unmarried and pregnant RE teacher

I am an Religious Education teacher in a Catholic High School in the UK. I have along term partner and we intend to marry in the next few years. I have a strong faith although I have obviously not practised in some aspects of my life, otherwise I would not be in this position. I realise that I have not acted in the manner appropriate to my position by falling pregnant. The fact is I am and this is something I must now deal with and face up to. Part of me is happy, I have been blessed, and God willing I will have this baby.

I am also terrified. I do not know what will happen regards my job. Should I gracefully bow out and hand in my resignation? I have worked in my school for many years. I am happy and I have some wonderful people around me. It is a Catholic school however, and I understand the expectations of behaviour. This may sound callous, but I do not want to leave and not get the best out of my maturity pay, I will certainly need this in the coming months. Can they fire me? Or give me ultimatums such as get married quickly? We want to marry and we will, but my partner does not want to do it while I am pregnant plus the financial implications would be high and we now have a child on the way.

I feel ashamed of myself and scared. Scared of being judged and shunned from my community. I do not know my rights and I am looking into this, but I don’t want this situation to descend into any kind of a battle. Nor do I want to bring shame on the community.

Any advice welcome, I cannot seem to find any information on this kind of situation.

Best wishes all

I live in Canada and have NO idea what the law is in the UK. But I do want to say bless you for keeping this child. Pray to God, He will take care of you


If you both planed on getting married before the pregnancy why not just go ahead and do it now?

How would anyone know you’re not married unless you tell them? I’m not encouraging deception I’m just saying why invite gossip? Certainly consult a priest but in the meantime, I’d wear a ring and keep the rumor mill out of it.

Some dioceses won’t allow a couple to get married while the woman is pregnant.

First of all - congratulations on the new life. Something miraculous is happening inside of you. A whole new person is developing. Despite the circumstances God was present at the moment of creation of this new life.

Secondly: because of the choices you have made (or failed to make) you have a tough row to hoe. Your first duty is to your child. But you also owe a duty to the school and the students. Talk to the principal/head teacher ASAP. And the union first - are you a NUT?

I am by no means an expert, but in my opinion you should just be straight with your superiors. Schedule a meeting with the principle, tell him/her about the situation, about your intentions, and work out a solution. We all sin at some time or another, most of us sin all the time. You won’t know what you can do unless you talk with your superiors.

But talk to your union rep first.

Wow, He should man up to the situation especially if he says that he loves you :confused:
That should be his first priority, I hope he does the right thing by you and I pray that God will pour His blessings over you and your child and your partner :slight_smile:

The answer depends on three things:

  1. the employment and discrimination law in your jurisdiction (your union can help with this)
  2. the terms of your employment contract
  3. the attitude of your employers on the issue.

I know when I was in High School one girl got pregnant in her final year and was allowed to continue until she finished. A teacher, of course, particularly an RE teacher, is in more of a position of authority however.

You can have a perfectly valid and sacramental Catholic wedding before or after a daily Mass with just you guys, the priest and possibly another witness or two. Doesn’t cost a dime.

You might want to think about whether your need for a big wedding is really more important than being at rights with God - not to mention potentially losing your job! And you can always have the big party and a renewal of vows or something after bub arrives if you want.

Thanks for your words and advice, posting on here and prayer is giving me strength. I am in ATL not the NUT. I recognise my duty to the school and my pupils, whom I am very committed to. I have always been a dedicated teacher had many successes in my career. My gut tells me to quit out of respect to the school and the Catholic ethos, but I simply cannot afford to lose the maternity . The union is my next port of call. Thanks again to you all for your advice kind words and prayers!

Do you have a priest that you regularly go to confession to? If so, I would recommend talking to him. I know this is difficult advice but if you really feel that it would be right but the only reason you don’t want to is for the maternity I think your conscience is probably telling you to resign. I know it is difficult but you have to have faith that if you do what is right God will provide for you even though it may be more difficult. I would talk to a trusted priest the to your union and your employer after that but for goodness sake don’t put it off too long lest someone else make the decision for you.
God bless you and I’ll pray for you


My only advice…get married.


You’ll keep your honesty and your job.

Same thing happened to me and we were planning to start RCIA a few months later. I was petrified of scandal and I didn’t want to go. My boyfriend ask me to marry him less then a month later. He was planning to ask me anyway but finding out I was pregnant really lit the fire under his behind.

We got married, in a full church wedding, less then a year later.

If you say you’ll get married, why not just push it up and get married sooner then later?

a lot will depend on your contract. Most Catholic Schools have a dismissal clause for immoral behavior. So you might lose the job as you can’t really hide a pregnancy.

or you and your long term could head down to the courthouse and take out a marriage license and have a judge perform the ceremony. Then if you are both Catholic you could arrange to have the marriage blessed.

You’ve started a family out of sequence but it is not too late to put things right. In the long run you’ll be happier for it.

Am I the only one who thinks that getting married to avoid losing employment sounds like grounds for annulment?

Firstly, congratulations on respecting the sanctity of the precious life you are carrying.

Please speak to your priest about your situation, he will best be able to advise you of your options in respect of getting married soon, or waiting until after the baby is born. As someone pointed out there are dioceses in which you will not get permission to get married when you are pregnant. Harsh as this might seem, this is to protect the validity of your marriage, as consent to the marriage must be freely given by both man and woman - this is not the case when pregnancy enters the picture.

If you follow the advice below, you will not be married in the eyes of the church and will still be sinning unless you live ‘as brother and sister’ until such time as you get married in the Catholic church.

And you do need to get advice from your union as well, but make sure you have a copy of your contract which may already have clauses that cover this type of eventuality.

Good point. Also, the fact that the OP’s boyfriend “doesn’t want to”. If he married her I think that could be considered duress.

I odn’t envy the OP. She’s in a tough position, but I dont think her decision should involve getting married to avoid getting fired.

Some of this may depend on what clauses concerning immoral behavior exist in the OP’s contract, but I agree with an earlier poster who suggested just wearing a ring. You avoid giving scandal, and if a student were to ask you, “Hey, when did you get married?” you can say it’s not their business (because it isn’t.) - Granted, I don’t know if that’s part of the student culture there. When I was teaching, even though I had no desire to share my personal life with students, they were very, very curious about it.

However, wearing a ring is lying/deceitful.

bakerst: Don’t forget that a significant part of the Catholic ethos is: repentance and sacramental forgiveness through confession.

Talk to your union rep, and see a/your priest.

Note that most catholic dioceses will not allow marriage while the woman is pregnant.

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