You may choose to continue with the pregnancy and become a parent. When
deciding to become a parent, you have to consider what is best for both you
and for the child. Having a baby and becoming a parent can be a rewarding
experience. However, it can also increase financial stress and put added
pressure on relationships. Having a network of family and friends to rely on
for support is often a great help.
In making the decision to become a parent, it can be useful to have access
to as much information as possible on the many different aspects of
parenting such as prenatal testing, support groups, birthing options,
financial assistance, and healthy pregnancies. The services offered to
parents vary enormously between provinces, and between cities. The
Children's Aid Society (Ontario) is one of the many organizations that has
information about prenatal care, delivery, and parenting. You may also find
information about Young or Single Parent Support programs, parent resource
centers, and Community Health Centres.
While it can be a rewarding experience if you are ready to become a parent,
there are some myths about pregnancy and parenting. For example, many young
women think that having a baby of their own will somehow give them the love
they didn’t get from their own parent(s). Some believe that having a baby
will help them stay together with their boyfriend, or make other problems go
away. These are all unrealistic expectations.
If you keep your child, you are obliged to provide care for him or her until
the child is at least 16 years old. There are resources in the community
that can help you with housing, education, training and some of the other
challenges of parenting. If you have no other means of support, you may be
entitled to assistance from welfare. You are also entitled to some financial
support from the child’s father, even if he has no contact with the child.
The child’s father may request access to the child regardless of whether or
not he is giving you financial support.
You also have options you may not be familiar with regarding the care you
receive during your pregnancy and during and after childbirth. The links
listed below under midwifery and doulas offer some information about these
woman-centred methods of primary and secondary care, which can be used in a
hospital or a home birth.
If you are unsure about your decision and want to discuss your options with
someone, contact one of the unbiased counseling centres listed on our
counseling page: http://www.canadiansforchoice.ca/counseling.html
If you have made the decision to parent and are looking for resources, here
are some local and national resources.
Alberta Children’s Services
Parenting Help Line
Toll-free: 1-866-714-KIDS (5437)
Edmonton and area: 644-1366
Very detailed list of pregnancy-related resources, including pregnancy
tests, abortion and adoption referral numbers, birth, childcare, and more.
BC Ministry of Children and Family Development
Manitoba Family Services – Children and Families
Department of Family and Community Services – Excellence in Parenting
Child and Youth Family Services
Health and Social Services Programs and Services
Find the information listed under “Child and Youth.”
Department of Community Services – Children, Youth and Families
Department of Health and Social Services
Ontario Children’s Aid Societies
Ontario Works – LEAP program
Click this link to find an office in your area to inquire about the LEAP
program: assistance available to 16- to 21-year-old parents who have not
completed high school and who are eligible for Ontario Works funding (social
Birth Care Inc.
Provides counselling, products, classes
Ottawa-based, but the website has a lot of useful information for women
everywhere under the resources section: http://www.birthcare.ca/s.nl/sc.5/.f
Prince Edward Island
Family, Parenting and Support
Includes links to many local services.
Centre Jeunesse du Québec (bilingual website)
Teen and Young Parent Program
Health and Social Services – Family and Children’s Services
Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program
Main information site.
A listing of local contacts for the program for each region in Canada.
Canadian Health Network
Provides good information about possible high-risk activities during
SOS Morning Sickness
“Everything you ever wanted to know about Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy
Human Resources Development Canada
employment insurance information for pregnancy and parental leave, including
in cases of pregnancy termination
National Parenting Center
American website with articles by experts, product recalls, book reviews,
child’s personality tests, etc.
information from pregnancy to every age group of child; includes parenting
advice, message boards
Child and Family Canada – Parenting articles
professional articles on a variety of parenting issues
Midwifery and Doulas
Midwives Across Canada
discussion group dedicated to midwifery and childbirth
What Is Midwifery?
Find a Doula