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by Abigail Van Buren

Teenage Mother Wants More Involvement From Baby's Dad

DEAR ABBY: I'm 15 and have a 6-month-old daughter who is my everything. Her father is 16, and he does drugs and drinks. He says he loves me and the baby, but given the choice, he'd rather be stoned or drunk at his friends' houses than see his daughter.

I want him involved in our lives, but the only time he sees us is when I take the baby to his house. I won't allow my daughter to spend the night with him because he smokes, and so does the rest of the family. I need your help. I don't know what to do. -- TEEN MOMMY IN ILLINOIS

DEAR TEEN MOMMY: It appears your baby's father is in no condition to be a parent in any sense of the word. What you're going to have to do is grow up quickly and realize that at the rate he's going, he has no future.

Teenagers who spend their time drinking and drugging can't study, can't work and can't hold a job. Whether your baby's father will even graduate from high school is questionable. That is why it is doubly important for you to apply yourself to your studies and get all the education you can -- because the odds are great that you will be supporting your daughter emotionally and financially until she's an adult.

Some schools offer programs for teen mothers and dads. I urge you to reach out and find out what is available in your community.