You imagined thrilling memories with friends and challenging days of school when you pictured your teenage years. You never pictured an unexpected pregnancy. As uncertainty, confusion, and even fear threaten to consume you, know that you aren’t alone. Even as a pregnant teenager, you have options! You have the strength you need to make the best decision for you. So, choose to know the options you have! 

Who is a minor?

In Tennessee, a minor is anyone who is under the age of 18. By law, parents or legal guardians must protect and support minors. As a minor, your parents must give their permission for certain things such as a driver’s license or certain medical procedures. 

What are my rights as a pregnant minor?

A pregnant woman under the age of 18 has the right to make a decision about her pregnancy. In Tennessee, she can choose to parent the baby or to place the baby for adoption. (In Tennessee, abortion is no longer an option, except in certain circumstances.) No one else can force a minor to make a decision regarding her pregnancy.

What are abortion laws in other states for minors? 

Every state has different abortion laws for a minor. Some states require women to obtain permission from their parental/legal guardian or to notify them before the abortion. In all states, medical professionals should educate a minor should about abortion contraindications, procedures, and risks. 

How do I tell my parents that I’m pregnant? 

Telling your parents about your unexpected pregnancy feels daunting because you’re unsure of how they’ll react. Every parent will respond differently, but pregnant teenagers often need the support of their parents or a trusted adult throughout the process. Tell them as soon as possible, and speak calmly and with clarity. Read other tips here

Can my parents force me to have an abortion? 

Your parents may subtly try to convince you to have an abortion by telling you that they’ll no longer support you if you have a baby, or they’ll make you leave the house. Legally, your parents cannot pressure you to have an abortion. If you feel like anyone is pressuring you to have an abortion, you should contact a trusted professional. The law protects your right to make your own decisions. 

Do my parents have to consent to my prenatal care? 

Legally, pregnant minors can receive prenatal care without the consent of their parents. Medical care may include doctor visits, labs, ultrasounds, delivery, and other medical requirements throughout the pregnancy. Healthcare providers must keep medical records confidential and cannot tell parents anything. 

Do I need my parents’ permission to place my baby up for adoption? 

You do not need to get your parents’ consent to place your baby up for adoption (unless you are younger than 13 or 14 years old). Your parents may want to be involved in the process, but you’ll make all the decisions regarding the adoption. An adoption agency can help you navigate those decisions. 

Does adoption work differently for a minor? 

The adoption process works the same no matter your age. After selecting an adoption agency, the agency will walk you through each step of the pregnancy. They’ll help you plan for the birth and the adoption, as they empower you to make an adoption plan that meets all of your wishes. Adoption costs you nothing, and sometimes, pregnancy-related costs may be covered by the agency. 

Do my parents have to know that I’m getting birth control?

Healthcare providers can provide minors with contraception without their parents’ consent or knowledge. Minors can also seek testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections without the knowledge of their parents.


Do I have to tell my high school that I’m pregnant? 

Eventually you’ll want to tell your high school that you are pregnant so that they can support you well. No one can force you to transfer schools or to drop out of school. Legally, the school must accommodate you and give you permission to leave school for doctor’s appointments or pregnancy-related reasons. The school should even help you make up anything that you missed. You can still be involved in clubs and school activities. Most schools have processes or programs for pregnant moms. Just ask! 

Will I get in trouble if my boyfriend is older than me?

Each state has different laws about the age of sexual consent. Some states have laws that allow consensual sex between partners within a certain age gap. But regardless of the age difference, you have the right to make an informed decision about your pregnancy.


Just take your journey one step at a time. At Pregnancy Resource Center, we’ll help you verify your pregnancy, provide you with education regarding all of your options, and empower you to make the best choice for you. Make an appointment online or call us today at (865)344-6584 to speak with our kind team and make a free appointment. Everything you tell us stays confidential! 

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