Issues of Unwed Parents
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2001
My son's girlfriend is pregnant (he is 18 she is 17) and says he is the father, it is a possibility, but we know of at least one instance during their relationship near the time she would have gotten pregnant that she was with another boy. She was sexually active before she met my son, my son had one previous experience a few months before he meet this girl. He is getting a lot of heat from her friends and family because he is not jumping up and saying "Let's get married or I'll be with you 24/7."
He had tried to break up with this girl when he found out she was cheating on him and before he knew she was pregnant and she became hysterical and threatened to kill herself so he allow the relationship to continue with a lot of anger on his part. Her parent's do not know about her sexual background or the cheating in this relationship.
There is much more to this saga but my real question is under the circumstances how do I keep our pursuit of what is best for this baby and these two kids, Christ centered. Both families are LDS but my son is inactive and doesn't want to have anything to do with the church.
I feel her parents should be aware of her background not as a punishment but as the best way to help the situation move forward and to get help for this girl who has a lot of issues. Please tell me what you think about the whole problem.
Dear Possible Birth Grandparent
I hope this information will be of value to the unwed mother, her parents, your son, and you. If I can be of further service or you have a question, please write me.
>My son's girlfriend is pregnant (he is 18 she is 17) and says he is the
>father, it is a possibility.
Knowing the paternity of the child is important for legal and emotional reasons. You can get the truth of all things from the Lord. You have the right to personal revelation for your family. When I say family, this word represents several:
If you bring together all the facts, make a decision based on those facts, you can then go to the Lord and ask Him if your decision is correct. The Lord will answer your question. Then you can deal with the problem appropriately.
Your son should be encouraged to do the same whether he is into Mormonism or not. He only has to have faith that God will answer him. He needs to have a personal testimony of whether he is the father or not also.
If your son is the father, he is only legally liable for child support until the child reaches the age of majority or until s/he is legally adopted. Adoption can only take place if the birth father waves all his legal rights to this child with legal documentation. This may also need to be take to family court to make it legal. Check the legalities for your state.
Paternity can be proven with a blood test of the supposed father and the child. When the blood type matches two or more proposed fathers and the child, a DNA test can be taken that will usually prove irrefutably one way or another. The person suing for the paternity usually has to pay for the tests. So, if the mother wants to prove paternity then she has to pay for the testing unless the court orders your son to do so.
Blood tests on a newborns tend not be done until the child is 6 months old. The reasoning behind this is that the child it too young and need all his/her blood to thrive. This is another good reason for the proposed father to pray for an answer so he has all the pieces to make a wise decision on how to proceed before the child reaches the age of 6 months.
There are many questions that need to be decided after some deep soul searching. These are:
Does the father want to marry the mother?
Just because two people make a child it does not mean that they should get married. One serious mistake has been made, there no sense of making it two. All issues need to be balanced to see if the marriage has a chance for success. Some of these issues are:
* The age of the unwed parents.
* The education and job/s of the unwed parents.
* The ability to care for a child.
* Whether the couple care for each other.
* The ability the couple have to maintain a livable environment with each other.
* The resources the couple has emotionally and monetarily.
* The availability to affordable good daycare, if needed.
* If the couple are compatible in other areas besides sexual attraction.
See: Compatible Mate Test
Click here: http://www.annettenay.com/Compatible.htm
Many marriages end in divorce because the unwed parents are too young, no monitory stability, they are not compatible, or their parents do things that eventually split them up. All marriages have their ups and downs but when a marriage to be is slated to have all downs it is a doomed marriage and should not be rushed into unless an acceptable amount of the negative problems can be ironed out before hand.
It may be that adoption is the best choice for this problem.
Does the mother want to keep the child or put it up for adoption?
1. Many grandparents are now adoption and raising their children's children.
2. Many young unwed mothers are going to the LDS Social Services to put their child up for adoption. When they use the LDS Social Services they are assured that the child will be reared in an LDS home.
3. Whether the unwed mother uses the LDS Social Services for adoption or not, the unwed parents can get free excellent advice on options and other needed information from the service.
Many may think that the LDS Social Services are there to talk the unwed mother into adoption, but this is not so. If the mother, of her own free will, after investigating all avenues to her, decides to give her child up for adoption, then the LDS Social Services will aid her in this choice if they are ask to do so by her.
Otherwise they are there to help her know her resources and to help her see things clearly. They are really worth checking out, right now. If the birth mother won't go perhaps the birth father will. They are there for him also! You can also check to see if they talk to the unwed's parents, they probably do!
LDS Social Services - Unwed Pregnancies
Who gets legal custody of the child?
The birth father has to decide whether he wants partial or sole custody of his child. This has to be legally finalized by family court as soon as possible, after paternity is proven.
It is important to understand the laws of your state regarding visitation rights. These too must be legally finalized by family court. If visitation right are not honored by the other birth parent, then it is up to the slighted birth parent to seek redress with the family court. This may mean the end of the offending parent's visitation rights or his/her court appointed custody.
Sealed or Open Adoption?
Many youth's seek their roots to understand who they are and their family health issues, only to find the records are closed to them. It is up to the birth parents what they wish to happen with these important records.
When making all these major decisions, the Lord's input should be obtained.
>He had tried to break up with this girl when he found out she was
>cheating on him and before he knew she was pregnant and she
>became hysterical and threatened to kill herself so he allow the
>relationship to continue with a lot of anger on his part.
This girl needs to seek help. The threat of suicide should not be taken lightly nor should it be used as a leverage tool by the birth mother. Your son should not be held in a relationship by blackmail. Since all suicide threats should be taken seriously, he should turn her threat over to the state mental health professionals (In Washington they are called CDMHP's) so they can evaluate her and get her help. These professionals are given the power by the state to take away someone's freedom by incarcerating them in a mental health facility for evaluation, if they deem the person a threat to themselves and/or others. Call a local health facility and they can tell you who to call.
Your son must not allow the birth mother to direct his behavior because of her emotional blackmail. You have already stated that he is angry and wants to leave the situation. Emotional blackmail can only deepen anger and begin hate which will canker any love that was there. This situation is not mentally healthy for either of them.
If he must realize that once he has turned the threat over to the state authorities that he is no longer responsible for her actions. If she does choose to commit suicide, he is not responsible for it, even though she thinks she has thrust that responsibility on his shoulders. Make sure the unwed mother is under in a mental facility or has is in counseling before breaking up with her.
If the Unwed Mother is in a Mental Institution...
He should tell her how he feels and how her forcing him into staying in this relationship is only making him dislike her more. After he has broke up with her, he should alert the staff of the mental institution that she may try to carry out her threat of suicide now that he has broke up with her. It may seem that he is kicking her when she is down, but in fact he is taking precessions to protect her and the baby.
If the Unwed Mother is in Counseling...
If she is in counseling, he should ask to attend a counseling session with her so he can tell her how he feels and break up there so that the counselor can help the unwed mother pick up the pieces and see reasons to go on. He should alert the counselor ahead of time that that is the reason he wants to attend the session so s/he know what is happening and will be better prepared to help the unwed mother.
The Christ centered thing to do...
This would be to get all the information and resources available as they relate to your son. Then make a decision as to what you think should be done. Then take that decision to the Lord and ask Him if it is correct. If it is, then you have His blessing and can ask for His help in proceeding onward.
There is one problem here. No matter how much the birth grandparents know and want to make things right, they do not have any say in the matter, even though they think they do. You must remember that you can only choose action for yourself. You can try to influence others, but in the end it is always their choice how they will act. So basically your hands are tied if you son will not listen to you.
Do not try to take other people's free agency away from them unless it is a matter of life and death. Even then, in the case of abortion, the law says you have no right to stop it. There are times we can clearly see that other's choices will lead to unhappiness and/or ruin. We cannot stop this person we can only advise him/her even though we know the end results will be terrible.
I suppose that is how God felt when He watched Lucifer lure 1/3 of the host of heaven into rebellion. He knew what Lucifer was doing and no doubt spoke to him many times trying to reason with him and those he was leading astray. Yet God knew they had their free agency and that they had to be free to exercise it. In this instance even God could not force his children to choose the right! Forcing another to do what you want them to do is the plan of Satan. Do not act like him!
>I feel her parents should be aware of her background not as a
>punishment but as the best way to help the situation move forward
>and to get help for this girl >who has a lot of issues.
Right now, just about everything that comes out of your mouth will be perceived negatively by the unwed mother's parents. It would normally be a good thing to make parents aware of their child's unhealthy behaviors. You can tell them but there is a very high chance they will not hear you, because they perceiving your word as accusations to belittle their daughter.
The best way to deal with information like this that you feel needs to brought out to a hostile environment is to ask the Lord to help you say it in a way that they will hear you. Ask Him to prepare the way for you and give you the words you are to say. Practice what you will say. If it doesn't give you a good feeling, then they are not the right words. Let the Lord work His miracles!
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