Dear Barb—Baby Steps

Dear Barb:

I have gotten myself into a bad situation and I’m not really sure what to do about it.  My ex and I had been dating for two years when we broke up.  Then I started dating Jay, we get along great and have a lot of fun.  Last month I was at a conference in Toronto and ran into my ex who was also at the same conference.  We went out for a drink for old times’ sake, and well things got out of hand and we ended up spending the night in his room.  I didn’t even tell Jay that I ran into my ex, let alone that we had slept together.  Unfortunately, a month later I did a pregnancy test and I’m pregnant.  I don’t know what to do.  I know if I were to tell Jay I was pregnant he would assume it was his and be really happy, as he loves kids.  On the other hand, if it is my ex’s baby I don’t feel it would be fair not to tell him.  Also if I was going to pass the baby off as Jay’s there may be problems as Jay is fair, and my ex is very dark.  I’m not sure who the father is, but I have a sense that it is my ex.  I don’t want to abort the baby, as that goes against my beliefs.  I really need some advice.  Thanks, Ellen. 

Hi Ellen:

Thanks for writing.  Yes, you are in a dilemma.  My belief is always that honesty is the best policy.  This was your indiscretion and you need to make it right.  These kinds of things have a way of resurfacing at the worst possible times.  You need to be honest with both men and see where the cards fall.  Your present boyfriend will have a lot of things to process, since he will feel betrayed and angry and may break off the relationship.  You don’t say whether your ex is in a relationship, if he is, he will also have to come clean with his partner.  When the child is born, for thirty or forty dollars you can do a paternity test to find out who the biological father is.

Another consideration is whether you will include the father’s name on the birth certificate, as this will require his signature, otherwise you would just leave the area blank.  You can add the father’s name at a later date if you choose to.  Naming the child’s father on a birth certificate is beneficial for the child; if the father were to pass away the child would be entitled to Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits.  Once the child is born and the paternity results are in, you and the biological father need to make some decisions about the parenting of this child.  Also the birth father may, or may not, want to be a part of the child’s life.  This is a delicate situation and you can only take one step at a time.  Begin by being honest with everyone and proceed from there.  Good luck, Olivia, and I hope everything turns out well for everyone involved.