Young Mothers - Teenage Pregnancy

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Young Mothers - Teenage Pregnancy
Young Mothers - Teenage Pregnancy
Video: Young Mothers - Teenage Pregnancy
Video: Teen Mom Nation: A Cycle of Teen Pregnancy | Our America with Lisa Ling | Oprah Winfrey Network 2023, February

When teenagers get pregnant

Pregnancy always means a major change in living conditions - this applies all the more if the mother-to-be or parents-to-be are minors. It is important that the young people affected receive appropriate support, both from trusted people and from special advice centers and institutions.

In Austria, around 1,170 mothers under the age of 20 gave birth to a child in 2018. Eleven girls were even younger than 14 years. A teenage pregnancy is usually based on inadequate sexual education and thus incorrect or non-existent use of contraceptives.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • What is the girls' consultation hour?
  • Pregnant under age - who can I turn to?
  • What is the legal situation of underage mothers like?
  • Unintentionally pregnant - what now?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What is the girls' consultation hour?

In order to compensate for the information deficit on the subject of “sexuality” among young girls, the professional association of Austrian gynecologists launched the “Girls' Consultation Hour” initiative. Young girls are invited to the practice by gynecologists to give them the opportunity to get to know them first, to ask questions and to have a point of contact just in case. All questions about, for example, sexuality, contraception or the procedures of a gynecological examination can be discussed. More on the topic: love & sex

The briefing is not tied to an examination. With the necessary information on sexuality and contraception, the girls leave the practice and have a confidante on hand who they can turn to if they have any questions later. You can find out which gynecologists' practices already offer this service at

Note Girls aged 14 and over can - if they show their e-card - have their gynecologist prescribed the pill even without parental consent.

Pregnant under age - who can I turn to?

Pregnancy, birth and the first years of life of a child place high demands on young mothers and young parents and mean fundamental changes in living conditions. They often feel torn between their own youthful desires and needs and the responsibilities that come with living with a child.

Often young pregnant women do not initially know what to do next. Should i have the child? Will i manage Should I end the pregnancy? What are the possibilities? Even if the decision in the end always rests with the expectant mother - appropriate help and support are essential. In addition to familiar people, they also offer advisers in the following institutions:

  • Pregnancy counseling centers
  • Family counseling centers
  • Women's health centers
  • First Love ambulance
  • Austrian youth portal
  • Network of Austrian advice centers for women and girls
  • Parent-Child Centers

"YoungMum" - accompaniment for pregnant teenagers

YoungMum “is a free contact point for pregnant girls between the ages of 14 and 20 and their partners who have decided to give birth to their child despite all the difficulties. The girls are cared for by a team consisting of midwives, gynecologists, social pedagogues and psychologists during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond that in the first year of the newborn's life.

Care after the birth primarily includes breastfeeding advice, the organization of everyday baby life with the involvement of the partner or parents as well as the organization of material aids (baby food, diapers, baby clothing and care products, etc.).

Young Mum was founded by the Göttlicher Heiland Hospital and moved to the St. Josef Hospital in Vienna at the beginning of 2019. More information at sjk-wien-at

What is the legal situation of underage mothers like?

If the mother is a minor, she is initially not entitled to custody of her child. The child and youth welfare agency (Jugendamt) appoints a guardian for the child up to their 18th birthday. This can be, for example, the father of the child or the parents of the young mother. If there is no suitable person in the environment of the young parents, the child and youth welfare agency takes on custody and shares this with the young mother. This means: The child lives with its mother, she looks after it and takes care of its care; however, the respective guardian is responsible for the legal representation and asset management of the child.

The child's father has to pay maintenance for the child and mother if he does not live in the same household. If the child is not financially able to do so, the child's grandparents can be obliged to support the child. You can find out more about child maintenance at

Unintentionally pregnant - what now?

Become a mother now - can I do it? The decision for or against motherhood is not easy to make, especially at a young age. For a young girl or young parents, a child brings about a complete change in their life situation. In any case, it is important to deal thoroughly with the situation.

There are several options for an unwanted pregnancy:

  • have the child and take care of the upbringing yourself,
  • carry the child to term, but transfer the custody to a foster family for a certain period of time,
  • put the child up for adoption,
  • abort; this is generally possible up to the third month of pregnancy, and longer for expectant mothers under 14 years of age.

As difficult as the situation may seem, the ultimate decision should always be made by the parents-to-be.

Termination of pregnancy

Sometimes an abortion seems like the only possible solution. The pregnant woman decides for herself whether an abortion should be carried out. From the age of 14, a girl can have an abortion carried out without the consent of her legal guardian. More on the topic: Abortion.


If parents-to-be see no possibility of keeping their child, but also do not want to have an abortion, the release for adoption can be an alternative. Underage mothers also have the right to give up their child for adoption. The child and youth welfare agency looks for suitable adoptive parents for the child who are well prepared for their future tasks through appropriate training. There are different types of adoption:

  • Open adoption: the birth parents find out where their child lives and direct contact with the child and the adoptive parents is possible.
  • Half-open adoption: The biological parents do not find out where their child lives, but can contact the adoptive parents via the child and youth welfare agency and exchange letters or photos, for example.
  • Incognito Adoption: No contact is provided. However, the wishes of the mother or parents are taken into account when looking for adoptive parents.

Anyone who is toying with the idea of ​​giving up their child for adoption should go to an appropriate counseling center during pregnancy. You can find more information about adoption at

Foster family

In addition to adoption, there is also the option of giving a child to a foster family for a definite or indefinite period. In contrast to adoption, the biological parents largely retain their rights and only cede the care and upbringing of the child to the child and youth welfare agency, who then assigns the foster parents to do this (short-term care for one to two years). The biological mother or biological parents can always stay in contact with their child during the care leave (right of contact). There are so-called visiting times that can be agreed with the foster parents (care agreement). You can find more information about foster parents at

Baby hatch and anonymous birth

For women who are unable to raise their own child, anonymous birth is another option. The child can be born in a hospital under normal medical care and psychological supervision, but the woman must give her name and not disclose other personal data. The newborn is then placed with foster or adoptive parents.

The baby flap also offers a way out in difficult situations: If the mother has given birth to the child, but cannot or does not want to look after it herself, she can put it anonymously and unobserved in a baby flap. The newborn is then cared for and given to a foster family.

Both after an anonymous birth and after placing a child in a baby hatch, the mother has six months to reverse her decision. More on the topic: Anonymous birth and baby hatch

How are the costs going to be covered?

The advice is free of charge and is always strictly confidential.

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