Inside the Lives of Children Having Children

"Primetime" follows families as they deal with the realities of teen pregnancy.

ByABC News
June 17, 2009, 12:53 PM

June 17, 2009— -- Teenagers having sex often starts out as something exciting and forbidden -- and they just don't believe that one night in bed could change their lives forever. But all too often, the result of teens' secret sex lives is an unwanted and unexpected pregnancy.

From a 14-year-old who got pregnant the first time she had sex, to a teen dad raising his infant son and hoping to finish his senior year in high school, Jay Schadler reports on the highs, lows and ultimate consequences of American children having children on the premiere of "Primetime: Family Secrets," airing Tuesday, June 23, from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network.

For the first time in 15 years, the teen birth rate is on the rise in the United States. Throughout the past year, ABC News has followed four families as they deal with the day-to-day realities of teen pregnancy.

In Haverhill, Mass., there are times of doubt and moments of joy, as Schadler spends time with a young couple who are high school seniors, taking the less traveled path of trying to raise their 6-month-old son together.

In Louisville, Ky., 14-year-old Mahogany attends an unusual school designed for pregnant teens as she experiences both determination and self-doubt with her body changing every day. "Primetime" is with her as she gives birth to her son, and as he keeps her awake at night.

In Yakima, Wash., an 18-year-old homecoming queen shocks the school her senior year by becoming pregnant with the school's star quarterback.

And in Texas, 14-year-old Paige cries out for her mother when the contractions intensify. Some of the teenagers Schadler meets have their parents' support, while some feel completely alone, but all of them are ill-prepared for how quickly they have to grow up.

Schadler also examines the two vastly different schools of thought about how to talk to kids about sex. He attends a Massachusetts comprehensive sex education class, which assumes that teens are going to have sex and that the best protection is to prepare them with condom demonstrations and frank talk.

In a Texas high school, they teach that "saving oneself" until marriage is the "cool" thing to do, and stress that premarital sex leads to broken hearts and sexually transmitted diseases.

Despite the different approaches, teen pregnancy continues to rise all across the country, with American children having children at the highest rate among industrialized nations.

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