Finding out that your girlfriend is pregnant when it was not planned can be shocking, to say the least. She’s young, you’re young, and neither of you planned on having a baby this early in life. Perhaps you haven’t even been dating for that long. But now, there’s a lot more to consider.

As the news sinks in, there are three main things you will want to consider: what decision you and she will make for the pregnancy & developing baby (parenting, adoption, abortion), your relationship with your girlfriend and your future.

You might be wondering:

  • how to respond after she tells you the news (or you find out together)
  • how to approach decision-making, the details behind each decision, how to handle a pregnant girlfriend
  • what this might mean for your future
  • and how to talk to her parents

    Making A Decision For The Pregnancy

    Hopefully, if you and your girlfriend are sexually active, you’ve already had the conversation about what you would do if there was an unintended pregnancy. If not, here are a couple frequently asked questions to consider below.

    As the boyfriend, do I have any say?

    In this situation, ultimately the choice is up to your girlfriend as to what she chooses for the pregnancy. You can, of course, express your opinions and beliefs about the pregnancy and how you would or would not like to be involved, but you can NOT force her into any decision. If her parents are in the picture (especially if she’s under 18 years of age), they also cannot force her to make a specific decision.

    It is important to remember that if you decide you do not want to be involved, but she decides to parent the baby, you will likely be required to pay child support. This would be up to her to decide if she feels she needs financial help to raise the child.

    What if we disagree?

    This is bound to happen for some couples and seems to be more likely if (1) the relationship is fairly new, (2) one of you desires to have kids one day and the other adamantly does not, and/or (3) you have different moral beliefs about parenting, adoption, or abortion (i.e. one of you thinks adoption is “weird,” or one of you is pro-life and the other is pro-choice).

    There might also be disagreements over how the relationship will end up depending on the choice you make:  if you choose to parent, does one of you believe that marriage needs to come next? or if she has an abortion, will the relationship be okay and continue on (if you disagree)?

    The important thing is that the both of you are able to express your opinions calmly and clearly to each other. It might be helpful to have an unbiased mediator (a counselor, mentor, pregnancy educator at a center, etc.) sit with you while you have the discussion. Write down your thoughts and things you want to say beforehand so to ensure you are able to clearly express yourself.

    Here’s one example of a situation where the two parties disagreed: