Peek in the Inbox: Teen Fathers & the Girlfriends Parents

Written by Melissa Nesdahl.

Today's question comes from a 15 year old boy regarding the rights of teen fathers.  Boys, read this because it is important to know BEFORE you have sex.

Q. If a guy gets a girl pregnant and decides to raise the child with that woman, can the girls parents say NO that the guy can't help raise the child?

A.  GREAT question and forward thinking that is sadly not often enough considered.

If a guy gets a girl pregnant it is important to understand that he has absolutely no say in what she chooses to do.  She can go to an abortion clinic and end that child's life, causing permanent heartache.  My friend Theo wrote about this in our book NOBODY TOLD ME.  If she doesn't feel ready to parent and wants to adopt, she can begin the process. And, if she chooses to parent, you are now LEGALLY responsible to atleast PAY for your child.  This will not be cheap and your salary at Burger King would leave little to spare.

Your question about if a girl's parents could have a say about the boy's involvement is another good one.  She is a minor and therefore she needs to be following her parents rules.  If they do not want her in a relationship, they could definitely impose boundaries making a relationship difficult.  In this case, the courts can create legal visitation agreements that would allow for you/the male to have time with his child.  Be aware, however, that many times courts grant most time to the mother.
Teen parents are thrust into an adult role BUT THEY STILL AREN'T ADULTS.  Therefore they do not have adult rights in terms of time and relationship freedom.  This is a GOOD thing.  The fact of the matter is that teen parents have clearly already shown that they cannot be trusted in their relationship.  Obviously they HAD SEX when they shouldn't have.  So, they won't know how to have a healthy relaitonship on their own without good parental advice and wise Christian counsel.  Pregnancy care centers offer this free of charge.

I am not saying that relationships should end - although some should - but it shouldn't continue with the same limitless boundaries as was previously the case.  There is a baby now at the mercy of the two teen parents choices.  Instead of continuing in difficutly, interventions should happen to help make better parents and encourage a healthier dating relationship so that everyone can flourish.

I'd strongly encourage anyone in this position to read NOBODY TOLD ME (available at pamstenzel,com).  It would help the parents think through their choices to create a healthier future.

I hope this helps!