How to Deal with an Unplanned Pregnancy: The Male Perspective
There are some things you hope never happen, and accidentally getting a girl pregnant is often one of them.
The consequences of an unintended pregnancy can seem overwhelming. The impact of this accident touches every area of life — it affects you, her and your relationship. There are plenty of reasons you may not be ready to handle an unplanned pregnancy, let alone raise a child. All of this combined may have left you searching for unplanned pregnancy advice for men in your situation. So, what do you do next?
The good news is that you have options. There are ways for you and the expectant mother to deal with an unplanned pregnancy together. Accidentally getting a girl pregnant is a massive life event, but you can take this accident and make the best of it — for you, her and the baby.
Here, we’ll provide some basic information about unplanned pregnancy as a father so you and your baby’s mother can start discussing your options. If you have additional questions about men and unplanned pregnancy, you can reach an adoption specialist any time, for free and with no obligation, by completing this form.
Is This Your Choice, or the Mother’s?
When you’re thinking about how to deal with an unplanned pregnancy as a man, it’s important to start with this question. As the father of the baby, you and the mother will both have parental rights to the baby after birth. How these rights materialize will depend on several factors, like your relationship to the mother and your ability to fulfill parental responsibilities.
The way parental rights affect decision-making about an unplanned pregnancy often come down to a case-by-case basis. This is something you’ll most likely want to discuss with an attorney, especially if you have questions about your parental rights in a specific situation.
Obviously, you can both make the decision together if you and the mother are on the same page. In that case, these questions become much easier to answer. If, however, you have different ideas about how to handle the unplanned pregnancy, remember that this is ultimately about her body. While it’s your baby, too, she is the one that carries the child and feels the most drastic impacts of the pregnancy. As such, it’s important to respect her decisions, even if they may be different from yours.
Regardless of if you agree on the best path forward, you should do everything possible to support the mother of the baby. As the father, you have a responsibility to her and the baby; running away isn’t an option. You are already taking a responsible step forward by taking the time to research your options for how to deal with an unplanned pregnancy as a male. Being involved and encouraging throughout this whole unplanned pregnancy is the best thing you can do.
“She Is Pregnant; What Do I Do?”
So, what are those decisions you can make? How do you deal with an unplanned pregnancy?
For men, these may not be the questions you pictured yourself asking at this time in your life. But knowing the options is the best first step toward dealing with an unintended pregnancy.
The first choice many couples consider is parenting. Even though it may initially seem impossible, it’s important to really think through this possibility. Unplanned fatherhood might not have been a part of your plan, but many couples do successfully parent following an unplanned pregnancy, and there are resources that can help.
If financial pressure is the primary factor, there are public programs you can access for help with things like food, housing, medicine and even preschool. However, there may be other contributing factors, as well. After you’ve taken it all into account and discussed this with the mother, you may come to the conclusion that parenting won’t work. If she comes to the same conclusion, you can move on to other unplanned pregnancy options. If, however, she does want to parent, then you could still be responsible for child support payments and other obligations.
If you decide against parenting as a man dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, the next two options are adoption and abortion. Each is an unplanned pregnancy option that avoids the pressures of parenting.
Choosing adoption can be a way to do what is best for yourself and your child. Through the adoption process, you can give your baby the chance to grow up in a loving family and have a life full of opportunity. You and the mother can also experience the benefits of adoption as birth parents. Adoption is always free to prospective birth parents like you, and if you and your partner are working together in this process, you can create an adoption plan based on your combined preferences. You may even be eligible for adoption financial assistance, which comes as a relief to many prospective birth parents.
If you and the baby’s mother decide that adoption is the best path forward for the three of you, an adoption specialist will be happy to guide you both through every step of the process. You can reach an adoption specialist any time to start the process or ask questions by requesting more free information online. Contacting an adoption professional never commits you to the adoption process.
Alternatively, abortion may be a possibility, depending on where you live and how far along the pregnancy is. Each state has different abortion laws, and if your partner may want an abortion, you should research those laws in your state. It is important to keep in mind that, if you are the father of the baby, abortion is not your choice. This unplanned pregnancy option is entirely up to your partner. If she feels it is best, she deserves your support. If she doesn’t want to get an abortion, she should never be pressured into one.
No matter which of these three options you prefer, it’s best to go over them together with the mother of the baby, if possible. Listen to her and support her desires, as she knows better than anyone which option is going to be best for her and the baby.
Find Unplanned Pregnancy Advice for Men
An unplanned pregnancy, by definition, isn’t something you and your partner were expecting. You may not be equipped to handle it, and that’s okay. You don’t have to go through this journey on your own. It’s not weak to seek out help; it’s just smart. And you can start by contacting a professional at any time to receive free unexpected pregnancy advice for men in your situation.
An adoption specialist will listen to your questions and help you understand all of your options, not just adoption. If you and your partner do think adoption is the best choice, these specialists can help you get the process started.