Child Well-Being

Children born as a result of an unplanned pregnancy are more likely to experience adverse health and developmental consequences. Teen mothers are more likely to deliver pre-term and babies with a low birth weight, two factors which raise the probability of health problems for a child.

In addition, one-third of teens do not see a healthcare provider during the first trimester of pregnancy; increasing the odds of a baby born with complications. In addition, children of teen parents suffer higher rates of abuse and neglect than children of mothers that delayed childbearing.

Most of the public sector costs of teen childbearing are associated with the children of teen mothers. For example, in Oklahoma in 2008, taxpayer costs included $36 million for public health care (Medicaid and CHIP) and $27 million for child welfare for children born to teen mothers.