What happens when Dad doesn't want to be involved

Father Not Included

Every relationship is distinct

A positive pregnancy test can stir up a lot of emotions, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned.  Babies are a big responsibility and can bring many challenges.  How does one navigate through the emotions of wanting the baby, but not the father?  Looking at the results of a free pregnancy test, a woman can feel trapped in the relationship with the father – but that’s not the case.  If you find yourself in this situation, continue reading for some tips on how to work through it successfully. 

Mothers are responsible for their child’s well-being, but they also need to make sure they’re supported as well.  If you don’t believe the father is willing or able to provide the support that you or your baby will require, it’s important to start building your support team!  Making the decision that you don’t want a relationship with your baby’s father doesn’t mean you will raise your child alone.  The life of a single parent can be challenging, but with support around you, it can be rewarding as well. Begin with having honest conversations with your family and closest friends.  Make them aware of what you have decided and be transparent about the help and support that you will need. Involvement in a single mothers support group is another way to receive encouragement and support. Meeting with a pastor, counselor, or doctor about what to expect and getting their advice on your situation can be reassuring too. 

A crucial step is to determine the level of involvement you want the father to have in the pregnancy, birth, and upbringing of your child.  Every relationship is distinct and has special circumstances. The following are some points to consider:

    1. Will his involvement during this pregnancy and after be beneficial to you or a source of stress?
    2. What about the child’s development and upbringing?
    3. Is co-parenting an option?  What are your state’s laws around parental rights and how will that impact your decision? The court will consider the child’s best interests when determining custody. Many states allow the following types of custody:
    • Joint Legal Custody Regardless of where the child actually lives (or spends most of her time), this is when both parents retain responsibility for the care and authority of the child.
    • Joint Physical Custody An arrangement in which the parents share physical custody and care of the child (usually by alternating weeks, months, etc.).
    • Sole Custody– Just one parent has physical custody and the authority to make day-to-day decisions pertaining to the child; the non-custodial parent in this arrangement may seek visitation.

The final step will be having a conversation with him.  A last-minute decision to talk is not wise. Put your thoughts on paper and try to be prepared for how to respond to his reactions.  It is important to explain that you’re making the decision that you think will be best for you and your child. Surprise, disappointment, or feeling offended are the most common responses. Give him the time to process and to take time to listen to what he has to say. 

In the meantime, schedule an appointment today and enjoy a judgement-free, safe place to process your feelings, ask questions and get advice.  All for free and with total confidentiality!

Facing an unplanned pregnancy? Click here to make a no-cost appointment today at Alcove Health in Newport News, Virginia.

By Stephanie, Client Advocate

January 29, 2021



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