Decision to Adopt/Parent/Terminate

 

Once you have decided to adopt here are some things to think about:

  • Stop smoking, drinking alcohol and/or using drugs. All of these are linked to poor health for you and the baby.
  • Tell your family, the man involved, school, and/or work (where appropriate).
  • Eat well. This is important for your body and the baby. Don't skip meals, and reduce the fast food.
  • Connect with supports – community programs (see here for useful websites). These can help you establish antenatal care and help you get prepared during your pregnancy.
  • Find a doctor you trust, and establish a health plan.

 

  • At any time during the pregnancy, contact the Adoption Services Queensland unit at the Department of Child Safety, a public hospital social worker, or a private hospital nurse counsellor to discuss the adoption process and how to proceed.
  • It is also best to notify hospital personnel upon hospital admission that adoption is being considered. This assists hospital staff to be more sensitive to your needs.

 

  • Now is the time to start thinking what you want regarding:
  • Open (have visitation with the child) or a closed (no visitation with the child) adoption
  • Preferences for the adoptive parents (where they live, what type of family the have etc)

This information will form an "adoption plan" and it addresses how contact will happen and the intended nature and frequency of contact.

  •  Keeping in mind the birth mother is encouraged to name her child as she is required to register her child's birth before signing the consent form. The adoptive parents do have the right to change the child's name, however if the mother would like the adoptive parents to keep the child’s name as either a first or second name the Department will try to place the child with adoptive parents who will agree.
 

Last edited on: 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

 Once you have decided to terminate the pregnancy here are some of the next steps.

 

  • Confirm the gestation.
    • If you have an idea of your menstral cycle, you can use the Gestational Calendar to establish how many weeks you are.
    • Termination clinics will want to confirm this either by bringing in an ultrasound you have already had, or having one on the day of your appointment. They will let you know this when you make an appointment with them.

 

  • Contact a clinic
    • Click here for a list of the clinics in Queensland
    • They will quote you a price for the procedure and this is based on if you have a Medicare Card, Health Care or Pension card and your gestation.
    • You may be required to have photo ID for your procedure. Your school ID card is fine.

 

  • You don't necessarily need your parents consent to terminate a pregnancy. However each clinic has different rules for young women under 16. If your parents do support your decision and they are aware of your procedure, they could be a source of support (financially, physically and emotionally) if you need it.  If your parents aren't aware or won't support the procedure, please give us a call to help you navigate this process.

 

 

  • If you need some help gathering the funds together for this procedure, ring Children by Choice and one of the counsellors can talk you through some options. Or check out the "Where can i get help" page for more ideas on getting some cash together.

 

  • You will need to organise someone to drop you at the clinic and pick you up. This doesn't have to be a parent or gaurdian, however the support person does need to show that they are competent enough to get you home safely. If you have any questions about this, ask the clinic when you ring to make the appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

Last edited on: 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

 

Lots of young women said they wish they had planned better before they had their baby. We have used this information to try and make a bit of a plan to help navigate through these next few months (and years!).

 

It is really important to remember you CAN continue at school or work while you are pregnant and parenting. This involves open communication with your principal or boss. There are laws and policies in place to support this! You don't have to give up your education or income because you are pregnant!

 

 Once you have decided that you would like to continue this pregnancy here are some things to think about.

 

Health (you and your baby)

  • The most important thing is looking after yourself to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. If you do, stop smoking, drinking alcohol and/or using drugs. All of these are linked to poor health for you and the baby. A good resource to help keep on track with healthy eating is this Fact Sheet from the Australian Dietry Guidelines.
  • Starting antenatal care (pregnancy care) is important as early as you can. This may be through your regular doctor or you may prefer a midwife or obstetrician at the hospital. They will also help you with nutrition, excercise and health information through your pregnancy.
  • Once you've given birth Queensland Health can provide you with a range of free services including:
    • An initial health check between birth and 4 weeks of age – at a clinic or sometimes at your home.
    • Regular Appointments and check-ups at your chosen clinic.
    • Courses in parenting.
    • Free childhood immunisation clinics.
    • Specialist services when you need some extra help.
    • Help and advice over the phone.
  • You will need to check that the health services in your area equipped to deliver the baby? Will you need to travel? This is primarily for those women living in rural and remote area's of Queensland.

 

Support

  • All new parents need help and support. Getting support from those closest to you like your, family or friends, is a great place to start. It might help to start thinking about what help you will need from those around you both during the pregnancy and after the birth and where else you can get some help and support. This will depend on whether you will be parenting on your own or co-parenting with the baby’s father or someone else.
  • Connect with supports – community programs (see here for useful websites). These can help you establish antenatal care and help you get prepared during your pregnancy.
  • You may find it useful to talk to other mothers and young mothers and ask for their wisdom, what they find helpful and what they have learnt along the way.
  • Think about whether you may like to connect with any pregnancy and parenting groups. See here for a group near you.

 

Relationship

 

While pregnancy can be a happy and exciting time it is a time when you are dealing with many changes in your life. This includes dealing with other people, such as the man involved with the pregnancy, boyfriend and/or your partner. This can put pressure on your relationship.

 

Being able to work together during pregnancy and after the baby arrives is important. Newborn babies are alot of work and this can make you both very tired! Getting on the same page about who does what (cooking, washing, paying for baby goods) before the baby arrives can be really helpful to reduce some of the stess that newborns can create!

It is normal for relationships to be challenging sometimes or even break down but it is not OK for someone to hurt you in a relationship. If you are experiencing physical or emotional abuse, help is available.

 

Contact the numbers below for immediate help or referral to a local support service.

 

DV Connect (women) Tel: 1800 811 811

 

DV Connect (men) Tel: 1800 600 636

 

 

Money Stuff

 

One of the biggest thing parents fight about is money. Don't forget that things like food, clothing, accommodation, transport, childcare and health care can add up.

Gather funds and resources (hand-me-downs, Vinnies, bargain shops, shop on sale). There are loads of lists online if you google "baby checklist". Often these encourage you to buy things you don't need. Be sensible and just buy what you think you need and let the little 'extras' be gifts or things you buy once you have the necessities locked in.

Centerlink: Everyone’s circumstances will be different but there are 2 main payments for parents received once their baby is born, either the Paid Parental Leave or the Baby Bonus. It is not possible to claim both of these payments. You can work out which payment is best for you by using the paid parental leave comparison estimator tool on the Centrelink website.

 

  • Parental Leave Pay will be available to working parents or those who have worked recently who meet the eligibility criteria and are the primary career. If you are eligible, you will be able to receive Parental Leave Pay at the National Minimum Wage, for up to 18 weeks.
  • Baby Bonus helps you with the extra costs of a new baby. You will receive approximately $5400 per eligible child in 13 fortnightly installments.

 

 You can begin the process for Centrelink payments three months before the birth of your baby. Call the family assistance office on 13 61 50 to start the process.

 

While there is no specific payment for when you are pregnant, there may be other payments and services which may assist you during your pregnancy, such as Youth Allowance, Unreasonable to live at home Allowance, Disability Support and Newstart.

 

There are a range of payments that you should ask Centrelink about, as you may be entitled to receive them. They include:

 

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A and B ( often called the small pay).
  • Parenting payment ( often called the big pay).
  • Maternity immunisation allowance.
  • Health Care Cards.
  • Rent Assistance.
  • Childcare Benefit.
  • Youth Allowance.
  • Disability Support.
  • Newstart.
  • Jobs, Education and Training Childcare fee assistance (JET).

 

Centrelink also has a program called Centrepay. Centrepay is a voluntary bill-paying services which is free for Centrelink customers. Use Centrepay to arrange regular deductions from your Centrelink payment. You can start or change a deduction at any time. The quickest way to do it is through your Centrelink account online. You can use Centrepay to pay bills and ongoing expenses like rent, gas, electricity, water and phone, as well as other household costs.  

 

Check out the Centrelink website or call 13 24 90 for information about payments, services and programs by clicking on 'Individuals ' and then going to targeted areas such as 'Parent or Guardian ', 'Studying or Training ', and 'Crisis or Special Help '.

 

Young Mothers for Young Women Tips for Centrelink are:

 

  1. Take as much info as you can (ID, Letters etc.).

  2. Ask them to document on your file on the computer everything that was discussed that day.

  3. Be persistent – Keep querying until you get a response you are after.

  4. If you have concerns or need support at Centrelink, ask to speak with a social worker.

 

 If you still have no luck, try speaking with a worker at your local youth service. They might be able to advocate for you with Centrelink.  

 

Accommodation and Housing

 

Put strategies in place for where you will live; consider what rules they might have; clarify the expectations your parents have of you; think about how might you contribute to your rent/board; find out what support your family and friends can offer.

Having a safe comfortable place to live and care for your child is very important. Some young women find living at home, with extended family or with their boyfriend is as a good option, if these people are a good support. But for many this might not be possible and there are lots of other options available.  You will need to think about what type of place will work for you and your baby. The main options are discussed below.

 

 Private Rental

Renting your own place or sharing a rental property can work out well but it is important that it is affordable and suitable. Rental properties can be rented directly from the owner or, more commonly in Queensland, through an real estate agent. Available accommodation is listed on websites, such as www.realestate.com.au or www.domain.com.au. For more information on rental options and your rights check out www.rta.qld.gov.au.

 

 Social housing

This is renting from the Government or from a community housing service and you normally need to have an income to apply. You must make an application to your local Department of Housing and have an interview to discuss your application. There is a long waiting list for social housing and key criteria to receive housing. This might mean that it could take a long time for you to get accommodation. To find out where your local office is call the Department of Housing Central Office on 1300 880 882.

 

 Short/Medium Term Housing

This type of accommodation is normally managed by community organisations and often includes support programs; some are specifically designed for young women and their families. The time you can stay will vary and workers may live in the accommodation or may just visit regularly. You will need to make an application directly with the service provider.

Rent is usually charged as a percentage of your income, so it can be more affordable than renting. Often units are fully furnished too. 

To find what is in your area call the Department of Housing central office on 1300 880 882 or contact your local neighbourhood centre or youth service.

 

 Emergency Accommodation

 If you need somewhere to stay immediately or for a short time there are emergency youth shelters, refuges or hostels where you may be able to stay for up to 3 months. They are usually supervised by workers and don’t always take families. For help call the Homeless Person’s Information: 1800 474 753 (free call number that assists people to find crisis accommodation).

 

 Housing Assistance

Department of Housing central office on 1300 880 882.

Homeless Person’s Information: 1800 474 753 (free call number that assists people to find crisis accommodation).

Queensland Youth Housing Coalition 1800 177 107 or www.qyhc.org.au.

 

Education and training

 

Young pregnant and or parenting students in Queensland are entitled to the same training and education as other students. This is regardless of whether you are attending high school, TAFE or university and these rights are protected in Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

Education Queensland has policies around inclusive education and strategies for supporting pregnant and parenting students, to ensure that all state high schools are inclusive of pregnant and parenting students.

This means that if you want to stay in school or want to go back to school you have the right to do so and the school must support you to do this. Schools have to provide appropriate arrangements to support pregnant and parenting students to complete their education through flexibility in:

 

  • Classroom and school management.
  • Curriculum design, teaching and learning strategies, and assessment.
  • Uniform/dress codes.
  • Temporary alterations in attendance.

 

Unfortunately some pregnant and parenting young women still report experiencing a “hard time” or discrimination at school. Examples of discrimination that are unlawful are:

 

  • Refusing to enroll a young woman or young man because she/he has a baby or young child.
  • Advising or encouraging the parent/s of a pregnant or parenting student to withdraw their child from school on the basis of her pregnancy or her/his parental status.
  • Refusal to recognise and address the possible needs arising for young parents who must accommodate child care arrangements into their school day routine.
  • Lack of flexibility in the timetable.

 

There are a small number of state high schools that provide support programs or childcare centres for pregnant and parenting young people. They all operate differently and can be contacted directly for more information.

 

  • POWER Program, Mabel Park State High School, Slacks Creek. Tel: 07 3489 2333
  • Southside Education, Sunnybank. Tel: 07 3344 1056
  • STEMM Program, Burnside State High School, Burnside. Tel: 07 54417300
  • Ipswich State High School. Tel: 07 38134485 (pregnant and parenting support officer but no childcare services)

 

If you feel you've experienced discrimination or bullying it is important to speak with someone you trust, such as the Guidance Counsellor, Youth Support Coordinator, or another member of school staff. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with school staff you can contact your local youth service or one of the following,

 

Youth Advocacy Centre 07 3356 1002 or www.yac.net.au (if you are under 17)

Womens legal service (if you are over 17) 07 3392 0670 or www.wlsq.org.au

To find out more about your rights and education check our Your Rights page 

 Other education options

 

In addition to mainstream schooling there a number of alternative education options that can work well for pregnant and parent young people.

 

  • Distance education - studying while staying at home by enrolling in courses via a number of institutions on correspondence or online basis.
  • Alternative Education Centres - which may provide on-campus support such as a crèche or child care centre or a designated area where parents can study, rest or feed their babies. An example is the Albert Park Flexible Learning Centre .
  • Tertiary Institutions - such as TAFE that offers education and training in a wide range of fields.
  • Home Education - where individually tailored education is provided by parents for their children. Within home education, parents are responsible for developing their own program for their child, conducting learning activities, setting assessment and monitoring the child's progress.
  • Open Colleges - provides distance education of nationally accredited, industry recognised vocational courses, with student support via a learning portal, called Open Space, where students can interact with each other and their trainers.
  • Other Programs- A number of schools in Queensland have specific programs in place to support pregnant and/or parenting students. Students can contact their nearest District Office to see if there is a program in their local area.[i]

 

Employment

If you are working you have certain rights under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. These rights are legally protected whether you are a full-time, part-time or casual employee. This means that if your employer attempts to sack you, reduce your hours, demote you or does not offer training because you are pregnant, then your legal rights may have been violated. For more information of if you’re not sure about your rights you can contact one of the organizations below.

 

Fair Work: Tel 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au

Queensland Workplace Rights: Tel 1300 737 841 or visit www.workplacerights.qld.gov.au

Youth Advocacy Centre 07 3356 1002 or www.yac.net.au (if you are under 17)

Womens legal service (if you are over 17) 07 3392 0670 or www.wlsq.org.au

 

Department of Child Safety

 

At Children by Choice many young women ask us about the Department of Child Safety becoming involved with them or contacting them. Your age is not a factor in relation to the Department and they will only contact you  if there is a significant concern for your safety or the safety of your unborn child, such experiencing domestic or family violence.

 

 If you are concerned about child safety issues please contact us or any of the organisations list below.

 

These organisations provide support programs for young people pregnant or parenting. This is not an exhaustive list and if there is no service listed in your area please contact your local neighbourhood centre or youth service. 

 

Brisbane

 

Beenleigh Area Youth Service (BAYS): Beenleigh Tel: 07 3287 1290

Brisbane Youth Service Fortitude Valley , Tel: 07 3252 3750

Inala Youth Service, Inala Tel: 07 3372 2655

Logan Youth and Family Services, Logan: 07 3826 1500

Picabeen Community Association, Mitchelton: 07 3354 2555

St Mary’s Support and Accommodation, Toowong: 07 3870 1767

Young Mothers for Young Women, Westend: 07 3013 6000

Young Parents Program: Kedron, Tel : 07 3357 9944

 

 Gold Coast

 

 YHES House, Southport, Tel: 07 5531 1577

 SCISCO Career Pathways, Southport, Tel: 07 5538 6600

 Cooloola Youth Service, Gympie. Tel: 07 5482 6188

 Sunshine Coast

 Integrated Family and Youth Service, Maroochydore. Tel: 07 5479 5898

 Maroochydore Area Youth Service, Tel: 07 5443 4543

 United Synergies (Noosa Youth Service). Tel: 07 5442 4277

 

 Toowoomba

 

Young Women’s Place, Tel: 07 4639 4380

 

 Kingaroy

 

CTC Youth Services-Kingaroy, Tel: 07 4162 7788

 

 Murgon

 

CTC Youth Services-Murgon, Tel: 07 4169 5940

 

 Mackay

 

Mackay Women's Centre, Tel: 07 4953 1788

 

Rockhampton

 

Girls Time Out, Tel: 07 4922 7509

 

 Northern Queensland

 

Townsville: Queensland Youth Services Inc. Tel: 07 4771 3648

YouthLink, Cairns: Tel: 07 4031 6179

 

Useful numbers for parents

 

 13health ( 24 hour advice line): 13 43 25 84

 

Womens health Qld wide: 07 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (outside Brisbane)

 

Health Info Line: 07 3236 4833

 

Parentline: 1300 301 300

 

Pregnancy, Birth & Baby Helpline 1800 882 436 (24/7 helpline)

 

Useful websites for parents

 

www.babiestoday.com

 

www.raisingchildren.net.au

 

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

 

www.havingababy.org.au

 

 

 

Last edited on: 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015