Your girlfriend may have said, “My period is late and I’m scared that I might be pregnant!” Those can be upsetting words. You may be thinking that it can’t happen to you. Those are things that happen to others, but not you. You were careful! She was on the pill, depo or you used a condom. Isn’t that fail-proof? No. Every method of birth control has it’s failure rate. One of the consequences of being sexually active is possible pregnancy. A pregnancy test can show your girlfriend whether her body is producing the hormone hCg that is produced in the body of a pregnant woman. We provide these tests free of charge. An accurate confirmation of pregnancy should come through a medical examination. After the shock wears off, you may begin thinking about what you should do. What are your alternatives and responsibilities as a boyfriend and prospective father. You definitely have some things to think about.
A. Agree to help parent the child
Taking responsibility for your actions and providing support for your child is a noble and commendable action. This choice takes into consideration what is in the best interest of the child, when the decision has not yet been made to marry your girlfriend.
B. Marry, and raise the child together
For some couples, committing to each other in marriage, wanting to be a family and working together is the best option in these circumstances. Every child has the right to a have both a father and mother in the home. If your child could choose to have their father there, it would choose you.
C. Place the baby in temporary foster care
When you just don’t “have it together” yet, but you want to the right do thing, placing your child in temporary foster care might give you time to put the framework for parenting your child into place. This choice is one that considers the care of your girlfriend, your child, and yourself. When a final decision whether or not to raise the child has been made, you can work this out without the pressure you were once under.
D. Help to place the baby for adoption
Adoption is a loving, unselfish choice. Depending on the circumstances involved, this difficult decision may the best one for your baby. Perhaps your girlfriend may decide that this option is the one she wants for the baby and you feel like your baby is being abandoned. Think again. Adoption is making a plan for your child that will give it the future you may not be able to provide.
Adoption agencies and attorneys thoroughly screen families. Adoption has changed for the good. Open adoption allows you to have communications and pictures of your child. If you want, your can register with the state so that your child can find you when he/she turns 18. What would you say to your child when he/she finds you. You have 18 years to think abut this, but you might begin with, “Your mother and I loved you and chose to give you a chance at a wonderful life.”
E. Abandon the woman
You could abandon your girlfriend, though this is not an honorable decision. You may feel that you have an education to think about. Maybe you want to see the world. Will you feel proud of this decision in five, maybe ten years down the road?
Our actions have consequences and responsibilities. Have you ever felt abandoned during a difficult time in your life? Your girlfriend and your baby need you now. Whether you want this baby or not, whether you love this woman or not, you are still a father. Maybe your father was not available for you. You can break this pattern of abandonment with this relationship.
F. Abort the baby
This option carries possible traumatic consequences, not only for the baby, but also for the mother and father. This may seem to be an option that hides the fact that your girlfriend is pregnant. You may think that the “problem is gone.” However, evidence-based research has shown that many men and women suffer traumatic consequences called post abortion trauma. They are filled with guilt and shame, regretting the choice they made. This child is a life. It is not an extension of your girlfriend’s body.
Society will tell you that this life is just a piece of tissue and this “simple procedure” will eliminate all your trouble. Think again, think it through. Click here for more about abortion.
Life happens. Mistakes are made. We have to live with our mistakes. A helpful thought is one worthy of consideration: Which option do you wish your parents would have made for you?
Whatever your decision, PRC Stanly County will be there to help you through this time. Whether we are giving you community service referrals, walking with you through a pregnancy, counseling you through issues from your past, or just providing a pregnancy test and some information, we want you to know that the door is always open for you to come back to the Center for help.
What am I feeling?
You may be feeling angry with yourself or your girlfriend for a variety of reasons. Anger can be a very normal emotion in association with the consequences of our own mistakes. Anger is not wrong to have as long as it is kept under control and does not endure for an endless time period. It is part of a grieving process when dealing with a loss. You may feel like your carefree youth is gone with the coming of parental responsibility.
You may be resenting the fact that your girlfriend is pregnant and feeling that it was all her fault. Building a wall in your relationship at this time is not a good idea. You both have choices to make and can probably make better decisions together than apart.
You may have tried to control your hormones and impulses, but failed miserably. Considering the consequences of fatherhood can be devastating for a young man.
How will I support this child? What will my future be like having a baby at an early age? What about my career? These are questions you may be asking yourself.
What are my rights? Toward a better understanding…
Our culture is changing. Many men are taking on roles that include more child-rearing responsibilities. However, if your girlfriend or wife is pregnant and decides to have an abortion, you have little opportunity to influence her decision. In one national poll, it was found that over 80% of the population thought a man should be able to express his ideas. Yet, in the abortion arena, male input has little significance. This has given men a sense of powerlessness.
What is a guy to do? Let your partner know that you want to have a role in her decision. The most wonderful thing that you can do for your baby is to be committed to its mother, your partner. This is no guarantee that your partner will make the decision to carry your baby to full term. It will give her some sense of knowing that you will support her in the decision to have this baby.
What if you want your girlfriend to abort this baby? No one can force a woman to have an abortion. Legally, this is her choice, alone. She will bear the weight of her decision for the rest of her life. This child is a separate entity with DNA that makes it a unique person, we believe created in the image of God. Seek some counseling from people who care about you, your partner and the child in question.
What if your partner wants to place this child for adoption? You need to think about what is in the best interests of your baby and your partner. Can you support this child if you have not finished your education? Can you give your child everything you want it to have, such as a stable home environment, love and a safe place to live? What do you want for your child to experience? What kind of family do you want your child to grown up in? These questions are good to think about whether you raise your child yourself or place it with an adoptive family.
You must be made aware of the fact that there is a baby and it is yours. If you doubt that you are the father, a DNA test can be done to determine the likelihood of this. Whether you are the biological father or not does not devalue this baby as being human.
As the biological father of a child, you do have rights concerning the adoption process. You must sign a form called a surrender giving permission for your partner to place your child with an adoptive family. If you do not have a relationship with the mother any longer, you still must be made aware of her plans and every reasonable effort must be made to contact you and alert you to the plan being made to place your child in an adoption process.
If you have not had contact with the mother throughout the pregnancy, you may lose any rights to influence the decision. A judge may determine this.
Through the whole process of coming to grips with an unplanned pregnancy we commit to stand by you, and to help you find and follow the best option for you. That is at the core of the purpose and mission of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Stanly County.