You decide to carry the pregnancy to term and raise the child
- Under Illinois law pregnant teens are able to consent (give permission) to medical care throughout their pregnancy.
- You can make medical decisions for yourself and for your baby once the baby is born.
- While you can choose to go to a school specifically designed for pregnant teens, you have the right to continue to stay at your current school if you wish.
- Once the baby is born, you have full parental rights for your child.
No one can force you to have an abortion or place the baby up for adoption.
Becoming a parent and raising a child as a teen requires a lot of support and can be very expensive. If you’re thinking about parenting, there are a number of state programs and free and low cost resources available to you:
- Medical: Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program.
- Food: Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Financial: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
- Child Support: A minor parent who is raising the child may be able to get child support from the other parent by filing a child support application with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
- Education: You can stay in your own school or enroll in a school designed just for pregnant students – look online to see if there is one near you. For more information on the rights of students who are pregnant or parenting, visit www.nwlc.org/resource/pregnant-and-parenting-students-rights.
- Safe Haven Law: If you are the parent of a baby who is 30 days old or younger and you don’t think you can care for it anymore, you can place the unharmed baby in the care of a staff member at any hospital, emergency medical facility, staffed fire station, or police station and walk away with no questions asked. Visit saveabandonedbabies.org.
Visit dhs.state.il.us for information on:
- How to access the support listed above.
- Pregnancy and parenting resources.