Father of the Baby: Adoption in Different Situations

How to Tell the Father about Unplanned Pregnancy


We’ve created this guide to how to tell the father about unplanned pregnancy for anyone who’s nervous about this difficult conversation.

There are few surprises in life more startling and disruptive than unplanned pregnancy. The range of emotions you’re feeling right now could be overwhelming. Confusion, happiness, anxiety and fear are all some of the common responses.

First things first: take care of yourself.

Sort through your emotions. Call a trusted friend or a professional counselor. Do what you need to do to figure out how you feel. Then, you probably have someone else to talk to: the father of the baby.

What can you expects with a guy’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy? Men’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy can be a bit hard to predict. It can depend on the unique details of your situation. But, you can prepare for the conversation and do your best to help him react positively to the unplanned pregnancy and to your choice of unplanned pregnancy option.

How Do Men React to Unplanned Pregnancy?

Guys reaction to unplanned pregnancy can vary quite a bit. Keep in mind, not all guys are the same. A boyfriend’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy is probably going to be different than a husband’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy.

More details go into how men react to unplanned pregnancy than their relationship status. Some boyfriends feel ready to be fathers, while some husbands do not. The level of trust in your relationship is also a big factor.

We wish we could lay out exactly how a guy’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy will go. But, we can’t do that. Instead, let’s focus on how you can prepare to share the news.

How to Tell the Father about Unplanned Pregnancy

There are plenty of different ideas for telling the husband about unplanned pregnancy. If it’s something you’re both going to be excited about, then you may want to come up with a big reveal. But, for women in situations where pregnancy is more scary than exciting, the conversation is more challenging.

An unplanned pregnancy announcement to a husband will probably be different than talking to a boyfriend about unplanned pregnancy, which will both different from telling him about unplanned pregnancy when you aren’t in a relationship.

Then, there’s another layer to this: talking about your unplanned pregnancy options if you want to choose adoption. We think it’s best to have these conversations — the unplanned pregnancy announcement and the adoption plan — separately.

First, let’s talk about how men react to unplanned pregnancy. We’ve broken down the following conversation tips by relationship category, so you can skip to what’s most relevant to your situation.

Telling Your Husband about Unplanned Pregnancy

Unplanned pregnancies happen frequently within marriage. That doesn’t make it any easier, but it may feel good to know you’re not alone.

You probably know your husband pretty well. You know how he responds to surprises and whether or not he will feel ready to become a parent right now. These things will shape how to tell the husband about unplanned pregnancy.

Do you think he’ll be excited? That’s great. There are a lot of fun ways to announce unplanned pregnancy to husband.

Do you think he’ll be nervous, and maybe a bit afraid? Be gentle. Find a calm setting. Plan out exactly what you want to say — be honest and direct. Think about how you felt when you first learned of your pregnancy, and give him the space to feel the same things. His first reaction may not be positive, and that’s okay.

When thinking about how to tell your husband about unplanned pregnancy, remember that his reaction is his responsibility. Your job is to deliver the news honestly, compassionately and in a way that gives him the space and time he needs to respond.

Talking to Your Boyfriend about Unplanned Pregnancy

Unplanned pregnancy in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships is also very common, but it can be a bit trickier. Not only are there questions of how to handle the pregnancy, but there are also questions about what this could mean for your future together.

You’re most likely wondering how to tell your boyfriend about unplanned pregnancy and how to figure out if you’ll make it through this together.

Our recommendation: Do your best to deal with those things separately when handling your boyfriend’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy. You can do this be preparing what you want to say, which will frame the conversation.

Be specific, direct and honest. Consider writing out what you’d like to say ahead of time. You can invite him to respond or, if you think he should think things over first, you can let him know that now is not the time for conversation.

“I’m letting you know about this now, and I know you’ll need time to process. So, don’t respond yet. Take the night to think on it and let’s talk again tomorrow.”

This way of telling your boyfriend about unplanned pregnancy can make the conversation less emotional, and hopefully more productive.

Unplanned Pregnancy When You’re Not in a Relationship

When you’re not in a relationship, telling him about unplanned pregnancy can be seriously uncomfortable. Since you have no existing commitment to each other, it’s hard to have high expectations of his response.

Consider what makes you feel the most safe. Although in person conversation are great, a thoughtful letter or email could be right for you in this situation. Additionally, keep in mind that this is your pregnancy. As the father of the baby, he will have certain rights. But, this is your body, and you can do what you think will be best.

Be honest and compassionate, but also firm. Set your boundaries ahead of time. Let him know about the pregnancy and be open to his input, but figure out ahead of time what’s going to be best for you.

How to Tell the Father about the Adoption Plan

Telling the father about the adoption plan should come after everyone has had time to process the unplanned pregnancy announcement. You can choose adoption in any situation — married, dating or single.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for how to tell the father about the adoption plan:

He probably doesn’t know how adoption works. While you’ve been researching adoption and learning about the process, he’s just been thinking about the unplanned pregnancy. A bit part of how to tell the father of the baby about adoption is teaching him about the process.

Focus on the benefits of adoption. You have the opportunity to frame adoption in a positive light. Focus on how it can create a better future for the father and for the baby. You could talk about adoption financial assistance and how working with an agency will make the pregnancy a lot easier.

Give him time to process. Men’s reaction to unplanned pregnancy and to adoption may not be great right away. Try to have empathy. This is big news, and he may need time to process. If you feel things getting negative or heated, you can always cut the conversation off and let him know that you’ll revisit the subject after he’s had time to think about it.

Reach Out for Professional Help

Are you scared about telling your boyfriend about unplanned pregnancy? Many women feel this way. You’re not alone. There are professionals that can help.

Adoption agencies provide many different types of services to prospective birth mothers, including support for situations like this. If you know that adoption is the right thing for you and you’d like help figuring out how to tell your boyfriend about unplanned pregnancy, ask your adoption specialist.

If you’re still looking for an adoption agency, you could start with one of these:

Working together, you can create a plan for telling the father about adoption. This way, you can feel safe and confident through the whole conversation.


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

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