Question

Hi,

I have a question about something I'm really confused about. Since I was young I've always promised myself that when I have children they would know both their mom and dad, but now I'm 15 and I'm pregnant, but I don't want to be with my boyfriend anymore. I don't even want him in my life. I completely want to be out of his life and him out of mine. He's a really good guy and he's never done anything wrong to me, but I just want to do this on my own. I know financially I can do this on my own, no problem. He probably couldn't even help me if I wanted him to. Is it wrong of me to want to do this? I just don't want to deal with custody problems when the time comes for me to want to move, wherever I go. I just want to be able to leave and not have to deal with him or the court. I don't love him anymore. Is it bad that I want to do this because I want to be happy? Is it wrong to take my baby away from his dad? Or him away from his baby? Yes, I know it's selfish. But I really don't think he will put up much of a fight.

Please email me back. I have so much running through my mind.


Answer

Let's back up a bit.

First, you claim you wanted your children to have a mom and dad. That is admirable because that is the way it should be. However, it was just words -- you didn't really mean it. If you wanted children to have a mother and father, then sex would have not been an option until you had gotten married. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).

I almost get the impression that this was your plan in the back of your mind. You picked a nice guy to have sex with, but now that you got the child you wanted, you're ready to dump the guy. You are incorrect when you said he's never done anything wrong to you. From this I understand that you both willingly engaged in sex, but you both sinned by having sex without being married. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

Because you decided to have a child outside of marriage, there are consequences to that decision which are out of your control. Though the courts tend to give greater weight to the mother, the father has rights. This child is not yours alone -- it is his child as well. You can leave the father's name off the birth certificate and other paperwork, but if he desires, he can assert his paternity by filing papers with the court. He then becomes legally responsible for a portion of the cost of raising the child and he gets visitation rights that are assigned by the court. You could ask him to sign a legal paper giving up his parental rights to the child. That paper won't release him; it still needs to go before a judge. However, in some states being released from parental obligations won't release him from his financial obligations and if you seek government assistance, the government will go after him for reimbursement. Most men aren't interested in giving up rights to a child whom they still have to support.

It isn't about whether he can help you right now. Having a child means you have obligations for the next eighteen to twenty years or more.

It is not that you don't love him anymore; you never loved him in the first place. "Love never fails" (I Corinthians 13:8). The claim that "you just want to be happy" is also false. You are right that your actions and reasons are selfish ones based on your imagination of what things will be like in the future. Those plans don't appear to be not realistic. A sixteen year old without a job trying to raise a child by herself is a classic model for a life of poverty. Until you are an adult, you can't live on your own because you can't sign any legal paperwork, including contracts for apartments. This burden of having obligations with limited ways to handle it will cause a ripple affect throughout your life.