When a teenager says she’s pregnant, you believe her. Why wouldn’t you? Until recently, I never had reason to question it.
But I hadn’t counted on the Internet and I hadn’t counted on girls looking for media attention on the social networking sites with phony stories about being pregnant.
Historically, when a teenager got pregnant, it was usually unplanned and there were major consequences, e.g., not being allowed to attend high school classes with her friends or going to school proms and extracurricular school activities.
The father of the child was usually also a teenager who had big plans for his future and who wasn’t ready or willing to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood.
Even in today’s permissive society, there are still many parents who are ashamed of their daughter for getting pregnant. They often show their disapproval by kicking her out of the house or telling her to get an abortion or give the baby up for adoption.
They might even tell her that they raised their own children and they don’t want to end up raising hers. The teenager’s life changes dramatically, and that’s not even taking into account the morning sickness and the extreme tiredness in the first trimester.
But the amazing thing is that there are many teenagers who are faking pregnancy.
They take to the Internet to make their announcement. They get wire mesh and cotton quilting to simulate a pregnant woman’s body and they make up all kinds of stories.
If they were just doing it for reasons of experimentation to see what it feels like to be pregnant or getting their boyfriend to marry them, that might be understandable.
However, from the stories that have been going around, these teenagers are doing it for more than fun and games. Some of them are doing it to con people out of money.
There are teenagers who scam infertile couples, telling them that they are pregnant with an unwanted child that they will give up for adoption. The couple agrees to pay their living expenses until the baby is born and then around the time of their due date, these girls disappear.
Many of these teenagers fake a miscarriage and thrive on all the emotional and financial support from faceless people over the Internet. One girl even admitted she faked a pregnancy so that people would give her a seat on the bus.
I’m always amazed at the gullibility of people who open their wallets without checking out the facts before parting with their money. Since the social media sites have become magnets for scam artists and fortune hunters, the caveat still holds true . . . let the buyer beware.