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If a teen boy gets his girlfriend pregnant, should he offer to marry her?

Enola

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No. Seventeen-year-olds are too young to get married. In my perfect world, they would both relinquish their parental rights and give the baby a good home with adoptive parents. There are plenty of them out there...waiting to provide a loving home who will be much more able to provide for a child -- emotionally, spiritually and economically.

Unless the mother and father both are capable and have the means to raise the child even if not married. If the best interests of the child come in to play here, and the parents of said child are able, then no. Why get married? Paper means nothing. Actions and ability and the desire to keep the child and know it will be taken care of means more.
So it all depends on the situation.
 

stsburns

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An old fashioned value maybe, but what do you think? Should he offer? Should they get married? Arbitrarily, let's say both are 17 year old H.S. seniors. Been dating about a year monogamously. Or set your own parameters.

This is still practiced in the deep south. We still call them "Shotgun Weddings." Around here more up north, I call them "Party Marriages." Meet a girl at a party, get her pregnant, your married. It seems to be a right of passage for at least some.
 

Superfly

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heck no. I don't think anybody should be forced to do anything they don't want to do. I do think that the boy should support the baby, and have joint custody. I don't think he should feel obligated to marry her, though. That's so antiquated. Just support the baby, and let nature take it's course.

Teenagers don't really bang anybody based on the fact that they want to marry them eventually, anyway. Maybe 5 out of 100 think about the future. Most kids just think about the "right now."
 

Jerry

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An old fashioned value maybe, but what do you think? Should he offer? Should they get married? Arbitrarily, let's say both are 17 year old H.S. seniors. Been dating about a year monogamously. Or set your own parameters.

They should adopt the child out and change their ways.
 

00timh

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No. Seventeen-year-olds are too young to get married. In my perfect world, they would both relinquish their parental rights and give the baby a good home with adoptive parents. There are plenty of them out there...waiting to provide a loving home who will be much more able to provide for a child -- emotionally, spiritually and economically.
marriage if they both really want it. That was once a society norm that if you have kids, you should be married. That is no longer a standard. I disagree that they should relinquish their parental rights and give the baby up for adoption. Many do and not that it is a wrong thing to do, just not a needed thing to do.

Life threw these kids a curve ball. And yes, the families will have to help, but we all do so for our kids in all kinds of ways anyway. So, that is how the parents and other family members can help these kids out. They can still get their education, and have jobs. Last I checked all of us with kids still work 40+hrs a week and we somehow raise our kids. Our parents help out even when we are much older, when we work late, they lend us money when we need things, or are advancing our lives by school or a big job where we need to spend time on it.

100 years ago this hapened more often and the young parents raised their kid. hundreds of years ago it was the norm. Yes. life has changed for the "average" 17 year old, but the ability to raise a kid, with help is still there.

One last thing... a boy gets a girl pregnant.... equally so, the girl got herself pregnant whenever consenting to sex.
 

Real Korimyr #9

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marriage if they both really want it. That was once a society norm that if you have kids, you should be married. That is no longer a standard.

To our lasting detriment.
 

Aunt Spiker

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An old fashioned value maybe, but what do you think? Should he offer? Should they get married? Arbitrarily, let's say both are 17 year old H.S. seniors. Been dating about a year monogamously. Or set your own parameters.

It's up to them.

They should both talk about it and be the ones to decide.

But parents shouldn't push them to go one way or the other - that happened to me and instead of making the right choice based on what I needed/wanted I made choices to try to make my parents happy and I'm the one who suffered the most for it in the end and the kids did too.
 

Goshin

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It is well established that children do better in a stable two-parent home.
 

Aunt Spiker

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It is well established that children do better in a stable two-parent home.

Do better in a STABLE two parent home.

Can't say the same for kids who are in broken homes parented by laziness, abuse, neglect, carelessness and caught up in the web of parental mistrust and hate.

That is NOT better than being raised in a single home or being raised by separated parents.
 

tessaesque

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It is well established that children do better in a stable two-parent home.

That is the key. Two kids in high school without diplomas are less likely to have the financial and emotional means and wisdom to create a successful, nuturing environment for a child. If they want to get married and are 100% committed to the idea I wouldn't necessarily discourage them, but I feel it would be antithetical to the ultimate wellbeing of the child to force marriage and co-habitation onto them due to an impending birth. I would much rather they focus on finishing school and working together in the best possible manner for the child, whatever that means.

If a proposal comes from a sense of obligation, moral duty, or societal pressure on the boy's behalf I do not feel that it should be pursued in a rushed fashion. The child will benefit most from a stress-free, caring, and stable environment with family members and parents who can dedicate 100% of their resources to the child. Marriage doesn't necessarily guarantee any of that.
 

tacomancer

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It's a sweet gesture, but I don't think I'd be too thrilled about accepting the idea of my teen age daughter marrying her teen age boyfriend. The likelihood of their marriage lasting is slim to nil, and I'd much rather they maintain the relationship at a natural pace and allow it to become whatever it will be without the pressure of some manufactured "obligation".

Ultimately, this is what is best for the kid. If the parents get married due to obligation and not any personal feeling of commitment, affection, or love (not lust) than the environment in which the child would be raised will be terrible.
 

tacomancer

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I lived this scenario.
Thank goodness I already loved her, 11 years.:cool:

That's better than my sister in law. She married a dude because she got knocked up. The dude she married is about useless. He drinks, smokes weed, sort of holds a job, has terrible anger issues (especially when drunk) and is an all around asshole. While, she is far from perfect (her sister is a much better person :mrgreen:) she and the kids would have a much better and successful life if she found someone who was worth a damn.
 

joko104

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I lived this scenario.
Thank goodness I already loved her, 11 years.:cool:


A lot of people have. Some make it work. Some don't. But then all relationships are like that, aren't they?
 

Aunt Spiker

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That is the key. Two kids in high school without diplomas are less likely to have the financial and emotional means and wisdom to create a successful, nuturing environment for a child. If they want to get married and are 100% committed to the idea I wouldn't necessarily discourage them, but I feel it would be antithetical to the ultimate wellbeing of the child to force marriage and co-habitation onto them due to an impending birth. I would much rather they focus on finishing school and working together in the best possible manner for the child, whatever that means.

If a proposal comes from a sense of obligation, moral duty, or societal pressure on the boy's behalf I do not feel that it should be pursued in a rushed fashion. The child will benefit most from a stress-free, caring, and stable environment with family members and parents who can dedicate 100% of their resources to the child. Marriage doesn't necessarily guarantee any of that.

Exactly - it most certainly does NOT gaurantee any of that. In fact: it's more than likely to gaurantee that is farther away from possibility.
 

joko104

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I get to have that "talk" with young men in the 17 to 19 year range. Mostly I listen and silently try to size up him and what the relationship was like.

Personally, I think usually they should marry. Not always. Granted that their chances of a successful marriage are lower maybe than average, but they've both already f...ed up their lives and there is no free walk-away for either of them. Even if she does abort, rarely is that emotionally free. Same as if she gives the baby away or if she has it. Nor does he get to walk away for free if she continues to pregnancy. Minimally he'll be paying $$$ for the next 18 years.

So, then, recognizing it is not an ideal marriage situation (probably), but I doubt either are going to have ideal lives anyway. Its easy enough to divorce down the road if it doesn't work out. But at least the kid for a while has a father and mother and for at least a little while they'll probably get along. It may seen an odd statement, but just because a marriage isn't likely to last 50 years, it might work ok for 5, 10 years or longer. The alternative 5 or 10 years of likely rapid "serial monogamy" combined with either or both wondering "what if?" might be worst. Is there a reason to believe that those 5 or 10 years would be better for each of them if they didn't marry? The grass isn't always greener on the other side.

I also tend to think the pregnancy is a duty and burden on him that he should own up to.

And sometimes it is just stages - ie they continue to "date" and maybe shack up together before the legal commitment - in a sense continuing on the relationship path as it was before the pregnancy.

On the other hand, if he's just a lazy ass drunk or doper? Then he just needs to hit the road.

Whether she has the baby or aborts often has a lot to do with what attitude the bio-father, family and others take. This is a situation where ongoing guidance by others if they do stick together can make a big difference.

A question I sometimes get around to out-of-the-blue - usually after many hours with him just out fishing - is: "If you let her go, its only a matter of time before some other guy is f....ing her, sharing life with her and playing with your kid. Can you handle that?" The expression on his face usually tells me which way he's going to go. HOWEVER, I do none of this until word has come back privately to me that the pregnant teen is interested in him sticking around.

I suspect that until recently, the teen/woman becoming pregnant accounted for a very large percentage of marriages. Society seemed to do ok with it. There's nothing wrong with being old-fashioned sometimes. Sometimes its the right thing to do.
 

1Perry

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It wasn't a requirement we made of ours. (my wife has a 21 year old son and I have 21 year old twin sons). It was that if they were not in a place where they could afford a wife and kid that we would be taking them to the local military office to enroll.

So far, so good.
 

joko104

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There also is a reality-factor IF she has and keeps the child. An economic reality. Unless her parents are going to continue housing her and the child and to pick up most the tab, she gets into a very serious economic crisis very quickly if alone and on her own. Even if the guy skips or she puts him out a couple years down the road, at least she made it past the first hurdle of initial economic (and maybe) emotional survival.

Sometimes the only way to mature in life may be just to stubble through it best you can, learning along the way. The questions to a young single pregnant teen are tough ones - particularly with non-supportive parents. Where is she going to live? How will she buy food and pay the bills? This is another reason I think the man should likely marry her. Core questions of survival for the mother and child. This, of course, means HE HAS TO GET A JOB.
 

MaggieD

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A question I sometimes get around to out-of-the-blue - usually after many hours with him just out fishing - is: "If you let her go, its only a matter of time before some other guy is f....ing her, sharing life with her and playing with your kid. Can you handle that?" The expression on his face usually tells me which way he's going to go. HOWEVER, I do none of this until word has come back privately to me that the pregnant teen is interested in him sticking around.

Wow.

Do you also tell him that his marriage has less than a 50% of lasting? And that while he's flailing around at it he'll have given up his chance at an education and normal growth process? Do you let him know that regardless of his decision, he's going to be liable for child support for the next eighteen years? And how important an education is for him in that whole process?

Do you explain to him that, if his girl is going to keep her baby, her best bet is living at home with her parents...and he with his? That if it's true love it'll last 'til both of them mature and know what they really want out of life? How important family support is going to be for her? Not his support alone . . . but her whole family? And how he might just stand in the way of that by trying to play house?

You load a gun and point it at a kid's head (that bolded statement above) thinking you probably know what he wants. How about what's best for the child? And for him? It's certainly not getting married at seventeen.

Makes me think there should be an equal number of men and boys serviced by Planned Parenthood...for the counseling.
 

1Perry

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Wow.

Do you also tell him that his marriage has less than a 50% of lasting? And that while he's flailing around at it he'll have given up his chance at an education and normal growth process? Do you let him know that regardless of his decision, he's going to be liable for child support for the next eighteen years? And how important an education is for him in that whole process?

Do you explain to him that, if his girl is going to keep her baby, her best bet is living at home with her parents...and he with his? That if it's true love it'll last 'til both of them mature and know what they really want out of life? How important family support is going to be for her? Not his support alone . . . but her whole family? And how he might just stand in the way of that by trying to play house?

You load a gun and point it at a kid's head (that bolded statement above) thinking you probably know what he wants. How about what's best for the child? And for him? It's certainly not getting married at seventeen.

Makes me think there should be an equal number of men and boys serviced by Planned Parenthood...for the counseling.

Your scenario is as extreme as joko's might be. People can indeed raise a kid and get an education. It is harder but just because something is harder isn't a reason to not do it.

Yes it's easier to live at home but again, IMO the advice we give our kids should not always be based upon what is easier.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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That's better than my sister in law. She married a dude because she got knocked up. The dude she married is about useless. He drinks, smokes weed, sort of holds a job, has terrible anger issues (especially when drunk) and is an all around asshole. While, she is far from perfect (her sister is a much better person :mrgreen:) she and the kids would have a much better and successful life if she found someone who was worth a damn.

A synopses of my story.

I was a wash out in school, but decided to turn my life around, some what.
I used to date some pretty rank females.

Saw my then future wife and decided to shoot high, it worked.
I fell for her instantly.
I'm no prince charming, but the whole weed smoking, drinking, being a general slacker had gotten kiddish to me.
It was time to start growing up.

For a lot of folks, it doesn't work out like that.
Peer pressure and addiction is too much for many.
 

1Perry

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A synopses of my story.

I was a wash out in school, but decided to turn my life around, some what.
I used to date some pretty rank females.

Saw my then future wife and decided to shoot high, it worked.
I fell for her instantly.
I'm no prince charming, but the whole weed smoking, drinking, being a general slacker had gotten kiddish to me.
It was time to start growing up.

For a lot of folks, it doesn't work out like that.
Peer pressure and addiction is too much for many.

I don't know that your case is that rare. I smoked pot alot until around 19-20. I knew that I could either continue buying pot or pay my bills.
 

MaggieD

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Your scenario is as extreme as joko's might be.

What here do you find blatantly false?

  • Do you also tell him that his marriage has less than a 50% of lasting?
  • And that while he's flailing around at it he'll have given up his chance at an education and normal growth process?
  • Do you let him know that regardless of his decision, he's going to be liable for child support for the next eighteen years?
  • And how important an education is for him in that whole process?
  • Do you explain to him that, if his girl is going to keep her baby, her best bet is living at home with her parents...and he with his?
  • That if it's true love it'll last 'til both of them mature and know what they really want out of life
  • How important family support is going to be for her? Not his support alone . . . but her whole family?
  • And how he might just stand in the way of that by trying to play house?
 

1Perry

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What here do you find blatantly false?

As I noted, it isn't that it's false. It will be harder but as I said, just because something is harder is not reason to tell a person to not do it.

It's harder to get your PHD as opposed to an Associates Degree.
 
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