For Men Only
She’s pregnant, and you’re the father...
So now what?
Perhaps you’re thinking:
I want out of this relationship
This will crush our parents
It’s not my body, it’s not my decision
I can’t be the father
I don’t want to deal with this
I’ll just support her in whatever decision she makes
Society tells us that a man’s hands are tied when it comes to pregnancy. "The baby is in a woman’s body so it’s a woman’s choice to do what she wants with it" or so we are told. Fathers are given their equal rights when it comes to adoption, but they do not have to relinquish their paternal rights for their babies to be aborted.
The result? Most men tend to be passive. Is that the case with you? Maybe you think abortion is wrong. Perhaps you are afraid to be a dad, but are also a little excited. Maybe you’re wondering if you will have a little girl who will call you daddy or a son to play catch with. But you couldn’t tell her that. You don’t want to interfere with her decision making process. So you just play it neutral. You may have even offered to pay for the abortion.
But guess what? Many women have said that when their partners are neutral they feel even more alone. Possibly the weightiest decision she will ever have to make in her life is left completely up to her. And she’s pregnant, so her body and hormones are a mess. She may be throwing up daily, is incredibly tired, and is having to pretend like everything is ok. She shouldn’t have to make this decision alone.
So what should you do?
- Be there for her. Ask her how she is feeling. If she is a little more edgy, treat her in turn with kindness and sensitivity. Offer her some crackers and soda to ease her nausea. Some say sour things, like Sweet Tarts or lemons help with morning sickness. Tell her that you two can come to a decision about what to do together.
- Educate yourself on what is going on inside her body. A helpful website is www.WhatToExpect.com. Impress her with how you care about the changes she is experiencing.
- Decide together. Schedule her an appointment here at A Woman’s Choice. Come in together and let us sit down and go over every option that is before you: abortion, adoption, and parenting. Even write out a pros and cons list of each option.
+ What if she wants an abortion and I don’t?
This can be a very heartbreaking place to find yourself in, but take heart knowing that you are most likely one of the most influential people in her life right now. So possibly your influence could sway her to have this baby. Here are a couple of tips:
- Keep talking. Maybe you have wronged her, or have said some horrible things in your frustration. Maybe she is only one of the many women you have recently slept with. Face it--your actions have consequences. Sex is not a "free ride" and now you have that fact staring you in the face--pregnancy. A Baby. Maybe it is time to re-think what you are doing with your social life, your sex life. Ever thought about the notion that if you are not married, sex is off limits? Has anyone even ever told you face-to-face, man-to-man that God intended sex for marriage, and not just on any old night, with any girl or the girlfriend you are with now?
- Commit to support her through this pregnancy and to support baby when he or she is born. If a woman feels like she has to go through this pregnancy alone and then is thinking about how she’s going to financially support this child, she will probably look for the quickest escape. But since you are in the picture, commit yourself to go to the doctors appointments with her, put together the baby’s crib, get a job or a better job, and buy diapers and baby clothes. When you do these things, you are removing a heavy burden from her shoulders. She no longer has to do it all herself. She now has help. You are removing reasons she would have to abort.
- Do not pay for the abortion procedure. Some men will pay for an abortion even though they don’t agree with it because they feel like the decision has already been made and that her mind is set. The man thinks there is no stopping her, so he might as well do his part and help out. If this is you, know that you are in no way obligated to pay for the abortion but instead, you are morally obligated to defend the life of your child. It is a heroic thing to tell your partner that you can’t help her do anything that will endanger her well being and the well being of an unborn child.
- Speak up for your child. Society may not have given you the right to speak up, but God has. You are actually commanded to, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9). Your baby in the womb cannot speak to his or her mother. Your baby is truly poor and needy. The only hope is for others speak on his behalf. Read through the information found here on this website and educate your partner on what abortion really is. Plead with her to not take this baby’s life.
+ What are men saying who took their partners to get an abortion?
Don’s Story, Louisville, KY
“At seventeen, I got my girlfriend pregnant. She was from a very dedicated Christian family. Her father was prominent in the church, her mother the piano player. How could we tell them? It would crush them. So we didn’t. We chose abortion. That was thirty years ago in 1979, and one year later I married my girlfriend and today we have three beautiful children and one grandchild. The first twenty-five years of our marriage were dotted with trouble, most all of which could be traced back to that dreadful decision to abort our first child. We rarely discussed it, and when we did, we fought over the subject. She would ever so often reach out to me in pain and hungry for compassion, and all I could say was, ‘Don’t look back, we can’t change it.’
We held this secret between us, telling no one, until five years ago when my wife and I began a journey toward healing. A journey that wouldn’t have been necessary, had I only had the courage to do the right thing. Instead of three children alive today, we would have four. Instead of one grandchild, perhaps there would be several. I believe my child was a girl. My wife and I have named her Emily, and we have honored her life by placing a memorial white cross on a mountaintop in Tennessee, facing the rising sun. We hike to it as often as we can. I wish I didn’t have to do that. I wish I would have given her life. I wish every man faced with the same decision I was 30 years ago would come talk to me. I could save them a lot of pain and heartache. I wish every man who has made the same mistake and continues to wrestle with it to this day would come to me. I would help them find the same road to recovery. It is liberating and brings a sense of purpose to the life of the child.”
Rick’s Story, Louisville, KY
“Thirty some odd years ago I took my girlfriend to have an abortion, a decision I have lived with ever since. Beside the regret, shame, selfishness and all of the other things that go along with a life-changing decision like this, the thing I would really like to point out to the young fathers is the great honor and privilege you are giving up when you choose abortion. God not only created this child but he chose you to be the dad.
There isn't anything more rewarding and humbling than being a father. The only time in my life that I opened my mouth to speak and nothing came out was when I was trying to tell someone about the birth of our daughter. It was so overwhelming that my mouth was moving but nothing was coming out. Guys, don't give this up and don't let anyone tell you this is her decision. This child is a part of you, too. Stand up for your son or daughter. They can't protect themselves-that is your job as the father. Start being a father now and protect your baby. I promise you it is a decision you won't regret.”
+ Where do I go for paternity testing?
DNA Paternity Testing, DNA Services of America
Paternity testing is done to determine the biological relationship between a father and a child. If you are not convinced that you are the father, do not just deny it, get the proof you need. On average, you will receive test results within 3-5 business days. For most accurate test results, DNA Services of America recommends the mother, child, and alleged father be tested.
If you are in Louisville, call DNA Services of America at 502.895.3628 to schedule an appointment. They are located at 4010 Dupont Circle, Suite #403, Louisville, KY 40207. For test pricing, please call 866.436.2762 and for further information about DNA Services of America, visit the website below.
If you are not in Louisville, please visit www.dnasoa.com to find a location near you.
+ What are my rights and responsibilities as a father?
What are my rights regarding abortion and adoption?
In order to have an abortion, a woman does not need the father's consent. However, to place her baby for adoption, she does need your permission.
If my partner decides to parent, what are my responsibilities as the father?
One of the greatest responsibilities as a new father is to make sure that this baby is well taken care of financially. According to the federal government, every child is entitled to receive financial assistance from both parents until he or she reaches 18 years of age. If you are confident that you are the father, there is a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form that will be presented to you at the hospital when your baby is born for you to sign. The monthly amount that you and the baby’s mother will need to pay for child support can be determined by a form called “How to Calculate your Child Support Obligation” located at www.chfs.ky.gov/dis/cse. For additional questions, please contact your local child support office at 502.443.1576 (phones answered M-F 9am-3:00pm) or the toll-free child support hotline at 800.248.1163.
What if she keeps this baby when I don’t want her to? Will I still be responsible for this child? Yes. You are legally responsible to pay child support, and you are morally responsible as the father to care for and help raise the baby.
+ But what if I am not ready to be a father?
This pregnancy may have come as a surprise, but it cannot be undone. Many pregnancies come at inconvenient times for people whether they are married or single, wealthy or poor. But people adjust and more often than not are surprised to find out how much joy comes with parenting. As you face the reality that you are a father at an inconvenient time in your life…
- Take responsibility. Being a dad is a wonderful joy and also a huge responsibility. Whether you are married or single, pregnancy is a natural consequence of sex. God designed us this way. If your mother warns you that the stove is hot and you touch it anyway, you can’t blame her because you got burned. In the same way, come to terms with the fact that this is a direct result of your actions--if you are unmarried, it is also a consequence of doing something outside of God's plan. There's a way to get back in step with God's plan for you--Please click on Looking for Abundant Life? for help.
- Consider Adoption. Maybe you are not ready to be a parent. Maybe you are willing to own up to what you’ve done and support this child, but maybe you simply cannot afford to pay child support, or maybe you feel like the baby could have a better life if he or she was living with a loving, financially stable home. If this is you, you may want to consider adoption. Call A Woman’s Choice and we will set you and your partner up with an adoption counselor to discuss the possibility of placing this baby for adoption. There is no obligation to place your child if you meet with a counselor. The counselor may help you understand better the adoption process, how to make an adoption plan, and remove any doubts or fears you have about this option.
- Get Support. Come and talk to us. Many counselors at a Woman’s Choice have experienced unplanned pregnancies--either their own or the pregnancy of a close family member. You are not alone--and believe it or not, many men have gone before you through this. What you are experiencing and feeling has been experienced and felt by thousands upon thousands of other men and women. Let us help you through this crisis. Also, we can point you to the resources you will need to either parent or consider adoption. If you attend a Bible believing church, go talk to a church leader, and ask for help. They will help you.
+ But what if I’ve already taken her to get the abortion?
We are grieving with you at the loss of this child. There are several men who have expressed regret, guilt, intense sorrow, and shame over taking their partners to get an abortion, or solely due to the loss of their child. These feelings are normal. Know that there is hope and healing available to you. There is a group of men that meet together through A Woman’s Choice to go through a Post-Abortion recovery study. Please call Theresa at 502.589.9400 for more information or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will put you in contact with the leader of our men’s group.
If you want to talk to someone, please contact us at email@example.com or 502.589.9400. There are men who would be happy to speak with you as well.
+ I'm ready to be a Dad--what next?
Congratulations! Contact Necole's Place (502.569.0494) for information about our men's group or to meet with Dr. Dennis Kaufman--our staff counselor. Look into our parenting classes to help you get ready for the excitement and responsibility of fatherhood!
“For the sake of women and children-and for our own sakes-it is time for men to stand up and make whatever sacrifices are necessary to care for children they have fathered. If this means begging the forgiveness of women, or standing in front of church leaders or a congregation and confessing their sin, so be it."1
“Abortion isn’t a woman’s issue. It’s a human issue, and its effects are devastating to women and men alike. But it’s high time for men to take personal responsibility, stand up for women and children, and exercise the kind of leadership God expects of us.”2
1Randy Alcorn, ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2000), 285-286.