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Fatherhood/I'm expecting a love child, need advice.


QUESTION: So basically, I met this girl who worked at my local convenient store a few months back. We actually went to high school together and had a few mutual friends so we began to hangout. It was completely platonic and we actually started to get very close. This one night about a month ago she invited me out with her friends to a club and we both got very drunk and ended up having sex (I can't remember if I used protection or not). We didn't talk about that night until three days ago she had me meet her up at a restaurant. She told me that she was pregnant and that the baby was mine. She said she was positive that it was mine and that she wanted to keep it. I told her i would take care of both of them. But now I basically don't know what to do. Should I tell my family and friends even though I'm not a 100% sure it's mine? Should I basically try to start a relationship with her or just be there for them? If I don't marry her or anything of the like, will my signature on the birth certificate be enough to gain custody? I'm really starting to worry. I just graduated college and have barely started my life and wasn't even planning to have kids..

ANSWER: It seems that this relationship kind of took the normal course, ending up in unprotected sex when booze loosens the inhibitions.  She seems positive that it's yours but it's certainly not 100% sure unless she really is being honest about you being the only possibility.  

Since it does seem that you care enough about her to want to do the right thing, does this include making a commitment to father a child that may wind up not being yours?  To me that would be a very noble thing to do for someone you really love. Tough question to answer i am sure.  

If you do get married short of birth, then you become the legal father so if you separate, get divorced,you are still legally responsible whether you are the biological father or not.  Check with Child support to make sure but I don't know of any state where that would not be fact.  She should understand you hesitation to marry.  

Bottom line, if you love her and see a future with her and your children, then build on the relationship you have and see where it goes.  Remember, the days of getting drunk, partying and wild nights will take second seat to responsible parenthood.  Kids change lives in wonderful ways but the wild life we once knew as singles is something that has to change for the benefit of your family, something you both have to understand.

I have a gut feeling that you would make an excellent parent, you reached our for information, that alone says a lot about you.  Hope this helps and feel free to contact me anytime.

Take care,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you, Marcos. I've consulted my lawyer and I'm definitely not getting married just because of this. But my only other question is, How should I tell my mom? Even with these circumstances I know she'd be extremely excited to be expecting her first grandchild. But with me not being 100% sure of my paternity I don't want to get her hopes up. What should I do?

Your lawyer should know about child support laws in your state which is good for you.  If the child turns out to be your biological child, then you will be held financially responsible per the laws in your state.  

As far as your Mom, she deserves nothing less than honesty from you. You are an adult and may have put yourself into a delicate and perhaps life changing situation.  These things happen.....a lot and I am sure she knows that.  When we don't tell the truth or own up to our indiscretions, the truth will usually slip out and the results are rarely of ever good.  The same applies to your relationship with the girl, even if you don't intend on marrying her.  You need to maintain and honest and open relationship with her as well, and keep it as positive as you can. It will make your life as a father much easier if you get along with her in the event you don't marry at some point.

Good luck to you and I wish that your future as a father will only get better and better.  

Take care,



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Marcos Torres


I can answer many questions regarding child development, best practices in child care and the fathers role in his children's development.


10 years as a child protective services investigator, 10 years administrator of a residential nonprofit program for developmentally disabled adults and children, 2 years working with parents facilitating a parenting group of first time parents with my wife using the MELD curriculum in the early 80's. Co-wrote and Administered a fatherhood grant working with young fathers and incarcerated fathers. Ran a fatherhood program in a Texas State jail and was Director of Incarcerated Programs for the National Fatherhood Initiative for a year and a half. I also raised two children now 22 and 26 who have excelled academically which I believe is from our learning the best practices in child rearing from the start.

BA in Social work in 1980 from New Mexico State University

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