Often, when a woman is faced with a divorce while pregnant, she was unaware of her pregnancy when the divorce process began. If she discovers that she is pregnant during the middle of her divorce proceedings, it can add another emotional complication to the already stressful process.
There are many questions she may have at this point:
- Should I keep my baby and try to save our marriage?
- Should I even tell the father about the baby?
- Do I want to forever have a connection to this man by having and raising a baby together; even if our divorce continues?
- What if my husband is not the father of the baby?
While you are the only one who can make this decision, we encourage you to think about one important thing, what is best for your baby? A child should never be used as a pawn in a failing marriage. Just as couples should never get pregnant in an effort to save a relationship, you should not use your pregnancy as a way to get your baby’s father to stay with you. The relationship between the two of you is hard enough already; adding a child to the mix will only complicate things further, and you will forever be bonded with a man with whom you may have previously been comfortable ending things.
If you’re asking, “Should I keep my baby while divorcing?” you should also be thinking about the realities of single parenting. If your husband is the father of your baby, he may be obligated to pay child support after your divorce; but you will still need to consider the financial aspects of raising a child on your own, as well as things like childcare and a support system for you as a single parent.
While you are coping with divorce while pregnant, you may see your unborn child as a “replacement” for the loved one you are losing, but remember this, a child should not have the pressure of being there to make you feel better. Your responsibility as their parent will be to make them feel loved and supported, despite your own feelings.
Single parenting is difficult. If this path may not be the answer for you, remember that you have another option: adoption. Yes, you can put a baby up for adoption while in a divorce, even considering the situation with the baby’s birth father. In fact, adoption may offer a life for your baby that you cannot provide, including a stable, two-parent household with parents who are committed to loving and supporting your child forever. Choosing adoption is not “giving away” your baby but giving them the chance at a life you may not be able to provide yourself.
You will have the same rights as any prospective birth mother if you choose adoption while pregnant and divorcing. You have the right to create an adoption plan that is best for you, including choosing adoptive parents for your baby and having an open adoption relationship with them and your child after the adoption. But, because birth father rights in adoption can be especially complicated during a divorce process, you will need to work with our experienced adoption specialist to learn what laws apply in your situation.
Our specialists are always available to talk you through your options if you are going through a divorce while pregnant, including the steps if you want to give a baby up for adoption while going through a divorce, your rights, and the birth father’s rights in this process.