Father of the Baby

How to Tell the Father About Your Unplanned Pregnancy

You just found out that you’re pregnant — and it wasn’t planned. You don’t feel ready or able to raise this baby right now. This is always a scary situation for a woman. On top of that, you now have to consider the baby’s father.

How do you tell him that you’re pregnant? How will he react? And, if you’re considering placing this baby for adoption, what should you say to him?

We’re here to help. We know that this conversation with the baby’s father is intimidating, but we’ll walk you through what comes next if you’re not sure:

  • How to tell husband about unexpected pregnancy.
  • How to tell boyfriend about unplanned pregnancy.
  • How to tell the man you had a casual encounter with about the pregnancy.
  • How to talk to the baby’s father about adoption.
  • And more.

We also know you probably have some questions about your individual situation, including your relationship with the baby’s father. We’ll do our best to answer some of those questions below and give you the information you need to move forward.

Please note: There can be legal ramifications if a woman lies to the birth father about her pregnancy or adoption plans. For this reason and more, we always recommend talking to an unplanned pregnancy counselor or contacting an adoption agency before you approach the baby’s father about placing your child for adoption.

With that in mind, here are the 6 steps of talking to the baby’s father about your pregnancy (and about your interest in choosing adoption):

Step 1: Tell Him That You’re Unexpectedly Pregnant

This feels easier said than done. To help this task feel a bit less intimidating, below are some tips for how to tell the father. Unplanned pregnancy conversations are tough, so be sure to:

  • Choose a quiet and private setting, preferably in person.
  • Politely ask him not to interrupt as you get out what you need to say first.
  • Keep a calm and confident tone.
  • Come right out and say that you’re pregnant.

Then, we recommend going straight into the next step:

Step 2: Tell Him You Want to Place the Baby for Adoption

He probably already has a lot of thoughts going through his head about whether or not he’ll be responsible for this child, as well as whether or not he wants to be responsible. Stating confidently that you think placing this baby for adoption is what’s best for you, him and the child will assure him that you have a plan.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can let him know that you’d like his help in creating an adoption plan together for this baby. If not, you can let him know that you’d like to pursue this path on your own.

Next, give him a chance to speak his mind, ask questions and express his feelings.

Step 3: Be Ready for His Reaction

This part can be a little scary for you if you’re not sure how he’ll react. After all, he has a lot to process.

Hopefully, he’ll react positively by expressing his support for your decision and offering to help you do what you feel is best. If he does react negatively, try to stay calm and confident. Remember that he’ll need some time to process his own thoughts and feelings, just as you did.

Step 4: Give Him Some Space (and Some Information)

Especially if he’s having a hard time with the news of your pregnancy and adoption decision, offer to give him some space to process. Text or email him some information about adoption and ask him to read up on what it means for birth fathers. Then, give him some time.

Let him know that you’ll be available if he has questions about your adoption plan, or if he’d like to get involved and help. Again, stay calm and confident.

Step 5: Let Him Know How He Can Help You

He may have questions about his role in all of this. If so, let him know how he can best support you.

Some women welcome the emotional support and involvement of the birth father in the creation of an adoption plan. Others want the birth father to step back and let them handle it alone. A lot of this will depend on the type of relationship you have with him.

Whatever you need is entirely up to you! Just be clear in expressing those needs to him, so he understands what is (and isn’t) expected of him.

Step 6: Move Forward

Whether the father of this baby is your husband, boyfriend or a man you had a casual relationship or one-time encounter with, you probably have some questions about approaching him with this new information. Telling your husband about unplanned pregnancy situations, a boyfriend, or any man is tough, and talking about adoption isn’t easy, either.

These frequently asked questions about talking to the father of the baby about the unplanned pregnancy (and adoption) may help:

Questions about How to Tell Your Partner About an Unplanned Pregnancy

You may have some questions about how to tell your partner of unplanned pregnancy. The answers below may help:

“I’m facing an unplanned pregnancy. How do I tell my husband?”

Start with the conversation guide above, and tailor it to suit your relationship. Married couples can and do choose adoption! Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’re ready (or want) to raise this baby.

“I’m not sure how to tell my boyfriend about an unplanned pregnancy. Where should I start?”

Start by contacting a licensed adoption agency. They’ll connect you with a qualified counselor who can offer support and advice based on your individual situation.

“I’m experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Telling the father may not be possible, because I’m not sure who he is. If I don’t know how to contact him about the unplanned pregnancy, how do I tell him?”

Again, start by contacting an adoption agency. When dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, telling fathers is an important step for pregnant women, legally and emotionally. A qualified adoption counselor can offer you advice based on your individual situation.

Questions about His Reaction

Another thing you might have questions about: His reaction. These answers may help:

“How do men react to unplanned pregnancy?”

A man’s reaction will be as individual as the man himself. That being said, men often react with shock, fear, anger, excitement, joy or even a mix of all of those emotions.

“Why are men scared of unplanned pregnancies?”

Not all men are scared of unplanned pregnancies. However, many men feel this way because it’s unplanned! They don’t feel financially, emotionally, mentally or physically ready. They may not want to ever be a father. In a planned pregnancy, they choose to become a father because they feel ready to do so in every way. Adoption can give them the opportunity to wait to become a father, if and when they feel ready to do so.

“My husband is not happy about my unplanned pregnancy. Should we place the baby for adoption?”

That’s entirely up to you and your husband. If you’re worried that your husband may resent this child, then adoption may be what’s best for this baby. Adoption allows you to place your child with a man (and his spouse) who has been desperately waiting for the opportunity to be a father.

“I just told the baby’s father that I’m experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The father is not excited. Now what?”

It’s time to consider your options. You can raise this child alone, receive an abortion, or place the child for adoption with a father (and his spouse) who would be over the moon to raise this baby. Only you can decide what’s best for you, the baby’s birth father and this child.

“My boyfriend’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy was supportive, but I don’t want to raise the baby. Should I still consider adoption?”

Yes. If you don’t want to raise a baby at this point in time, you can always consider adoption. Nobody should be forced into parenthood if they aren’t 100% ready and willing. Your child could have two parents who are overjoyed to have the opportunity to raise this baby.

Questions about How to Tell Father of Baby about Adoption

Many women are nervous about telling the father about their adoption plan. You may even wonder if you have to tell him at all. Here are some common questions about bringing up adoption to the father of the baby:

“Can a mother ‘put baby up for adoption’ without telling the father?”

Typically, no. The birth father needs to be made aware of your adoption decision, if possible. There are some situations in which this may not be an option, and you would still be able to choose adoption. However, you’ll need to contact an adoption agency immediately to find out if this option is legally available to you.

“I plan on ‘giving my baby up.’ Should I tell the father?”

Yes. Again, it’s important that the birth father is aware of the adoption, for legal purposes. However, you should consult an adoption agency immediately. They’ll be able to give you personalized advice based on your situation.

“I’m not sure how to tell the father I’m ‘giving up’ the baby, because I’m not sure who he is. What should I do?”

First, contact an adoption agency. They’ll let you know if there’s anything you can or should do. Again, the legal consent of the birth father is important, but it may not always be possible if the father is unknown. However, you may still be able to choose adoption.

“I’m in a committed relationship, so I’m not sure how to tell the father about my adoption plan.”

Regardless of a woman’s relationship status, telling the birth father is always hard. When you contact an adoption agency, they’ll put you in touch with a free counselor. They’ll be able to offer you support and advice for this tough step.

Contact a Professional Now If You Need More Guidance

You should immediately contact an unplanned pregnancy counselor or adoption specialist if you:

  • Aren’t sure how to tell the father about your unplanned pregnancy
  • Aren’t sure how to bring up adoption
  • Are worried about his reaction
  • Don’t think you can have this conversation with the baby’s father on your own
  • Are not certain of the identity of the baby’s father, or how to contact him
  • Have questions about how much you have to tell the baby’s father about your adoption plan
  • Want to provide the father of the baby with information about adoption
  • Want the help of someone who can answer his questions about adoption
  • Are ready to start the adoption process, with or without the support of the baby’s father

We recommend that you contact an adoption agency as soon as possible. They’ll be to connect you with a trained counselor who can offer you advice about these tough conversations with the baby’s father, provide you with information about adoption and more. They’ll help you navigate unplanned pregnancy: How to tell husbands, boyfriends, or any man about the pregnancy and your adoption plan.

Remember: Contacting an adoption professional does not obligate you to choose adoption, it’s free and it’s 100% confidential. Reach out to one of these adoption agencies now for help talking with the father of the baby:

Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.

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