You may be in shock right now, wondering what to do. A young lady with whom you decided to have sex has told you that she is pregnant and you are the father of the baby. Many thoughts are racing through your mind:  What will my friends think? How will they treat me? My parents will kill me! What about college? My job? I don’t have the money right now. And how will this affect my relationship with my girlfriend?

Or, you may need to help a female friend or family member who has discovered she is pregnant. Be assured that you are not FATHERSalone. Help is available, and YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

Here is how to begin:

Locate your nearest free, confidential pregnancy clinic. Go with the young lady to obtain a free pregnancy test and ultrasound to confirm that #1 she IS pregnant, and #2 the baby is viable (living) inside the womb.

If the pregnancy is confirmed, know ALL the facts before making any decision. A free pregnancy center can provide both the father and mother with information and resources to help you make an informed decision – a choice that you can both live with for the rest of your life!

DO NOT RUSH into any decision. Take some time to breathe, deal with your emotions, and figure out what to do. This is a choice that will affect the rest of your life, so you want to be sure it’s the right one. This would be a good time to seek advice from a pastor, trusted adult, or other person you trust to give you sound advice. You can also call for help.

Help the pregnant young lady apply for insurance or Medicaid and make her first doctor’s appointment. Pregnancy creates major changes in a woman’s body, so you want to be sure she takes good care of herself. Encourage her to drink plenty of water and begin taking prenatal vitamins, and to get a good amount of rest. This will help her to think clearly.

YOUR OPTIONS – BE INFORMED BEFORE MAKING A DECISION!

ABORTION

Your opinion matters! As the father of this baby, you play a MAJOR role in the decision. You have the right and the duty to stand up for your child. Young women who consider abortion are usually scared or confused about the future. Many young women report that they were just waiting for the father of the baby to rescue them from an abortion. As the man in the situation, think about saying something like this, “I know we are both scared right now. But I know that we can do this. We can get help with money, things for the baby, and even counseling to get us through this rough time. Let’s go to the pregnancy center and see what help we can get.”

It’s not true that men aren’t affected by abortion. Men ARE affected by abortion. Many men experience a deep sense of loss and regret when they lose a child to abortion. Consider all the possible consequences before making a final decision.

ADOPTION

After talking about all your options, you and the baby’s mother might decide that you just can’t emotionally or financially raise a child right now. Adoption can be a great option for you, the mother, and the baby. You can choose a loving family to raise the child, and you can still move on with your education or career goals while knowing that you provided a good, loving home for him or her. Adoption is usually a free process for the birth mother and father. In fact, most adoption agencies will help to pay for the mom’s living and medical expenses while she is nurturing that baby in her womb. And, you can even choose if you want to remain in the child’s life (open adoption) or choose a closed (no contact) adoption instead.

PARENTING

So, you’re young, or in the middle of finishing school, or pursuing a career. Maybe you’re not even in a relationship with this young lady. These are all things that will change. The one fact that will not change is that you are a FATHER now. There are many types of fathers. What type of father do you want to be? Have you always thought that you’d provide for your kids more than you’ve ever had? Do you envision yourself playing soccer with your son or watching your little girl twirl around in a tutu? Or would you prefer to stand by while someone else does all the work – and thus has all the fun, too? Parenting IS a lot of work, but the BENEFITS and joy far outweigh the cost. See our Resources page to find pregnancy centers, and statewide resource agencies that can help you connect to parenting classes and resources, baby supplies, housing, and more.