Sal's Story

Dear Deelaney,

My name is Sal and I’m 37 years old and a very successful business owner. I met a woman about a year ago at a business event. She told me she had 5 children (4 of them grown and one is 5 years old). They all have different baby daddies- which yeah it bugged me-but I figured her deal is her deal and it was not for me to judge. She is older than me by 5 years and she told me she was unable to have any more kids so we never used protection. I assumed because of her age pregnancy would not be an issue. I told her I didn’t want kids-period- so it’s not like she did not know. I could never stand the thought of raising a child and giving my hard earned money away to someone who did not put the effort into earning the money. A few weeks ago she told me she was pregnant with “our” baby. She says she won’t get an abortion and won’t even think of adoption. We are no longer on speaking terms. Based on what she told me a few weeks ago she’s probably about 11 to 12 weeks pregnant now.
Please advise, Sal

Dear Sal,

I am sorry you feel so angry about being tricked into a pregnancy when you did not want to have children. The fact is, women can and do get pregnant well into their 40s and a very select few have surprises beyond that if they have not reached full menopause. It is unfortunate that you did not use protection yourself as a back-up measure if you were very determined not to have gotten a woman pregnant. And the fact she has had so many children would indicate fertility and knowing that they are products of different fathers might hint towards a pattern of behavior and perhaps her purposely getting pregnant for some reason (whether it would be for financial reasons or even just to raise a child). So, while it is  possible she was not honest with you, it is also possible she actually assumed (wrongly so) that she could not get pregnant (for whatever reason).

However, all of this all is in the past and it is now time to decide what you can do about the child on the way. In the eyes of the law, you are considered the father and you will have to pay child support. I would advise you to proceed with getting an excellent lawyer that specializes in cases such as yours. You will also want a paternity test to be done too.

In the meantime, decide the type of father that this child deserves. If this child does turn out to be yours through paternity testing, you must realize that while this child was not planned, he/she appears to be at least wanted by the other parent. And it is possible she will decide to go through with adoption down the road-as 11-12 weeks along is still early yet.  I would assume that if she has kept all her children thus far, she will keep this one as well.

While you may have resentment and hurt feelings towards the mother, can you find it in your heart to see this child as an innocent player in your relationship? He/she did not ask for this either and children who have absentee fathers will always have questions and are prone to feeling unloved and unwanted. I am sure you would not want to hurt your child- and it is possible to soften your hear t towards your child while not having a relationship with the child’s mother.

While you don’t feel any love, affection or even the desire to like this baby at this time, there are many more months of adjustment ahead and allow yourself time to absorb the shocking news. Sometimes the best surprises in life come from the most unpleasant circumstances as does our personal growth as individuals. Use this as an opportunity to learn and grow, and in the future, always use protection for yourself.

You don’t ever have to love this woman again or like the outcome but try and embrace the idea that you will be a parent and decide on what type of parenting role you would want to have (if any) and seek out legal counsel as you go forward.

And, forgive. If you do not forgive and you hold onto anger or resentment, your heart will be stuck in a dark place of bitterness. Forgive for the sake of yourself and your child and accept that while this situation is not the ideal at all, this is your new reality and determine for yourself that you will make only good, wise and kind decisions moving forward.

                                          All the best,

One Cents Worth