You’ve sent us your questions about sex, pregnancy, and parenting rights. Each month, we’ll pick one to answer here on the blog. Check out our answers below!
No! You have the right to stay in school if you become pregnant or a teen parent. Your school cannot treat you unfairly or harass you just because you’re pregnant or have a child; the school also can’t kick you out or force you to go to a different school.
In California, you have to stay in school until you are 18, you graduate, or you get a certificate of proficiency. Once you become pregnant or a parent, you can stay in your current school, but you also can choose to leave your current school and find a new one that might better meet the new needs you face as a pregnant or parenting teen. You can go to a continuation program, a GED program, adult education classes, community college, or a special school for pregnant and parenting teens. The choice is yours.
If you do decide to look into a different school, try to find out as much about that school as possible. Ask whether the school has flexible schedules, what degrees they offer, and what kinds of programs they may have for pregnant and parenting teens. Talk to trusted adults, your school counselor, teachers, and recent graduates of programs you’re interested in to get a better sense of what you can expect.
There are programs that will help you regardless of what school you’re in. You can find out more about these programs here.
As a teen parent, you have unique rights when it comes to staying in school and completing your education. Make sure to visit the School and Education section of our Youth Legal Guide for a complete guide to your rights in school as a teen parent.