Marriage Because Of Pregnancy


#1

Here is a common scenario.

A man has nonmarital sex with a woman. They do not love each other, but they both find the act pleasurable. The contraceptive they used to prevent pregnancy fails, and the woman becomes pregnant with the man’s child.

Should the two people get married so that the child will grow up in a two-parent household? Would it be wrong not to? Would it be wrong to give the child up for adoption?

Please explain the rationale behind your answer.


#2

Holy cats. Answers (not one answer, but multiple ones) are all over the place on this.

Each situation is going to need to be judged by the two involved.

In the best of all worlds, the two would commit to a covenant relationship in marriage.

In my experience, some people are not capable of such, in that they are so inwardly focused and narcissistic, that being other-directed is simply not a real world possibility.

I have often said that the Pill is men’s greatest joke on women, as it removes any argument made from the “I might get pregnant” position. Yes, women should have other arguments, from a moral standpoint and from a personal self-worth standpoint, but current society leaves the majority of women bereft of any such knowledge and attitude of self-worth.

Given the statistic of something like 54,000,000 abortions, and I suspect the vast majority of them at the concurrence of, if not the behest of or outright demand of the male, and/or the abandonment of the male when he finds out, the odds are on the rarefied side that the male in your scenario is going to suddenly step up, man up, and be a loving father and husband.

Likewise potentially at play is the woman who approaches the relationship of thinking (or emoting) that if she sleeps with this guy and/or gets pregnant with this guy, that he will be the knight in shining armor and astride a great steed, to rescue her from (insert here whatever scenario). Such an individual is not one making mature, well-thought out decisions, and any decision to marry is as much if not more at risk of error as her decision to have intercourse.

Some people can make it work; especially if they have a strong faith and had been planning on marriage. As saturated as our world is now with sex it is not any particular surprise that such a couple might make the same wrong choice which others make; however, that is not part of your scenario.

Marriage will likely not work in today’s world if both parties are not willing to make a covenant relationship; and even if they can, it is going to be rough. Starting with your scenario, which I think amounts to “friends with benefits”, or worse, simply “hooking up” is one where, according to research, the guy simply wants sex, and the woman often is seeking flattery and a craving for feeling desirable (see Live Science, Realities of one-night stands revealed).

From that, we take a guy who wants to use a woman for his own ends, and a woman whose self-esteem is about one skin layer deep. And we are supposed to make them into a family?

Well,
Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got
bippity-boppity-boo

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
It’ll do magic believe it or not
bippity-boppity-boo

With thanks and a tip of the hat to Disney. Works there, I guess. If you believe in magic.


#3

By what you wrote, it appears that one or both have concern for the child. One or both are willing to raise him. Marry in a civil ceremony. I’m suggesting this because one priest told me he would not marry a couple under these circumstances because it would be under duress.

Considering the high divorce rate, I think they have just as good a chance of having this marriage succeed as any other.


#4

Actually, giving the child up for adoption is far more likely to provide the child a stable and nurturing family.

Your scenario is far more likely to result in a divorce and unless the mother has a stellar paying job, a life of poverty or near poverty.

An FBI research project found that the number one consistent fact among criminals was not having a father while they grew up.

That is not the same as saying that all who do not have fathers will become criminals; but it most certainly points to how important it is to grow up under one.


#5

Only if they can provide a Christian family environment for their children.

Would it be wrong not to?

No. A forced marriage is not in the child’s best interest.

Would it be wrong to give the child up for adoption?

Why would it be wrong? This might be the best option for the child, providing it with a loving family.


#6

Guess if you’ve seen the odd ones make it, you get a different take on things. By the OP email, it appears that they want to do it for the sake of their child which is a pretty good way to start. He isn’t demanding an abortion, put the baby up for adoption, etc. and she, apparently, isn’t either. Are they “in” love? They say they’re not but maybe that will come about having this child in common.


#7

Adoption
Repentance.


#8

Hello,

My answer is that the couple “should” do what they actually want to do. This would require an honest examination of motives and intentions.

If they actually want to get married and form a family, they can.

If they actually want to avoid societal scorn or familial displeasure (or something else that is totally extrinsic to marriage), and “marriage” is the way to go about it, that’s problematic.

Dan


#9

Having gone back and re-read the OP, I don’t see anything indicating the couple has shown any indication for any decision. The question posed is the OP’s. So there is no indication that they want to do anything - have the child, kill the child, get married, part company.


#10

Well, if it isn’t one of the parents asking for advice, then there’s no use discussing it because it is up to them. The OP does seem to know that they enjoy sex. I don’t think the OP would be asking if he wasn’t one of the participants or knew that they were thinking of marriage but not sure how it would turn out because the only thing they have in common is liking sex and now this child.


#11

Some people seem to post questions for the sake of the question itself and the discussion following.

Others post questions in a format which either indicates they know someone in the position of the question, or to ask about what they should do themselves, using third person to pose the
question.

There is no way to tell what is up with this one, other than if the OP gives more details - either that it is theoretical, or real, and for whom.

But I find no indication from the post that the couple care either about each other or the child.

And the few cases I have actually encountered involving an unplanned pregnancy did not end well, nor last long, where one of the parties (or both of them) was/were less than fully committed to the other.

Assuming for the moment that this is a real couple and not a theoretical question, hopefully, the child will be born, and hopefully, given up for adoption. The odds in the real world for two people who casually use each other for their own ends, to actually make a family and raise this child to adulthood are exceedingly slim, to say the least.


#12

Agree that more information is needed.

Marriages have happened for many varying reasons. We’ve both seen them, especially today, where they do it all right…Cana, beautiful wedding, known each other for years,…and up in smoke in three months. Two kids, both 19, wed with all rolling their eyes that this wouldn’t work. That was 12 years ago. Another had to get married, had nothing…no job, no place to live, etc…25 years later and four kids.


#13

Ok, here is some more information.

To start with, this question has nothing to do with my regular life. I only ask it because I see all the time in culture the idea that two people getting married because of a pregnancy. You’ll hear about “shotgun weddings” (weddings where one person, usually the husband, is coerced into a marriage by a relative the other person), about people getting married out of obligation, and about many other things.
I wanted to know two things; what most people think of the issue and what The Church thinks of the issue (often those are two different things).

In the scenario itself, assume that the man and the woman only kinda liked each other and that abortion is off the table.


#14

No, they should not get married and the church would agree. Marriage is between a man and woman who love each other and are willing to give themselves to each other forever. Getting married because of a pregnancy is not a reason for marriage. Getting married because of … anything other than love for each other is not a legitimate reason.

Look at all the marriages that end that did start off with all good intentions, in this scenario, we are talking about two people who are just using each other for pleasure, nothing more, there’s nothing to build a future on. This child would most likely not be in a good situation, adoption would be the much better option for a healthy upbringing.


#15

Unless the couple are committed to one another the answer has to be no. Because a forced marriage is not valid.

As for adoption, that would depend on many factors.

Are there grandparents to help?
Does the father want to part of the child’s life?
Is the mother mature enough to care for the child?
Is there support for the mother and her child?
Is the mother incapable of caring for her child?
Is the mother capable of caring for her child?

The best mother I ever knew was a 17 year old single mother. Her child had a liver disease and she knew every test, every procedure, every avenue of help that was available for her little girl. For five years she lived in hospitals and doctors offices. Although the little girl was not able to live, every doctor, nurse and technician knew that she had had the best care available and admired this young women.


#16

I only ask it because I see all the time in culture the idea that two people getting married because of a pregnancy. You’ll hear about “shotgun weddings” (weddings where one person, usually the husband, is coerced into a marriage by a relative the other person), about people getting married out of obligation, and about many other things

Maybe in the movies or 1963, but today the ascendant paradigm is sinful cohabitation.

But to answer the question as another did:

Repentance


#17

Why do you focus so much on the mother.

Sometimes the mother is the one who wants nothing to do with the child’s life, resulting in the child being raised by its grandparents or adoptive parents.

Sometimes a father has sole custody because the mother is abusive or a drug addict or otherwise a bad influence.


#18

You left out the top two concerns of my quote:

Are there grandparents to help?
Does the father want to part of the child’s life
?
Is the mother mature enough to care for the child?
Is there support for the mother and her child?
Is the mother incapable of caring for her child?
Is the mother capable of caring for her child?

But, you are correct.
If the father wants to raise the child alone:
Is the father mature enough to care for the child?
Is there support for the father and his child?
Is the father incapable of caring for his child?
Does the father have a support system?
Does either set of grandparents care?

I did mention the father’s concern and if he wants to be part of the baby’s life. If the father, grandparents (either the father’s parents or the mother’s parents) are not going to support the mother.

If the father wants to be part of the child’s life that would be great. If he can


#19

Well, ouch. This hits rather too close to home.


#20

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