Will the Church allow two people to be married if they had a baby out of wedlock?


If a couple gets pregnant while preparing to get married, will the Church still allow them to get married? Lets say they already did all the pre-cana stuff too. How does that work and what will happen?


Where I am, they still go on with the marriage.

I also had a friend who got his girlfriend pregnant, after he found that out they got engaged and married within months, and she walked down the aisle with a baby bump. I was their son’s primary godfather.

Pastorally the priest still wants to get the couple to as perfect a state as possible, and denying them a real wedding wouldn’t accomplish that job.


Yes, of course.


This would be a pastoral decision with the priest preparing the couple for marriage. If he firmly believes they are entering marriage freely and not under coersion due to pregnancy, then yes. If he has doubts, then he may advise waiting.

again, this is a pastoral matter that must be discussed with the priest preparing the couple for marriage.


I believe there are some bishops who have policies for their dioceses which state that marriages cannot take place if the woman is pregnant. That probably means a priest would have to get the permission of his bishop to marry such a couple. And most priests would rather not ask for an exception from a specific directive of the bishop.


I would say the Church would encourage you to be married as quickly as possible. I would also say you need to both examine your commitment to the Church and Jesus Christ and your acceptance of Her teachings if you can’t manage not to engage in mortal sin while discerning conversion.


Besides the pre-cana, there must be no impediments, determined through interview and certificates. If you already interviewed and gave the information on any marriage forms for bride and groom, then you may be ready. Some of the documents used in some parishes are:

Matrimonial Form for Bride.
Matrimonial Form for Groom.
Certificates of Baptism.
Certificates of Confirmation.
Affidavits of Freedom to Marry.
Dispensations (when required).

Civil Marriage License.


First, a frank discussion needs to happen with the couple as to how this happened: It’s important to know if this was a one-time indiscretion, or if the couple were sexually active and made a contraceptive error, or if one of the couple purposely sabotaged contraception they were using without informing the other… that’s a big time red flag. Whatever the case, the priest needs to provide spiritual counseling and if need be, a recommendation for more serious counseling.

Once that’s done, a recent pastoral consensus (of which some may dissent) as to whether to slow down or speed up the wedding plans goes by this rule of thumb:

  1. If already engaged and then the pregnancy happens, then go ahead with the wedding, accelerating it if possible.

  2. If they weren’t planning to get married and a pregnancy happens, then slow things down and let the baby be born first and then get married if they still want to. Marriages are for the good of the couple and not the child. In fact, getting married just for the child often creates really bad relationships which can then in turn emotionally harm the child.


I would say one should first make absolutely sure that one is doing so because of a legitimate desire to be married, and not for any “shotgun wedding” reasons.


Uhmm Contraception??? Houston! we have a problem here! :rolleyes:


[quote="JerryZ, post:10, topic:308436"]
Uhmm Contraception???? *Houston! we have a problem here! *:rolleyes:




The couple in question need to make an appointment and discuss the situation with their priest.


It’s a failure to engage.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.