Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Pregnant Girl Who's Showing Can't Prevent Parents Knowing

DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and pregnant. The father of my baby is my stepbrother. It's my fault because I seduced him when we were home alone. Last night my sister said I need to go on a diet because I'm gaining weight, and she joked that I look pregnant. I don't think she has any idea that I really am.

I won't be able to hide this pregnancy much longer. My parents will go crazy, and my stepbrother will also be in major trouble even though it isn't really his fault. I can tell you my mom will not be understanding. Please help. -- DESPERATE FOR ADVICE

DEAR DESPERATE: You're right -- this is major trouble. But your parents have to be told, not only because your pregnancy will soon become obvious, but also because for the sake of the baby, you must have prenatal care. If you are afraid to tell them by yourself, then approach them with the help of another adult, either a close friend or a relative you can confide in. The only thing you shouldn't do is wait any longer.