Many people believe that there are three options when facing an unplanned pregnancy: abortion, adoption, and parenting. When making a decision regarding an unplanned pregnancy, there are a few options for parenting for you to consider as well.
Types of Parenting
Some couples choose to get married after the discovery of an unplanned pregnancy. This option may prove to be a positive one for many couples.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- How long you have been dating?
- How well do you know each other?
- Have you already been thinking about marriage?
Most couples are encouraged not to get married merely for the “sake of the baby.” Marriage has enough challenges even when entering into it for the all the right reasons. If you are in a positive, solid relationship, the parenting option might make the most sense since it involves two people committed to meeting the needs of the baby.
Since marriage often fails to solve problems, it is recommended to seek premarital counseling to help you with your decision.
Joint Parenting or Joint Custody
This option can make sense if both parties are interested in having the baby. You may recognize that the timing is not right for marriage. Both parties are committed to meeting the needs of the child and are willing to accept the additional challenges such as adjusting schedules, possible extra commuting, and a greater need for communication.
Single Parenting / Visitation
This can make sense if one of you is fully committed to the baby. It presents more challenges since most of the parenting responsibilities will fall on one person. Child support is still important in order to make it easier to meet the child’s needs. This parenting option can also present challenges with scheduling and commuting.
Single parenting is usually chosen by an individual who wants the baby but whose partner has abandoned the relationship and does not desire to be a part of the baby’s life. In most cases, child support should still be expected and legally required. However, if the absent parent is disinterested, it can make collecting child support more difficult. This option is the most challenging because it places most of the parenting responsibilities on your shoulders. In such cases, friends and family often become the best and most reliable source of support.