Documentaries

Focal Point: Love Child

Posted June 18, 2008
Updated August 18, 2012

Original air date: June 18, 2008

Studies show that teen pregnancy costs North Carolina taxpayers more than $300 million a year. Most of that money is spent on the children of teen mothers, from health care and other support services when they are young to welfare and incarceration when they are older.

Black girls have the highest teen pregnancy rate among the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States and double the rate of white teens in North Carolina.

Although that rate decreased dramatically between 1990 and 2002, it is on the rise again.

Focal Point: “Love Child” takes an in-depth look at the disproportionate number of teen births in the black community with candid interviews and revealing insight from teen mothers and young men.

Watch the documentary

Focal Point: Love Child

Focal Point extras

Two local film students helped WRAL gather the opinion of black male teens about teen pregnancy in their community. Here’s what the teens had to say:

Online resources

Web links are provided for informational purposes only. Views and opinions expressed on the Web sites of these organizations do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of WRAL-TV, WRAL.com, nor its parent company, Capitol Broadcasting Co.

Host: Gerald Owens
Writer/Producer: Clay Johnson
Photographer/Editor: Jay Jennings
Research & Production Assistant: Laura Riddle

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  • FlyByNight Jun 19, 2008

    **I just watched the video.**

    What a vicious cycle this family has. I just don't want people to think we all live like this. If you don't want anything out of life..then what do you expect from your children?

    Men are not the answer for not having a daddy? My parents got divorced, and I didn't seek comfort in boys. These girls did exactly what they saw mom do.

    I believe losers...seek out other losers. Cut off welfare for everybody.

  • Shadow213 Jun 19, 2008

    ressipoo...i think they chose to highlight the black community in this piece since the rate of teen pregancy for this group is so much higher than in other races...i dont think they were trying to "generalize" them.

  • Shadow213 Jun 19, 2008

    I saw this last night and I actually thought these people were incredibly selfish! Absolutely everyone started preaching "oh don't do it, it'll ruin your life. it's so hard on you, etc" NO ONE said "oh don't do it because you'll ruin YOUR KID'S life. it is not fair to the child to be raised in this way" all of these mothers seemed to think it was about them...but the problem is that if you are making this irresponsible decision to have a child, but are unfit to be a good parent, then the poor kid will NEVER have a chance to get out of this cycle. They all wonder why it keeps happening. It's because they see this as an adversity to them first, not the unucky child who doesn't stand a chance.

  • FlyByNight Jun 19, 2008

    **What is this thing in the black community (that is where I am hearing it from) that how much of a man you are depends on how many children you have? (No mention/recognition/responsibility to/for the child)**

    This is not coming from the black community. I have never heard this before in my life. Yes, teen pregnancy is a terrible epidemic. Don't group a whole race together as one.

    I believe this problem crosses all races. They just happen to pick the one race to use. This has more to do with parental involvement(lack of it)...than anything else.

    You just have to be involved with your kids. I wasn't a teen mother and neither were any of my friends. Please stop generalizing black people.

  • kal Jun 19, 2008

    A few comments/concerns:

    As a school employee I see this happening to my students. Most have absentee parents or parents that don't care enough and here comes this guy willing to give her attention.

    I also had a studnet in the last few weeks state to me she was quiting her job a McDonald's because the manager always got on her when she came to work late. She was just going to have another child, it was easier. WOW! Maybe all this "HELP" needs to have some more condidtions with it.

    Also-I see just as many hispanic girls pregnant and dating older men. I have a 14-year old hispanic child staying with me and she has been in a relationship with a married 20 year-old male (I can't call him a man). Many of her friends also have older male boyfriends.

    What is this thing in the black community (that is where I am hearing it from) that how much of a man you are depends on how many children you have? (No mention/recognition/responsibility to/for the child)

  • Sunkist Jun 19, 2008

    I saw this last night and also the mom that said they are making it, well you have no other choice but to make it the baby is here now. Why is it that we only hear about Teens talking after the Fact? Once they have had their babies, now they can say Don't Do it. Where are the Teens that didn't do it. When will a Teen Say I was getting ready to have Sex and I turned and walked away, I made a decision to get up before it got started, I say NO to Sex. Where are those Teens. Maybe they need to talk to these Teens that's keep given these excuses.

    the story states:
    Black girls have the highest teen pregnancy rate among the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States and double the rate of white teens in North Carolina.

    Oh Trust Me Whites, Hispanics and all other colors are getting pregnant also, some just decided to send their child to boarding School, some use the (morning after pill) since it's so easy to get. I guess blacks just have their babies

  • svwoo2004 Jun 18, 2008

    I just watched the focal point: Love Child. I have to say that I was very disappointed. I would like to have seen some other teen or at least a current college student from a similar or the same neighborhood giving the young mothers another prospective on what or where they could be. If there was a pregnant girl watching and she was teetering on a decision to have a baby, sex, adoption, or abortion. The only thing that she would have walked away with is seeing the girl’s mother say that they were ok. That they were making it, so that made it OK. The one thing that was clear to me was that the girls and others like them cost tax payers and the state a significant amount of money. And what teen from a broken or never together home considers that from day to day.
    If the FOCUS of this is to get taxpayers hot under the collar about their tax dollars at work you may have gotten the point across. If the focus was to get folks out of their chairs and help the girls then I believed you