Who Is the Father?

Who Is the Father?

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Pregnant β€” And Don't Know Who the Father Is

  • When several men are involved, it can be challenging to determine who the father could be.
  • Your gynecologist can help you in finding the answer to this question.
  • Pre or postnatal testing can provide absolute certainty about who the father is.

Take the Quiz:πŸ™ŽπŸ»β€β™‚οΈAcknowledging Paternity: How do I navigate issues with the dad?

Want to know more about naming the baby dad on the birth certificate? Go to Acknowledging Paternity

Acknowledging Paternity: How do I navigate issues with the dad? - Your Self-Evaluation

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Pregnant β€” Narrowing Down Who the Father Could Be

Frantically trying to figure out when this baby was conceived? And with whom? First of all, let’s narrow down the number of potential fathers. This might help to dispel some of your concerns.

An Appointment With Your Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

The possible window of conception can be narrowed down significantly through a gynecological examination, either by testing your hormone levels, checking the development of the amniotic sac, or determining fetal age biometrically via ultrasound.

It may take some courage to bring this up at your doctor's appointment. Of course, you wouldn't have to tell them why you are interested in the exact date of conception. Besides, you can expect your doctor to respond professionally.

Calculating the Date of Conception

A pregnancy is only possible when a man and a woman engage in sexual intercourse during her fertile window. Nevertheless, determining this fertile window is not always easy:

  • Ovulation takes place about 14 days before the next menstrual period. This could be a first point of reference for your calculation.
  • The days leading up to and following ovulation are considered one's fertile window. During this time, the female reproductive system prepares for possible fertilization. Cervical mucus becomes more slippery, allowing sperm to travel toward the ripened ovum (egg cell).
  • The egg can only be fertilized during a 12 to 18-hour window.
  • Sexual intercourse before ovulation may also lead to conception since sperm can survive in the female reproductive system for up to five days.
  • For more information, go to: How Does Pregnancy Happen?

Calculating your week of pregnancy may help you find answers:

Paternity Test β€” How Soon Is This Possible?

Paternity tests can provide clarity with relative certainty. There are several methods available pre- and postnatally.

Some countries have laws restricting paternity tests, legally limiting tests until after birth or only with a court order. In the United States, Canada and Australia, paternity testing is unrestricted, allowing even fathers to test their children without the mother’s consent. Home paternity tests are readily available. In England, paternity testing must be performed by accredited labs.

NOTE: In all countries, test results can only be used for legal purposes if performed in a recognized laboratory. As the mother, you have the right to demand a paternity test in court if paternity is contested.

Prenatal Paternity Tests (During Pregnancy):

Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP):
This test is the most accurate, non-invasive way to establish paternity before the baby is born. It requires only a simple blood collection from the mother and alleged father and can be performed any time after the 8th week of pregnancy.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS):
This test is performed by inserting a thin needle or tube in the vagina and through the cervix to obtain chorionic villi. These are little, finger-like pieces of tissue attached to the uterine wall, which have the same genetic makeup as the baby. This testing can be performed starting at the 10th week of pregnancy.

This test is performed in the second trimester, after the 14th week of pregnancy. During this procedure, the doctor uses ultrasound to guide a thin needle into the uterus and take a sample of amniotic fluid for testing.

Invasive prenatal paternal testing involves the risk of fetal harm or miscarriage and is therefore not recommended.

Postnatal Testing (After the Baby’s Birth)

Blood Tests
Paternity tests are usually performed by collecting blood from the umbilical cord or by taking a blood sample later.

Buccal Swab
Buccal (cheek swab) DNA samples can also be used to compare mother, father, and child.

As the mother, you have the right to demand a test in court, if necessary.

Pregnant and Two Possible Fathers β€” Where Do I Go From Here?

It may take a little while to establish paternity. Here are some suggestions on how to deal with this challenging situation.

Whom Do I Tell?

This is the central question for most women: Which one of the potential fathers should I tell about the pregnancy? Should I even tell anyone? There are several options...

Ask yourself whom you hope the father to be. Who would be willing to take on this responsibility? He may be most deserving of being the first one to know. Including him immediately would help him adjust to this situation and allow him to gradually decide on where he stands regarding taking on a father role.

Depending on the situation, you may want to inform each potential father while the matter of paternity is still unclear.

Allow yourself to be guided by your heart as well as your mind when deciding whom to tell. It may also help to confide in someone β€” a good friend, perhaps.

Distinguishing Between Biological Father, Legal Guardian, and Dad

Biological Father

Biological paternity is linked to legal rights and responsibilities, such as visitation rights and the obligation to pay child support. If these rights and duties are exercised well, fatherhood could work, even if the parents are not in a relationship.

Legal Father

Legal guardianship is not necessarily determined by the date of conception or biological fatherhood. In most countries, the husband is legally presumed to be the child's father unless paternity is established, proving otherwise.


Taking on the father role does not necessitate biological β€œcredentials” but can sometimes be made "official" by an acknowledgment of paternity statement.

Three Things You Can Do:

  1. πŸ•° Take the time and space you need to calmly assess your thoughts and desires. Only then start seeking solutions.

  2. πŸ’ͺ🏻 You have much more courage, stamina, and resources than you can recognize while blinded by fears! Leaning on your strengths will enable you to find a path that aligns with your convictions. Unsure of what your strengths are? Take the Strengths Finder Test!

  3. Would you like some judgment-free support in addressing a specific concern? Choose one of our counseling tests to discern a way forward.

Pregnant and Alone...

Reading this article may be gut-wrenching if none of the potential fathers are willing to parent with you. You may feel like you are getting zero support. Perhaps you are wondering whether you should have this baby or how to make it through this pregnancy...

We consider it a privilege to come alongside you!
Try one of our quizzes:

You may also like:


Non-invasive prenatal paternity test (NIPP): American Pregnancy Association (24.12.2021).

Paternity Testing: Labcorp (24.12.2021).

DNA Paternity Test: Cleveland Clinic (24.12.2021).

Calculating Conception: American Pregnancy Association (24.12.2021).

What is the difference between a legal father and a biological father? Law Info (24.12.2021).

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