You are pregnant and you are not quite sure how everyone is going to feel about your pregnancy. As you work to make the right choices for you, you will need a strong support team. Telling your parents is hard enough – you also have to tell your boyfriend.
Every situation is different, but here are a few points to keep in mind. They may not all apply to you, but this can help you start the conversation:
- Try to remain calm. You may cry – that is OK.
- If your relationship with him is a good one and you will stay together, let him know this. You can love each other very much and still make a plan that for both your future’s. Together – and individually.
- Tell him how you feel. It is OK to be scared – pregnancy is hard.
- Share with him that this is your baby together and you want the child to know who is the mother and father and that the child is loved by both of you.
- If you are serious about making a plan for you and the baby, sound serious. Are you ready to have a baby or do you want the relationship with your boyfriend to become more serious now that you are pregnant?
- Ask if he wants to be involved in making a decision about the baby. If you chose adoption, he can help select the family, meet with them and sign any paperwork.
I still have questions
+ We are still together – it will be hard to tell him about the baby
If you are in a good relationship with him and you know you are safe, you will want to tell him as soon as you know. Just let the words sink in. He may be angry at first that you got pregnant. He may blame you that the birth control did not work.Next find out how he feels about the pregnancy. Does he want you to have an abortion? Does he want to marry you and raise this child together? Does he want to support you and the baby and make sure that the baby is provided for and he gets to see the child—even if you and your boyfriend may not stay together? Is he willing to pay child support until the child is 18 years old?A guy who really cares about the baby, is supporting you, and wants to continue to support the child—is a man who has rights to his child. Although you can have an abortion—you cannot make an adoption plan if he supports you (unless the birth father perhaps has a terrible criminal record).
He may care very much about the child and knows adoption may be the best choice. However, if he wants to support you and the child, prepare for him to be a part of your and your child’s life.
+ He is not supporting me—do I have to tell him?
If your boyfriend (or perhaps ex-boyfriend at this point) already knows you are pregnant and he has not offered to support you (and does not live with you), and you tell him about your plans, he may not be as relieved as you may think, It is still wise to tell him. If you think you are unsafe and he may harm you, then you need legal advice and support.Many guys do not help out their girlfriends with the expenses during the pregnancy or even help with the baby afterwards. Some men think that supporting you is paying for your gas to get you to the clinic and buying a package of diapers after the baby is born. He may not even have plans to ever visit you or the baby.
If this is the case, remember that what you want to do is still your choice. After all this is your pregnancy… and your future. Not too many people will tell you that… but it’s true. But do not take our word for it—you can get legal advice—at no charge to you.
+ I am not sure who is the birth father
If you are unsure as to who is the baby’s father, you will need to discuss this with an adoption agency or attorney as to what are your state laws. If you think that it may be one of two men, then you may need to let each man know. That makes it more difficult. Sometimes a chance encounter with a man can result in pregnancy. If he cares and wants to know what ever happened as a result of your relationship together, he may be able to register on what is called a birth father registry. About 25 states have such a registry where a man can put his name. To do this, he will need to know your full name.Of course, if you have no contact with the man and cannot tell him, there is little more that you can do. If you do make an adoption plan, a newspaper ad will run in the paper where you think he lives. Your name is not in the ad—just the date of your child’s birth.
+ I know I want to give my baby up for adoption. Do I have to tell him? What if he is uncertain about adoption or says I can not make an adoption plan?
Some women choose not to share a pregnancy or adoption plan with a man because the pregnancy could have been a result of a date rape or the guy has a serious criminal history, he takes drugs, or may be violent.In some states, when making an adoption plan, once you tell the attorney or agency the name the birth father, he will be served with papers after the baby is born. The birth father has a certain time to respond to such papers being served at his residence or place of work. In general, if he has not supported you or offered to support you, then he has limited or no rights.
If you and your boyfriend are still in a relationship, but you both know that you are not ready to be parents, you will need to tell him that you care about him and his baby, but you are not ready to be parents. He may agree. He may suggest that his parents can raise the child. You have to ask yourself: Are his parents the kind of people you want raising your child? You will also need to discuss with your boyfriend what is he going to do if his parents do not always want to take of the child all of the time and expect him to also be there every day.
If he says absolutely you cannot “give away his baby,” but he does not want to help you with any expenses, then you will need some legal advice because most birth fathers have limited rights if they do not support you. If you are living with him and he does not want you to make an adoption plan, you may have to parent your child. He may not ever support you again after the baby is born, but if he is living with you now or helping you out financially, he still has rights. Do I have to tell the attorney or agency the name of the birth father? In some states, such as South Carolina, a woman has the right not to name the birth father. The state of South Carolina, as do many states, has a birth father registry, so if a man wants to know if a woman got pregnant after he had sex with her and also wants to know what happened to that child, then he can register.