30 Jan My Girlfriend is Pregnant. What Are My Rights?
Your girlfriend has revealed that she is pregnant. Do you have any say in what happens next?
While She’s Weighing Her Options
You have the right to NOT remain silent.
Some men may feel that since they aren’t carrying the baby themselves, they aren’t entitled to an opinion. In reality, we at Rockville Women’s Center speak with many women who are making decisions with their partner in mind, assuming they know how their partner feels about the pregnancy. And often they are wrong.
Communication is key here. If you have strong feelings about the future of your unborn child, it’s important to speak up now, respectfully and earnestly. You may not have the final say, but you still have a say.
If She Chooses Adoption
If your girlfriend chooses adoption, you have the right to be part of the adoption process or even to contest the adoption. Laws vary from state to state, so you’ll want to get legal counsel to pursue either of these options.
If you want to be part of the adoption process, registering with the state will allow your child to someday access information such as your medical history that he or she may want to know. If your partner chooses open adoption, your child may even be able to contact you.
You may disagree with your partner’s adoption choice, and want to consider parenting the child yourself as a single father. In this case, many states will allow you to contest the adoption. Before you pursue this course, however, we encourage you to take an honest, unflinching look at your life to determine whether the child’s interests would be best served by remaining in your care or by being placed in a different family structure.
If She Chooses Abortion
If your girlfriend chooses abortion, you may tell her you disagree and urge her to reconsider, but ultimately you have no legal recourse to prevent her from having an abortion in a locality where it is legal. In this case, we offer abortion aftercare for both men and women who need to process the complicated emotions that come with this decision.
If She Chooses to Parent
If your girlfriend decides to keep the baby, you will likely have a degree of ongoing economic responsibility for the child until the child turns 18 or 19.
Child support laws vary from state to state. Child support orders often take into consideration circumstances such as parents’ earning potential and a child’s financial needs.
If you want to be part of your child’s life on more than just a financial level, options include marrying the child’s mother or pursuing a legal agreement regarding custody or visitation.
Rockville Women’s Center is here to help as you navigate an unplanned pregnancy. Our professional and trained staff will walk you through all of your options, address your questions and concerns, and provide you with the information and support you need. We strive to educate and empower our patients to make the choice that is best for you. All of the services offered at Rockville Women’s Center are provided at absolutely no cost to you. Contact us now.