Sun | Sep 23, 2018

My son got his girlfriend pregnant

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q: My son got his high school sweetheart pregnant. They are both in grade 12. My husband and I knew and approved of the relationship. In fact, we became close to her mother. Her father is not a factor in their lives. She has been a single mother from day one. It is her only child. She is insisting that my son stop going to school and get a job and marry her in order to provide stability and income. She claims that her daughter's school will be interrupted because of this pregnancy and it is only fair that his is also disrupted and he takes responsibility for his expected child. My son did very well with his CSEC exams and I think he should continue and even go to university. That way he will be better able to provide for the child. In addition, he is too young to get married. We are not at loggerheads with her mother. What should we do?

A: Her mother has a point about shared responsibility for the expected baby. If her schooling is disturbed because of the pregnancy then your son should not expect it to be smooth sailing. However, her daughter can continue schooling although it might not be in the same school. If that is the case then he would not have to stop school on the grounds of equal suffering and responsibility. You did not mention whether the girl did well in her CSEC exams. I hope this is not a sign of bias against her.

There are some financial responsibilities which your son will have to bear. If he wants to continue his education then you and your husband will have to take on the financial expenses of child bearing and rearing.

Concerning the issue of marriage, unless he is under-age then he is not too young to get married. If he is man enough to impregnate someone then he has to consider marriage. Does he need your consent to get married? If so then you have to weigh the pros and cons including ensuring that he is not being pressured into marriage.

Please understand that her mother was a single mother and perhaps does not want that to happen to her daughter. Additionally, you could reassure her that she has done a good job as a single parent and it will not be the end of the world if her daughter becomes a single parent.

All concerned should allow this young couple to discuss and decide on the way forward and then support them in their decision.