The problem of unplanned pregnancies amongst adopted and foster teens is rarely discussed. Sherrie Eldridge provides a thorough explanation of what might be going on in the teen's mind that leads them in this direction as well as tips for parents.

Understanding Causes of Unplanned Pregnancies in Adopted and Foster Teens

I speak about this topic from a painful past. The following words are not the result of research, but were pounded out on the anvil of my own adopted heart. I was an unplanned pregnancy to my mother who claims rape. At barely 20 years of age, I experienced an unplanned pregnancy.

According to my knowledge, not much has been written on this topic.

Since I’ve lived it, I thought appropriate to share what I’ve learned about the topic over the years.

Here’s the deal.

Desperate Need for Connection to the Lost First Mother

Most adoptive and foster parents agree that their when kids are taken from first (second, third, forth, etc) families, relinquishment wounds are deep and buried.

Many parents aren’t informed and subsequently don’t know there is a ticking time bomb within their child’s heart. I can’t tell you how many parents write me with this concern.

Relinquishment wounds can’t be buried without great cost to the separated child. Depression. Anger. Acting out. Throwing food at the dinner table. Stealing even though there is plenty. Scratching furniture, running away.

As an adopted person, my reflection is that we don’t know what we’re doing.

We can live a double life and not even be aware of it. I was popular in high school–a cheerleader, class leader, homecoming court. But there was a part of me that was the opposite. I sought what was dark. My mom waited up until the wee hours of the night for me to come home from dates.

I wasn’t aware of the split. What part–the popular of lover of dark–was really me?

Now, this is going to sound really crazy, but actually it’s not.

Because of the desperate need for connection, female adoptees might reason that by having a baby, somehow she will be able to be close to the first mother she lost.

Thus, sex becomes attractive. We act out, not knowing what is driving us. In fact, we think it’s cool that we’re that daring. We think that is the “real us.”

See the trap,  parents?

However, there’s another huge obstacle your teen lives with which we’ll discuss now.

Pre-Disposition Toward Unplanned Pregnancy

More than likely,  your child was an unplanned pregnancy.

The reason doesn’t matter.

What matters is the generational consequence of your teen’s parent having become pregnant out of wedlock.  Some call it a tendency, some call it a pre-disposition, and some call it sin.  People of faith either say it is a curse or a consequence.

I like to think of it as a pre-disposition.

But, just think of your teen as an baby being conceived. I’m no therapist or Ph.D., but I can’t help little me knew my conception began in a crisis…a sexual crisis for my mother. That had to be traumatic for both my mother and me.

Storming Heaven’s Gates

If you want to study what Scripture says about a tendency, sin, or whatever…being passed down generationally, here are a few Scriptures:

Numbers 14:18 – The LORD [is] long suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing [the guilty], visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation].

Exodus 20:5 – Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;

If you’d like to do more study on this:

I hope I haven’t scared you, parents. Probably some who are not people of faith think me absolutely crazy.

Whatever you think, I have lived it and here is what I wish my parents could have known and done.

What Parents Can Do

Personally, I believe these two forces–a heart broken from unresolved relinquishment wounds and a spiritual, DNA pre-disposition to resolve the lost connection through an unplanned pregnancy are enough to take anyone under.

So, parents, what can you do?

Even if your child is already sexually active, even if your child is seeking darkness instead of light……


Prayer is the most powerful weapon you have.

Storm heaven’s gates on your teen’s behalf.

Here is a powerful prayer on this site:

And, parents, I know from a human aspect, there is no control. Your teen is going to do what he/she wants to do.

But, if you are praying, you can be comforted by the fact that you have done everything possible to protect him/her.







One response to “Understanding Causes of Unplanned Pregnancies in Adopted and Foster Teens”

  1. HerdingChickens Avatar

    This is an interesting post. I can see where this could be the case. We worry about this very thing with our kids. While I do pray, I am a big advocate of open sex education conversations. I’m also a firm believer in open conversation about adoption loss and all of the feelings that come with it. After all, no one relationship can heal the wounds that trauma left behind. I don’t know if it will help. Only time will tell.

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