How to Tell the Baby’s Father About An Unplanned Pregnancy

How to Tell the Baby’s Father About An Unplanned Pregnancy

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. each year are unplanned, which means that there are nearly two million women each year who ask this very same question. You’re not alone in trying to figure this situation out.

It’s a good idea to wait to tell the father about a pregnancy until you are 100 percent sure. While at-home pregnancy tests are generally reliable, it’s always good to check with a doctor to verify. When you are ready to tell the baby’s father about the pregnancy, you should:

  • Be Direct and Honest: This isn’t a situation for subtlety. While it can be difficult and awkward, it’s best to come out with what you need to say in a direct way.
  • Choose the Right Setting: This is a conversation best held in person and in private. Even though it is much easier to send a text or break the news in a public setting with plenty of distractions, that may not be the best way to have this talk. Choose a safe, private setting when telling the father about an unplanned pregnancy. If you are worried about how he may react, have a trusted friend waiting nearby just in case.
  • Give Space for His Reaction: You’ve had time to process this surprise, but he hasn’t. Try to remember all of the emotions you felt when you discovered your pregnancy. There may have been anger, confusion, happiness, fear and other emotions. Give him the space to have these emotions, too. It’s okay if the immediate reaction isn’t totally positive; he may just need time to process your announcement. If you are worried about the father reacting in a potentially harmful way, consider contacting Cradle of Hope Adoption Center for advice before approaching him with your news.

When you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, telling your baby’s father can be intimidating — especially when you’re not sure how he will react. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict exactly how someone will respond to the news of your pregnancy. Every situation is different, and not every man’s reaction will be the same. How your partner reacts will depend on his
personal situation and views about your pregnancy. However, there are some common feelings a man might experience when you tell him of your unintended pregnancy:

  • Shock: Unplanned pregnancies are just that — unplanned. The father’s initial reaction will likely be one of surprise. Remember your own feelings when you first took that pregnancy test and try to give your baby’s father time for that initial shock to wear off.
  • Joy and Excitement: Many men want to be fathers. Even if this pregnancy was unintended, a man might respond with pure happiness. If you think he is prepared to step up and support you as the father of your baby, and if you agree that you feel ready to parent, this might be the response that you were hoping for! However, it’s important to consider your own feelings about this pregnancy and to be realistic about your and the father’s ability to care for this child before you make any big decisions.
  • Anger or Denial: Think about your own feelings when you learned of your unplanned pregnancy. You might have had a negative reaction at first. Maybe you were disappointed or even angry that you found yourself in this difficult situation. Maybe you
    struggled to believe it was true. These feelings of disappointment, anger and denial are common for men as well. Sometimes, when a man is upset at the news of an unplanned pregnancy, it’s best to give him some space to process his feelings.
  • Fear: Finally, some feelings of fear and nervousness are common among all expectant parents — and maybe especially when a pregnancy is unplanned. These feelings can be amplified if you or the father are facing other challenges in your lives. An unplanned pregnancy is overwhelming, and not knowing what to do next can be scary.

Most commonly, a man will respond with a complicated mix of these and many other emotions. Hopefully, no matter what his personal feelings are about the pregnancy, his response is a mature and supportive one. When you tell the father of an unplanned pregnancy, you deserve encouragement and to be treated with respect. Remember that regardless of how the
father reacts to your unplanned pregnancy, this is your body, your baby, your life and your choice. If raising a child is impossible but you still want to give your baby the opportunity to have a fulfilling life, adoption can be the best choice you’ll ever make. There are also many benefits of adoption for birth mothers and birth fathers along the way.

Ultimately, when you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, how to tell your husband or boyfriend is up to you — and so is the decision of what to do next. For professional counseling and support during this process, you can always call Cradle of Hope at 301-587-4400 to speak with an unbiased adoption specialist. We will help you understand all of your options — not just adoption — so that you can make the best choice for your life and your baby’s life.