Teen Pregnancy Rampant in Foster Homes

Nearly half of foster-care girls get knocked up by 19
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2009 1:59 PM CDT
Teen pregnancies have hit epidemic levels in foster care.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Teen pregnancy is on the rise throughout the country, but in the foster-care system it’s a full-blown epidemic, Time reports. Nearly half of girls who spent time in the system become pregnant before turning 19, according to one University of Chicago study, and almost 25% had been pregnant more than once. Another report this week from an anti-teen pregnancy group found that nearly 50% of foster kids have sex before turning 16.

The foster system has not, until recently, really focused on the issue, nor have pregnancy prevention groups. That’s changing, with Planned Parenthood and others working to train foster parents on effective sex ed, but some doubt it’ll help. “For some foster youth, having a child is a way to create a family that they don’t have,” says one researcher. “Sex education is awesome. But that’s not always the issue.”