Pregnancy and Getting Help
Disclaimer: The material in this factsheet is a general guide only. It is not legal advice. For legal advice about your own particular situation we encourage you to call the Free Legal Helpline on 1300 366 424. The legal information was correct at the time of publishing (January 2018), however may change without notice.
Pregnancy and young people
If you’ve just found out that you are pregnant or you’ve just found out that someone who you’ve had a sexual relationship with has become pregnant as a result, then it’s important that you know that there are places and people that you can talk it over with and give you support and information. This may be someone that you’re close to, or someone experienced in this area like a counsellor or health worker.
There are contacts for agencies that you can approach for help on this factsheet. If you’re not getting the advice and support you want, you can go somewhere else for help.
If I go to the doctors will they tell my parents that I’m pregnant?
You do not need your parent’s permission to go to the doctor. A conversation with a doctor should be confidential. If you are concerned that a doctor may tell your parents and you don’t want them to, then you could consider calling SHine SA to make an appointment to see a health worker who is used to working with young people about sexual health and pregnancy. Call 1300 883 793.
Do I have to tell my parents that I’m pregnant?
There is no law that requires you to tell your parents about medical treatment you have received or that you are pregnant if you don’t want to. If you need some support telling your parents you are pregnant you may like to call the Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800 which offers a free counselling service.
What are my options if I’m pregnant?
If you are pregnant you have choices (these are in no particular order, it’s up to you to decide on an option):
- Continue the pregnancy and become a parent
- Have a termination (abortion) to end the pregnancy, or
- Continue the pregnancy and consider adoption or alternative care.
Option: Continue the pregnancy and become a parent
Contact your GP, local SHine SA clinic or major hospital to discuss your options regarding pregnancy care. To book into a public hospital call the Pregnancy SA Info-line on 1300 368 820. You can also call the Women’s Information Service regarding support services (such as emotional, housing, financial, and other support).
The Women’s and Children’s Health Network has a Parent Helpline that is staffed by nurses and community health care workers. You can speak to someone on 1300 364 100. If you are aged 12–25 you may wish to contact Metropolitan Youth Health. Their contact numbers are available on this fact sheet.
If you are pregnant and need support to continue with your education, there are services and programs that can help you. If you are in school and pregnant or have a baby and they are treating you unfairly - call the free Legal Helpline on 1300 366 424 to find out about your rights. You can also call the Legal Helpline to find out about Child Support.
Option: Have a termination to end the pregnancy
A termination (an abortion) can be legally accessed in SA in certain circumstances.
The law says that you get to decide if you want a termination, not anybody else. This means that you don’t need the consent of the person who you had sex with and then became pregnant as a result, and you don’t need the consent of your parents if you are 16 years old or older. If you are under 16 and feel you cannot talk to your parents or guardians about the pregnancy, then discuss this with a doctor, social worker or counsellor.
Terminations can be performed at the Pregnancy Advisory Centre and most public hospitals, including some country hospitals. A doctor’s referral is not needed. If you have a Medicare card, surgical terminations are free at the Pregnancy Advisory Centre and public hospitals. There is a small cost for a medication termination. See their website (in the yellow box on this page) for more details of their services.
Option: Continue the pregnancy and consider adoption or alternative care
The Adoption and Family Information Service can provide counselling as you work through future options for yourself and your child if this is something you are considering. www.adoptions.sa.gov.au
Agencies that you can contact for support and information:
SHine SA: https://www.shinesa.org.au
Pregnancy Advisory Centre: www.pregnancyadvisorycentre.com.au
Women’s Information Service: www.wis.gov.au
Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800
- Angle Park - 8243 5637
- Elizabeth – 8255 3477
- Christies Beach – 8326 6053
The Legal Services Commission gratefully acknowledges the assistance of SHine SA and the National Children’s and Youth Legal Centre in allowing the Legal Services Commission of South Australia to use and adapt existing content.