Questions Expectant Fathers Ask

Are home pregnancy tests reliable? How can we find out if my girlfriend is really pregnant?

Home pregnancy tests are generally accurate, but your girlfriend should see a doctor to be sure. Your counselor can help her find appropriate medical care.

Who really cares what I think?  

A professional counselor will listen to you and help you look at your options. He or she can help direct you to other resources if needed, and all discussions with your counselor are kept confidential.

My girlfriend won’t talk to me about her plans. How can I get her to include me?

You’re both scared, possibly also hurt and angry. If it’s mutually agreeable, a counselor will meet with you both together to help you make a plan for your child’s future. Your counselor cares about your feelings and will work with both of you. All discussions with your counselor are kept confidential.

Just because my girlfriend and I stopped seeing each other doesn’t mean I don’t care about my baby. She says if I want the baby, she comes along too. How do I handle this?

While it takes two people to start a relationship, it only takes one to end it. A counselor can help you work together and make a plan that takes care of the baby, even if the two of you can’t agree on anything else. The more communication there is between you, the fewer complications there will be in your child’s life.

What legal responsibilities will I have if my girlfriend decides to parent? What rights?

In most states, if your girlfriend chooses parenting, you are required to pay child support until the child is 18 years old. Consult with an attorney or your county Friend of the Court office to learn specific details about your rights and responsibilities, filing for paternity, and other legal issues.

If you and the birthmother decide that it is best for you to parent your child, your counselor can refer you to community resources that specialize in helping single parents.

I want to be involved with my child, but I’m not ready to parent. What are my choices?

If the baby’s mother decides to parent and has custody, you can request visitation so you can be involved in your child’s life.

You and the child’s mother may also consider adoption and together make a plan for your baby’s future. An open adoption may allow you to have some involvement in your child’s life, too. See Types of adoption.

How can I convince my girlfriend not to get an abortion? This baby is my flesh and blood too.

You’re wise to be concerned about abortion. A woman usually makes the difficult decision to have an abortion because she’s afraid to face the pregnancy or to raise the child alone, especially if she doesn’t feel supported by her family or you.Abortion may seem to be a quick, painless way of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. However, abortions can leave long-lasting emotional scars, as well as possible physical problems. Abortion ends the life of an unborn child and may cause you and your girlfriend to experience feelings of grief, loss, and guilt. As the baby’s father, you have no legal means of interfering with an abortion, but you can encourage your girlfriend to talk with a counselor about other options. See Abortion and Adoption; similarities and differences.

Will I get to see my child if he or she is adopted?

You can make arrangements to visit your baby before the adoption. Both you and the birthmother may want to spend time with your child. In an open adoption, you can meet the adoptive family, write a letter to your child explaining your thoughts and feelings, and give a gift to your child. You can request that photographs of your child be sent to you. How much contact you have after the baby is placed with the family depends on your wishes and is agreed upon in advance by the birthparents and adoptive parents. Your counselor will discuss your options with you. See Types of adoption.

Will my child know anything about me?

Your counselor asks for a complete medical and social history of you and your family. It is very important that your child know as much as possible about you. We strongly urge you to tell you child about yourself through a letter, a photograph, or an audio or videotape. Your life story is a great gift to your child.

If adopted, won’t my child wonder if I ever loved him or her?

Your child may have questions similar to this one. That’s why it’s so important to communicate your love through a personal letter, explaining that planning an adoption was a difficult decision for you – a real sacrifice.

Every child needs to feel wanted and loved from the beginning. When you know you are not ready to parent, choosing adoption means that you care enough to give your child every opportunity possible.