Sharing the news of an unplanned pregnancy is never easy. It becomes even more complicated when the father of the baby is your ex partner. The more time that has passed since the split, the more difficult it becomes to break the news.
If your ex is in a new relationship or the split was not at all amicable, you may feel even more unsure about telling him. You may even be contemplating not telling him at all. This would most likely be a mistake. As the father of the baby, he has the right to know. Your baby has the right to be supported by the father as well.
The conversation won’t be easy, but the sooner it is done, the better for all involved. Before you speak to your ex, you may want to spend some time thinking about your expectations for the role your ex will play in your baby’s life and your plans. Are you keeping the baby? Are you considering adoption? He will probably ask these questions, so it’s a good idea for you to have some answers ready.
Don’t be shocked if he questions paternity. This is unfortunately very common. Assure him that he is, in fact, the father of the baby. If there is a question about paternity, be honest about this as well. He may ask for testing to establish paternity in either case.
There are ways to establish paternity before the baby is born. This can be done with either amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. These tests carry a risk to the baby, namely the risk of miscarriage. For this reason, it isn’t advisable to use them solely for the purpose of establishing paternity. If your health care provider suggests amnio for another reason, you can also have paternity testing done at the same time.
If you don’t need an amnio or CVS for any other reason, there is no reason to do it just to establish paternity. This is easily done after the baby is born, without the associated risk factors. At that time, you can file for child support and come up with a mutually agreeable schedule for visitation.
Don’t be afraid to request that child support be set by the court. They will use a schedule that is based on your ex partner’s income. You are not a horrible person for requesting that he support his child, so do not let anyone make you feel guilty. Your baby deserves the support of both his parents. You deserve help in raising the baby that both of you created.