pregnant woman considering adoption for her baby

Telling the baby’s father about your unplanned pregnancy

Learning you’re unexpectedly pregnant (when you don’t want to be) can be massively disruptive. You’ll need to make some important decisions, but fortunately, there are resources that can support you. One of those supports may be the father of your baby. 

Sharing the news of your unplanned pregnancy with the father can seem a daunting task.  We suggest you start by defining the type of relationship you have with the baby’s father.

What’s your relationship with the birth father?

This advice is based on you having a current, safe relationship with the birth father. If you don’t feel safe telling the father, then please consult with professionals. 

Husband: It’s not uncommon for an unplanned pregnancy to happen in a healthy marriage. But marital status doesn’t guarantee you’re ready for this child. Hopefully, you can have an open conversation with your husband and support each other through the decisions that you face.

Boyfriend: This category covers a wide range of circumstances. Have you been together for years or just been dating a few months? Is this a monogamous relationship?  No matter the type of relationship, we encourage you to talk to your boyfriend early in your pregnancy and give him the chance to be supportive and involved.

Casual: If your baby is the result of a casual encounter, how you announce the pregnancy is up to you. It’s your body, your baby, and ultimately your decision. 

No matter the relationship, keep yourself safe. Reach out for professional support when you need it.

Know your options

No matter how overwhelmed you feel, remember that you have options with an unplanned pregnancy.  You can decide to:

  • Parent the baby
  • Have an abortion
  • Choose adoption

We suggest you think about how you feel about each option before you talk with the birth father.  If you’re considering adoption, contact Friends in Adoption (FIA). We are a non-profit, pro-choice, licensed newborn/infant adoption agency that helps individuals and couples in the United States facing unplanned pregnancies make informed decisions.

Tips for conversations with your baby’s father

Consider the timing

The timing of this important conversation with your baby’s father depends on the type of relationship you have. In cases where it’s a close relationship we suggest you begin to talk as early in the pregnancy as possible.  Hopefully, this will gain you the support you need.

Plan what you want to say

Take time to think about how you’ll begin. If you’ve made a decision about how to handle the pregnancy or if you have strong opinions, be ready to share them.  Think about the kind of support you want from the birth father. State this clearly in your conversation and allow him time to consider and respond to your thoughts.

Bring support to your meeting

You don’t have to go it alone. Maybe there’s a friend or family member you can bring to this conversation. Or it may be better to have someone from outside your circle of family and friends be your ally when you talk to the birth father. If you’re working with FIA, one of our experienced, caring, and knowledgeable counselors can talk through your plans for sharing this news and be with you during important conversations.

Be ready for reactions

Think back to all the emotions you felt when you learned you were unexpectedly pregnant. Shock. Disbelief. Worry. Even denial. The birth father will go through all of this as well. Some birth fathers will be excited. Others may be angry or fearful. Before you head into the conversation, think about how he might react so you can prepare.

Try to empathize with how he’s feeling and stay as calm as possible. Give him time to adjust to this new reality. You don’t have to resolve everything in one talk. This is probably just the beginning of an ongoing discussion.

If you think your baby’s father will react with anger and blame, be sure to have a supporter with you. Don’t hesitate to end an intensely negative conversation. Your safety comes first.

Talk about your options

Have you thought about your alternatives for handling this pregnancy?  Do you have strong feelings about parenting, abortion, or adoption? Share your thoughts, feelings and plans with your baby’s father. He may have different thoughts and feelings.  

We encourage you to listen. He may offer new perspectives or ideas you haven’t considered. However, it’s ultimately your decision. Whatever you decide needs to be what you want.

Unplanned pregnancy? Friends in Adoption is here for you.

Every relationship is different so this article gives you just general pointers for having this important conversation. 

FIA has a network of dedicated, experienced, and caring adoption professionals that provides free and confidential adoption services for pregnant women and couples anywhere in the United States. Our counselors’ experience and skillful support can help you in your decision-making and figuring out how to share your news.

If you choose adoption, please know it is a life-changing process that we would be honored to guide you through. The best adoption relationships are based on trust, honesty, and mutual responsibility. That’s what we promote at FIA. Contact us.


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