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Teen Pregnancy / Literature

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  • In The Alice Network, Charlie's brother dies while she's still in college. She has a number of one-night stands and then, as a result of those, gets pregnant at the age of nineteen.
  • Referenced in Annie on My Mind. It's mentioned several times that prior to the book, two students were expelled for being married. The real reason was because the girl was pregnant.
  • In Aunt Dimity: Detective, this is revealed to be the reason Prunella Hooper was able to blackmail Peggy Taxman. Peggy was fifteen when she met a brash young American serviceman, and she had his baby shortly after he was killed by an exploding piece or ordinance leftover from WWII. She is reunited with her son over fifty years later.
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  • The Blue Lagoon indicates that Richard and Emmeline were both about sixteen or seventeen when they consummated their love and she had Hannah about a year later. Brooke Shields was about fifteen when she played Em in the 1980 film version; Chris Atkins was nineteen.
  • In the Books of Swords, it is outright stated that the Silver Queen, Yambu, became pregnant with Ariane while still barely a teenager herself. As such, when Ariane is in her early twenties, Yambu is still only in her mid-thirties or so.
  • The age when men are married and expected to start servicing their wives, in A Brother's Price, is sixteen. But only a generation ago, that age was only thirteen, and the Moorlands were fathered by a boy who was married off at that age. Cullen Moorland expresses relief that the age of marriage is higher now. It is not mentioned what the age is for girls, but one family tries to get Eldest Whistler to give them Jerin for a night, in exchange for some money, so that he can father a baby with their youngest sister, who is just sixteen. (Men are very rare, so the problem is not so much avoiding teen pregnancies as getting pregnant before one hits menopause. And some, if not most of the marriages can include wives that aren't born yet; the husband would naturally have to wait awhile if they wish to include everyone.) Eldest Whistler, naturally, refuses; her brother is not for sale.
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  • Brown Girl in the Ring: Ti-Jeanne is a teenager, pregnant with Tony's baby.
  • Bumped by Megan McCafferty, where only teens can get pregnant due to a virus making adults infertile. Teens are paid big bucks to be surrogates for couples. It creates a never-ending cycle, because the teen girls have all their kids for other people and when they are mature enough to have kids, they can't so they hire surrogates... and so on.

  • In Clan of the Cave Bear, Ayla is eleven when she has her son Durc - her sister Uba isn't much off that when she gets pregnant. Justified in-universe in that the Clan have a lifespan of about thirty and go through menopause in their early twenties, and so have children early, and Ayla was held to their standards.

  • In The Color Purple, Celie had two teen pregnancies as a result of being raped by her stepfather. Her children were taken from her and adopted by the local minister and his wife, who were unable to have children. She finally gets to meet them near the end of the story.

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  • Danielle Steel frequently trots this one out, with all of her forty-something female characters frequently being said to look more like their children's older sister, thanks to them having had their children in their early to mid 20s.

  • The web-novel Domina:
    • It's common for people in the city to have children in their teens (possibly because they don't tend to live much longer). Several characters mention off-hand having kids they put in orphanages, and the vast majority of the current generation are orphans as well.
    • Ling Yu turns out to have given birth at age twelve, which is noted to be extremely strange. Might have something to do with being an ex-succubus. Apparently her boyfriend was older than her; The Rant mentions that he was scattered over half the district when the authorities found him.
      The Rant: Domina City does not take kindly to anyone who does anything to children.

  • Dear America: Subverted. In Cannons At Dawn, Abby becomes pregnant with Willie’s child at the age of fifteen and gives birth to a daughter named Hannah in the epilogue. However due to the era, Abby is considered an adult woman and married, so it’s not a big deal to herself or her family.

  • In Eleanor & Park: Discussed between Eleanor and Sabrina when the latter tells the former that the teenage daughter of a family friend has gotten pregnant by a black boy, and the family is in an uproar over it.
    • It's also implied that Sabrina and her first husband had Eleanor when they were in high school.

  • In Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian Grey's mother was presumably this (she was in her early twenties and he was four when he was taken from her, meaning that she likely would have been between fifteen and eighteen). This is never remarked upon.

  • Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve. As it's set at the turn of the century, 16 year-old Olympia is forced to give up the baby for adoption by her parents.

  • In Ginger Pye, Jerry and Rachel's mother married their father at the age of seventeen, at a time when such marriages were unusual but not unheard of. Their grandmother is still quite young, and they have a three-year-old uncle, affectionately referred to as "Uncle Benny" by everyone in the neighborhood.

  • Giovanni Francesco Straparola's Fairy Tale "Pietro Pazzo" (also known as Peter the Fool) takes this trope further by having the title character impregnate a ten-year-old princess, who gives birth at the age of eleven.

  • In the world of The Giver, some girls are selected to become Birthmothers at the tender age of twelve, meaning they first give birth at 13-14. Of course, this only helps the jarring creepiness of the setting. In Son, one of the follow-ups, other characters find out about ex-Birthmother Claire's pregnancy and are aghast, disgusted, and saddened.

  • Diana from Gone gets pregnant by Caine when she's fourteen, leading to her Heel–Face Turn.

  • In Moonlight Mile, the sequel to Gone Baby Gone in the Kenzie and Gennaro Series, Patrick and Angie eventually track down Amanda McReady, a girl who went missing when she was four years old and then disappeared again when she was 16. She has a baby with her that she claims is hers because of this trope. It's not actually hers, but rather her friend Sophie's, who does actually qualify for this trope since she's the same age as Amanda.

  • Harry Potter:
    • Lily Potter is a prominent example - Harry was 15 months old when she was murdered at the age of 21 and nine months (her birthday is at the end of January). Add 9 months to that and you get 24 months, exactly 2 years, meaning that Lily was approximately 19 and a half when she got pregnant. note  It also goes without saying that James was around the same age. Of course, this is tempered by the fact in the seventies it was much more common for girls to get married immediately after high school. Also, they were at war at the time and anyone could die at any time, with Molly noting that it was part of a much wider societal trend. The movies avert this when a shot of the Potters' gravestones show they have the same birth years as in the books despite the slightly later setting; Lily and James apparently just waited until they were older to get married andhave Harry.
    • Merope Gaunt was 18 when she became pregnant and died a year later after giving birth to her son, who grew up in a Muggle orphanage. He would, later on, rename himself "Lord Voldemort."

  • In If I Go It Will Be Double, Laurie's sister gave birth to a son in high school. Her family disowns her as a result. This leads to Laurie acting out and, eventually, running away.

  • In The Inheritance Cycle, Katrina becomes pregnant by Roran shortly after her rescue from Helgrind, no older than 19. She and Roran marry almost as soon as Eragon returns from dealing with some unexpected aftereffects from said rescue some days later, which preserves her honor.

  • I Shall Wear Midnight quickly establishes itself as Darker and Edgier than previous Discworld Young Adult novels when a 13-year-old miscarries after being savagely beaten by her father.
  • Just Juliet: Georgina got pregnant when she was just fifteen from a boy who's also a teenager, and has a young daughter with him.
  • In The Kharkanas Trilogy, Sandalath Drukorlat — a young noble woman — gave birth to her son Orfantal while she still was the teenage equivalent of a Tiste (who live longer than humans). It was a disgrace in her mother's eyes, especially as the child's father was some random drunk soldier who seduced Sandalath. Nerys allows her daughter to keep the child, but no word of it being her son is to get out and she has the two separated as soon as an opportunity provides itself at the start of the first book.

  • Livorette in Madame d'Aulnoy's Fairy Tale The Dolphin is sixteen when she gives birth to a son after the protagonist Alidor impregnates her. The child is conceived out of marriage. Alidor himself seems to be around Livorette's age.

  • While not stated flat out, some quick math reveals that Sally Jackson from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series was 19 when she got pregnant with her son Percy.

  • The Maximum Ride series ends with its then-15 protagonist giving birth to a baby girl.

  • The Maeve Binchy novel Evening Class has a young girl realizing that her older sister is actually her mother and that all of her "cool big sister" gestures were actually her going all out to be the best mother that she could possibly be despite her limits. She's the result of a teen pregnancy.

  • Midnight Robber: The teenage Tan-Tan ends up pregnant by her father, but her friend Melonhead is blamed.

  • Les Misérables. Fantine obviously was one. This fact is handwaved by an approximate date in the book ("When she was born, the Directory still existed" - that would be about 1798). She could hardly have been over eighteen when Cosette was born, something that makes her story even sadder (dying before she is 25, her hair already grey).

  • Out of the Easy: Louise seems to imply that Josie was this, as she states she was pretty at her (Josie's) age before she had her, at the same time, however, she might have been a little older.

  • Pocket Monsters: The Animation: Delia Ketchum is 29. Her son Ash is 10, meaning she had him around age 19. According to the novels, she worked at a family-owned ramen shop where she met her future husband. He later ran off to become a trainer, however his whereabouts are unknown. Delia was excited to have Ash go away on a journey because, while she loves her son, she misses being able to live her youth.

  • In Pretty Little Liars Emily ends up pregnant after losing her virginity to Isaac and had the baby over summer while staying at her older sister's.

  • Push by Sapphire: The main character actually has two children, one when she was 12 and another when she was 16. Both were by her father.

  • In Rabble Starkey Sweet Ho was 14 when she gave birth to Rabble.

  • In Remnants, Echo seems to be about the same age as the teen protagonists, but has a baby between books. Unlike most examples, it seems to have been some form of artificial insemination—these stories are set After the End, and her people, the Alphas, are very careful trying to keep their society viable. (Which is bad news for Echo, since her baby was born blind and thus implies that she has defective genes...)

  • Gender reversed in The Shipping News, where the protagonist calculates that his grandfather must have been about 11 when he fathered a child. His aunt's reply is simply: "You don't know Newfoundlanders."

  • In Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen, Scarlett and Michael have sex once. Not only does Scarlett get pregnant from the encounter, but Michael dies the next day. Scarlett faces being ostracized in school when she decides to keep Michael's baby, and her mother is initially unsupportive, trying to pressure her into having an abortion.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: This is rather common in the series, because of the quasi-medieval setting, and is nothing worth batting an eye on. Women generally have their first child at age 19.
    • Daenerys Targaryen gives birth to a stillborn son at age 14. Her own mother, Rhaella, had her first child, Daenerys' brother Rhaegar, at around the same age. Her mother, Shaera, gave birth to her son (and Rhaella's husband), Aerys II, at age 18... yeah, incest isn't the only deleterious characteristic of the House of the Dragons.
    • Lysa Arryn was impregnated by Petyr Baelish in their mid-teens. She miscarried the child, however, and would not give birth to a live child until she was in her 20s.
    • Gilly is at most 17 when she gives birth to her father's son.
  • Sweet Valley High:
    • Descriptions of the characters will almost inevitably include the mention that the twins' mother Alice is often mistaken for their older sister (she's presumably only in her late 30s/early 40s given that she and the girls father met their senior year of college).
    • And the father looks like an older version of their brother.
    • Book 10, Wrong Kind of Girl, has Annie Whitman's mother telling Elizabeth that she gave birth to Annie at 16.
    • Another book, "Rumors", has another character's "aunt" admitting that she's her mother and that she lied because she's the result of her out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy.

  • In the Kate Thompson book Children of the Night, the teenage protagonist's mother was only 14 when she had him. He realizes that his father, whom he never knew, must have been an adult, since she would have told him if his father was a classmate of hers. This squicks him out, as the idea that an adult could take advantage of a young girl like that is inherently disturbing.

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns: Mariam is fifteen when she marries Rasheed and miscarries a total of seven pregnancies in four years. Laila, on the other hand, gets pregnant her first time with Tariq, and has a second child with Rasheed four years later. Rasheed also mentions at one point that his mother was fourteen when she had him.

  • In the Towers Trilogy, Xhea is told that her mother Nerra gave birth to her when she was around Xhea's current age. Xhea is only 15, and due to malnutrition and stunted growth she looks even younger.

  • Twilight:
    • Bella gets pregnant with her daughter at age eighteen.
    • It's not explicitly stated, but Renesmee may have been conceived the first time Bella and Edward had sex, which the first time for both of them.

  • Several examples in the works of V. C. Andrews. Notably, Dawn in the Cutler Series was 17 when she gave birth to Christie; in The Casteel Series, Leigh Casteel had Heaven at age 13-14 (the books waver on this since the last two were finished by a Ghost Writer), and Celeste is around fifteen when her daughter is born.

  • Warrior Cats: This is implied with Moth Flight as she's repeatedly mentioned as being young. Estimates show that she is around the age of a modern apprentice. Before it's revealed that she's pregnant, it's even mentioned by other characters that she's too young to know much about childbirth and kittens. With her mate dead, Moth Flight couldn't raise her kits on her own, both due to her youth and her job as a medicine cat. She ended up regretting her kits and the Clans inacted a law that medicine cats couldn't have children.

  • Welcome to Night Vale: Diane had Josh when she was 18 and his father, Troy, was 17.

  • Preteen pregnancy in eleven-year-old Denise's case in We Can't Rewind; and this after her own mother gave birth to her at sixteen. As the narrator grimly notes, Denise's daughter Jaymee made her mother "a grandmother not yet turned thirty" who could easily get away with posing as her granddaughter's mother while Denise was at school.

  • Gender inverted in The Wild Hunt Trilogy. Judith's father was 14 at her conception, due to him being the only male around at a time when her 28-year-old mother desperately needed to get pregnant.

  • In the Wings of Fire series, we eventually find out that Cricket, the protagonist of the twelfth book, was the product of one. This explains why their "parents" were always distant and her older sister was so loving.

  • Wuthering Heights: Cathy (I) is 19 when she dies giving birth to her namesake daughter, and Isabella is 18 when she gives birth to her son Linton. Both are married and their young ages are just a sign of their time.

  • The Anderssons:
    • Elin must have been only 17 years old when her oldest daughter Rebecka was born.
    • Judith is the same young age when her daughter Maria is born.

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