My sisters and I spent the majority of our adolescence as foster kids in Los Angeles County. We entered the system after my parents divorced. My mom, who was both poor and mentally ill, wasn’t equipped to be a single parent to six young children.
No one told us about the bad odds we faced. Teenage girls living in foster care are 21/2 times more likely than other girls to become pregnant by age 19. Information about sexual development, reproductive health and pregnancy prevention is not readily available, in part because none of the many individuals who interact with youths in foster care has specific responsibility for providing such education.