a positive parenting experience are resilient and determined individuals who defy all odds. The sad reality is that teen parenting is not typically an empowering experience for young women. For communities already compromised by poor education, poverty and poor health, teen parenting becomes an additional burden. Teen parenting makes it increasingly difficult for these young parents to succeed, creating obstacles to a promising education and financial indepence. It is great that Charlie Rose is a teen parent success story, but her story neglects to highlight the difficult realities that most teen parents face. Local communities need to create empowering experiences for teens that allow them to choose options other than becoming young parents.