What if My Girlfriend Gets Pregnant?

Assuming you’re a noble man, the only steps to take when your girlfriend gets pregnant are to discuss whether to keep the baby or not, then to support whatever decision she wants to make. Her body, her choice.

The guide below offers some advice on how to take these steps without coming across as a complete scumbag.

How To React When Your Girlfriend Reveals She’s Pregnant

Remember, this isn’t just about how you feel.

Your girlfriend is probably more terrified than you are. She’s the one with an unexpected human growing inside of her!

Your reaction in these initial moments can have a significant impact on the rest of your relationship. She’ll never forget if you behave like a Class A asshole in these moments.

The best thing you can do is to be there for her emotionally.

Let her talk. Be her shoulder to cry on. There are probably all kinds of emotions swirling inside you, but keep them inside you.

A key reason she chose you as a boyfriend is because she could depend on you to be her emotional ‘rock’ in times of crisis. Don’t ruin that by panicking or losing your temper when she needs you most.

You shouldn’t feel pressured to say anything immediately. It’s perfectly reasonable for either of you to ask for a couple of days to clear your head before you talk about what you want to do.

This is probably for the best, as you don’t want emotion to take over this discussion.

You can use this time to vent to your friends and family about whatever you like. Use them to get that frustration off your chest if you have to. Take them through the step-by-step of the conception and how it was her fault, if that makes you feel better.

Just don’t do it in front of the mum-to-be, or anyone associated with her! They’ll remember this slander for years after your baby is (or isn’t) born.

How To Decide Whether To Keep Your Baby

You have the right to share your opinion as far as what you would like to happen to this baby.

If you’re convinced that you’re not ready to be a father and/or she’s not ready to be a mother, you have every right to say so.

This is the right thing to do.

This is no time to say whatever you think is what she wants to hear.

At the same time, you’re not going to cover yourself in glory by threatening, manipulating or blackmailing her. It’s completely dishonorable, and will likely have a permanent impact on how your girlfriend sees you.

Here are some useful nuggets of advice that you may want to share with your girlfriend.

  • There’s no need to rush this decision. It’s potentially the biggest one of your life. Most likely, you’ll be having more than one discussion about what to do. Depending on what part of the world you’re in, abortions generally can take place up to a maximum of 20-28 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter. If she’s considering what her parents would think of her, you have every right to snap her out of that mindset. You two are the ones who would have to raise a child for 18+ years, not them.
  • Abortions are illegal in some parts of the world. Yes, illegal abortions are taking place frequently across the globe, but these are more likely to be unsafe and (of course), there could be legal consequences if you’re caught.

Ultimately, whatever you tell her, the law states the mother gets the final say regarding what happens to her baby.

The only honorable thing to do at this point is to support her emotionally and financially. Whatever appointments she has to attend, offer to be there. Whatever financial commitments crop up, offer to pay your fair share.

We’re Pregnant. What Are Our Options?

Not all couples are aware of their options, so here is a comprehensive list.

Stay Together And Raise The Child

Congratulations, you’re going to be a father! There’s a lot to prepare before the birth. Together, you’ll need to organise:

  • arranging screening tests;
  • arranging maternity and paternity leave at work;
  • potentially receiving government benefits;
  • finding a midwife;
  • buying maternity clothes for the mother;
  • organise a maternity unit for the birth;
  • start buying things the baby will need once it’s born;
  • consider attending childbirth classes.

As you can imagine, the costs can pile up here, even if you have health insurance. And that’s before the baby is born.

Are you financially prepared to become a father? If not, it’s probably time to look into getting a second job.

Get An Abortion

If you’re in a part of the world where it’s legal to get an abortion, this will typically be an option to you up to a certain point. In most parts of the world, you have until 20-28 weeks of pregnancy to make this decision.

For a man who doesn’t want to have a child, this might seem the easy choice. A quick decision to completely erase this mistake.

For a woman, there’s far more likely to be severe emotional consequences. There’s also the potential for long-lasting physical issues if the abortion goes wrong.

There’s every chance your girlfriend could be morally against abortion too. This is common. So, please respect your girlfriend’s decision if she doesn’t want to put herself through this.

Give Your Child Up For Adoption

There are three types of adoption:

  • Closed adoption. Here, you’ll have no contact with the adoptive parents, nor gain any information about them.
  • Semi-open adoption. In this case, you’re given some choice as far as who adopts your child. The adoption agency will present you with profiles of potential adoptive parents, although identifying information is not included with this. You may have the opportunity to contact the parents before the birth, but not afterwards.
  • Open adoption. This is similar to a semi-open adoption, just with the limits of contact removed. Before the birth, both parties will agree on a suitable level of contact. This could be limited to emails and phone calls, or perhaps you agree to visit the adoptive family regularly.  

An adoption centre will be able to assist you with these choices.

Again, this might seem like an easy option for you as a man. It could be viewed as an emotional impossibility for a woman, who has to carry and give birth to this child and therefore tends to bond with them far more, even if they’re unwanted.

Give Your Child To Temporary Foster Care

This may be an option if you’re feeling unable to parent a child at this moment. Temporary foster care gives you some time to make a final decision about whether you want to parent this child at all.

Break Up With Your Girlfriend

If a woman decides to keep a child that a man doesn’t want, this can cause a conflict that makes it very difficult to stay together.

While the woman has the right to decide whether a child is born, a man retains the right to decide whether he wants to be with her.

You’ll be legally required to pay child support if you break up, even if you aren’t married.

If you want to see the child, be prepared to fight for the right to do so in family court. A scorned girlfriend will rarely make this easy for you. If you’re not married, it could be particularly difficult for you to see your child as often as you wish.

Run Away, Abandoning Your Mother And Child Never To See Them Again

This is always an option – and it may seem like the easy way out if your partner keeps a child against your will.

But, it’s worth considering the long-term consequences.

Is this a decision that will fill you with pride in a decade or two? How will you feel, knowing that you left a son or daughter to grow up without a father? This messes up a lot of children. Even if you have the opportunity to reach out to them, they might not want to hear from you. They might hate you.

It’s difficult not to see this as anything other than a coward’s way out. So, don’t underestimate the guilt, curiosity and regret that might eventually creep up on you.

Final Thoughts

This isn’t the most promising guide for men to read. Indeed, their options are limited once the bun is in the oven.

That’s why your parents and teachers are so adamant when they tell you to use contraception. That’s the only way a man can really have a say on whether he becomes a father or not.

Still, now your girlfriend is pregnant, it’s time to step and be a man about it. Hopefully, this guide helps you to do that.