The question we are asking today is “Do dads have a choice?”. This is a question that we see come up often at Birth Choice. Becoming a father is one of the greatest adventures a man will take in his life. It is full of joys, unknowns, and unexpected ups and downs. But what about in an unplanned pregnancy? What choices will a dad face then? The answers may be surprising, so let’s dive right in!
Let’s paint a picture for you that you may relate to. Your girlfriend, wife or partner has just told you that she’s pregnant or thinks she is. This is a total surprise! You feel overwhelmed, confused, angry, anxious and not in control. What do you do? No matter what, we want you to know that you are not alone. Come in to Birth Choice at no cost (or give us a call) and sit down with a team of skilled client advocates and medical professionals who will help provide resources to verify pregnancy, offer information on all of your options and walk with you to provide solutions and help.
Obviously, this must be done with the mother and navigating the situation together can be emotional and difficult, especially if you are not on the same page. The biggest role that you play right now is that of supporter, and protector, not just for her but for your unborn child! We can’t tell you what the next year of your life will look like, but we want to empower you and the baby’s mom to make an educated choice that you can be proud of in the years to come. With information comes confidence and the more you know, the better decisions you can make! Pregnancy and parenting always come with unknowns, ready or not, and we are here for you!
So, what parental choices do you have as a father? Great question!
You play a crucial role in making sure you both have all the facts. Information is power and often, the mom is left to figure things out on her own. Since you are part of the equation, play an active role and in finding solutions to any challenges the two of you may face. You can always choose to seek help when navigating these tough decisions and Birth Choice can access many resources that can be of tremendous help. You don’t know what you don’t know until you ask. (It’s ok to ask for directions, wink wink) Your assistance and support can make a huge difference in an outcome you can both be proud of.
Hopefully, you are in this together and your choice is one that you have both agreed to. However, if you are not in agreement, your rights only come into play if your girlfriend, wife or partner chooses to carry the pregnancy to term.
If she chooses an abortion, you have no legal rights to stop her from doing so, even if you are married, so hopefully you have a relationship that strives to work together.
If she chooses to parent, and you are not married, you have legal obligations and a loving opportunity to financially support this child until he/she becomes an adult. For the sake of your child’s emotional health you should discuss parenting together. We already know that dads matter (Cough! Cough! we wrote a blog about this last year —> https://bit.ly/2VqIdaZ) Showing respect for the child’s mother is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.
If she chooses to place for adoption, you have rights which include receiving notice of the adoption proceeding and being given an opportunity to consent to or contest the adoption. Carefully consider your situation. Are the circumstances less than optimal or irreconcilable? Placing your child into the arms of two loving parents who are unable to have children can be a beautiful and selfless gift to give, to not only your child, but also the couple.
Ultimately, being there for your girlfriend, wife or partner, going through the situation together and selflessly considering what is absolutely best for the health of mom and baby is the sign of a loving and mature man.
So, being a father comes with a million little choices which like it or not, ultimately end with the mother. Your support, understanding and presence can make a world of difference in helping her to feel confident and secure. Because of that, Birth Choice is here for fathers too!
Birth Choice Mobile Clinic and Care Center
277 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd Ste R. San Marcos, CA 92078