Sorainen provided pro-bono legal assistance to the Children’s Hospital Foundation, which implements a special support programme for underage pregnant girls who lack peer support. This is one of the most vulnerable groups in society, and often faces intolerance, misunderstanding and even family indifference. The Children’s Hospital Foundation aims to help girls by engaging volunteers who are ready to listen and support, as well as to help them navigate practical issues and receive the medical services necessary for monitoring the pregnancy and the baby’s health.
Teenage pregnancy – the state support system needs to be improved
Every year in Latvia, about 100 births are registered to girls under the age of 17 (HSD). In 2022, the Children’s Hospital Foundation conducted a study of women with pregnancy and childbirth experience as a minor, which is the first study of its kind in Latvia, and published an Action Plan.
According to the Action Plan, some of the main causes of teenage pregnancy are a lack of knowledge about reproductive health, unfavourable family conditions and insufficient parental support. It is also emphasised that an integral part of solving the issues of teenage pregnant women is educating the public and spreading awareness about the integration of these young mothers into democratic society. Namely, often a large part of the problem is society’s judgmental attitude towards the girl, which discourages her from seeking help.
At the moment, there is no systematic, state-organised and financed support system for underage pregnant women in Latvia, so these women are completely dependent on the financial capabilities of their families or are forced to seek help from society. That’s why the Children’s Hospital Foundation is trying to bring this issue to the fore through various projects.
Our support for the project
The Sorainen team conducted preliminary research on regulatory requirements in the areas of patient rights, data processing, the legal capacity of minors and protection of children’s rights, and also prepared the support programme agreement draft.