Then you find out that you are pregnant, but you and the father are not together. What are you doing?
Lucy from Perth was distraught for a guy, and it was an intense and fast-paced relationship.
“I had never felt this before. It was like having your first love,” she told The Hook Up.
She thought it was him, until they talked about children. He never wanted them and for Lucy they weren’t negotiable.
He said, “I think you will end up resenting me”, and that he would rather deal with the grief now rather than down the line when they inevitably come to this dead end. So despite a powerful and swirling infatuation, they broke it up. He removed her from all of her social activities, leaving Lucy shocked and heartbroken.
But after a few weeks, Lucy realized her period was late. It turned out that she was pregnant.
“I realized I couldn’t contact the father to let him know, and then I thought, does he even want to know?” she said.
She naturally had a lot of questions in her head. And you can imagine that if the father had found out about the pregnancy, he would have his own questions.
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What are your options?
“The first thing to do is not to panic”, Jenny Douglas of Australia Relations says and suggests making a list of pros and cons.
“Take a deep breath and try to educate yourself a bit and rather than doing something reactive or impulsive.”
* deep breath * You have roughly four options here. You can:
- Give the baby up for adoption
- Keep the baby as a single parent
- Keep the baby and co-parent with the father (if he is ready)
Lucy looked at her situation:
“I think I’ve made a decision and I don’t think I’ll keep it,” she told The Hook Up.
But in these first three options, you will have to determine if you want to tell the father. This is what Lucy is still working on.
“I’m trying to decide if I should tell him, if this will complicate things and if he wants to know or if he doesn’t.
If the father wanted it though, she would have to reconsider. “It would make me rethink my options.”
Do you need to tell him?
Nope. You have no legal obligation to let him know.
“It’s a woman’s right to choose whether or not to become pregnant, and there’s nothing forcing her to tell the guy who she was with,” Jenny says.
“Part of the decision would therefore be to know what are the advantages [telling him]? Would that person be exerting undue pressure to go against your own wishes? “
If he wants to pressure you one way or the other, it might not be the best idea to make things even harder for yourself.
But then again, Dr. Matt Beard of The ethics center says you may run into problems assuming how someone might react.
“Part of [Lucy’s] The dilemma is whether to inform or not because we’re making a lot of assumptions here about what the decision would be if this guy got the information, ”he says.
“Part of it was because he said, ‘I’m not interested in children,’ but they were hypothetical children and now we have a reality in front of us. [But] if informing the guy is going to endanger Lucy in any way, that of course changes the decision. “
Matt says it comes down to the golden rule: “How would we like to be treated if we were on the receiving side?”
So don’t necessarily assume that he will react badly. It could be a good support, and you will need it now.
“It’s always better to have the support of someone around you if you can, rather than dealing with these things on your own,” says Jenny.
But if you plan to keep the baby, hiding it from him is a thorny ethical issue.
“If Lucy doesn’t reveal to her ex-partner that she is pregnant, the ex-partner will never really know, and therefore, he does not even have the opportunity to have a say or participate. in this regard “, Antonella Sanderson, Family law matters Senior lawyer, said.
“Lucy will have the option of naming the father on the birth certificate, he may not consent, he may not sign these documents,” but she can still do so, and if he is recognized as the biological father, he is responsible for child support.
But to what extent does he really have a say?
Does the father have a say in your decision?
Only if you want to. Legally, the decision rests squarely on the mother’s shoulders. His body, his choice. Telling him doesn’t change that.
“It doesn’t necessarily follow that letting this father know what happened that you really give him a say in the decision-making process,” says Dr. Matt.
“You might have the right to know something but not the right to influence that decision … and maybe her voice needs to be heard, even though she has no veto or judgment influential. “
But if you get pregnant and she decides to keep the baby and names you on the birth certificate, you will have to pay child support, without having a say. Some argue that this is quite unfair.
“The argument of certain groups [is] that if men have no say in whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, then perhaps they should have the right to abstain from any legal obligation but also from any access or privilege, that they can legally “ terminate ” their pregnancy. In most cases around the world this is by no means legally supported, ”says Dr Matt.
Lauren from Central Coast told us she let her baby go. She called it a “figurative abortion”.
“I told her look, I’m not looking for a relationship, obviously this ship has sailed but if you want to be co-parent as friends that would be ok, otherwise I made the decision not to have an abortion but I think that it is unfair that I am the only one making this decision, so if you want to abort it figuratively, there is also that option, “she said. He took that option, so didn’t is not on the birth certificate.
“To not have it on the birth certificate, I had to pretend I didn’t know who the father was or they would sue him for child support,” she said.
Because even though you can opt out of parenthood, the law says you still have responsibilities.
Antonella says that the law cannot force you to disclose the identity of the father, but then the mother is solely responsible. She does not receive any financial support from the father, but she has the right to make all the decisions about the child’s life. But even then, the government will try to shift the financial burden onto a father.
“One of the challenges here is that at some level we could say that someone has given you permission to wash your hands of these responsibilities, but a court might not see it that way, and a family might not see it that way, and you yourself if a father finds out about it later, will he see it that way if he hasn’t really had a choice? “Said Dr Matt.
Basically there are loads of things in life that we don’t choose to be responsible for, aging parents, sick loved ones, but you have to be anyway. It’s just life.
Would you like to know?
Frank from Stafford has said he would like to know if he gets anyone pregnant.
“I would certainly remain united and be part of the child’s life, but in the case of a father who does not want to be part of the child’s life, I think he is responsible,” he said. he told The Hook Up.
“If the father didn’t want anything to do with it, there must be a consequence, there can’t be any sort of thing without Scott.”
“If the woman chose to have the abortion, personally I would be there for her but I would certainly be hurt if she chose to do so.”
Ricky from the Sunshine Coast had a child on a one-night stand, and although he didn’t know his child, knowing that he had become a dad has changed his life.
“What is grateful is that she told me before giving birth, we had the option to choose what we wanted to do with it, and I told her she had the choice, I said that I won’t stand in the way of what she wants because we both made the decision to have sex without a condom, ”he told The Hook Up.
“I gave up alcohol, I gave up the party life, I gave up drugs, cigarettes, just so that I could see my son one day, when he grows up, at my doorstep.
Ricky says whatever happens you should take this opportunity to be the best man you can be.
In the end, it’s about the child
Antonella Sanderson says the law will always be on the side of what’s best for the child. So if you make the father known, it becomes the child’s right to know his father.
If you don’t tell the father and he finds out that he has a child, he can ask for paternal rights.
Say, if Lucy babysat her baby and the father finds out on social media or from a friend or family member, “then the father would have the opportunity to seek parenting arrangements for that he can participate, make decisions and spend time with the child ”.
Dr Matt says it is the parents’ responsibility to make a decision in the best interests of the child.
“Is the presence and awareness of who this father is, is it going to be in the best interests of the child?”
For Julian de Wollongong, the answer is definitely yes. He was a child in this situation and would at least like to know his background.
“I didn’t know who I was,” he says.
He added that if you gave your partner the option to opt out, “your child is then left with this gap, not knowing. A father who leaves and has nothing to do with the children can be really difficult for the children. . “