Who Is the Father?

Who Is the Father?

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Pregnant ‚ÄĒ¬†And¬†Don't¬†Know¬†Who the¬†Father¬†Is

  • When several men are involved, it's¬†not always easy 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.

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Pregnant ‚ÄĒ 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. 


Calculating the Date of Conception 

Pregnancies can only occur when a man and a woman had sexual intercourse during the woman's fertile window. 

  • Ovulation, i.e.,¬†the fertile window, takes place about¬†14 days before the next menstrual period.¬†¬†
  • The egg can only be fertilized during a¬†12 to 18 hour window.¬†¬†
  • However, sperm can survive in the female¬†body¬†for up to¬†five days.¬†

This means that a baby can only be conceived during this time period.  

For more information, go to Process of Fertilization.


An Appointment With Your Gynecologist 

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


Paternity Test - 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. 


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 wall of the uterus, which have the same genetic makeup as the baby. This testing can be performed starting at the 10th week of pregnancy.  
  • Amniocentesis:¬†
    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 either by collecting blood from the umbilical cord or by taking a blood sample at a later point in time.  
  • Buccal¬†Swab¬†
    Buccal (cheek swab) DNA samples, can also be used for comparison of mother, father, and child. (Source: American Pregnancy Association) 

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


Pregnant and Two Possible Fathers - Where Do I Go From Here?

It may take a little while until you establish paternity. Here are some suggestions on how you could deal with this difficult situation. 


Who 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 who 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 right away would help him to adapt to this situation and allow him to gradually take on the father’s role. 

Depending on the situation, you may want to inform both men, since the matter of paternity is still unclear. 

In order to know what is best, take both your feelings and your thoughts into consideration. 


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 father of the child, unless paternity is established, proving otherwise. 


Taking on the¬†father role does not necessitate biological ‚Äúcredentials,‚Ä̬†but can sometimes be made "official" by an acknowledgment of paternity¬†statement.


Pregnant Without a Father 

This article may be gut wrenching to you, because none of the potential fathers is willing to be a parent. You are getting zero support. You may be wondering how you can make it through this pregnancy or whether you should even have this baby... 

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Father Unknown: Where to Go From Here

Perhaps this pregnancy was the result of a one-night stand. You may not really know him or know how to get in touch with him. Feel free to refer to our article: Pregnant From a ONS. Not knowing who the father is would bring up many questions.    

Here are three things you can do: 

  1. ūüēį Take the¬†time and space¬†you need¬†to come to terms with this situation. Only then¬†start¬†seeking solutions.¬†
  2. ūüí™ūüŹĽ You have¬†so much more¬†courage, stamina, and resources than you are able to recognize,¬†while blinded by fears! Leaning on your strengths will enable you to find a path that lines up with your convictions. Unsure of what your strengths are?¬†Take the¬†Strengths¬†Finder¬†Test!¬†
  3. ūüí° Would you like some¬†judgement free¬†support in addressing a specific concern?¬†Take the¬†Solutions Finder¬†Test!¬†

‚öĖÔłŹ Wondering whether to have an abortion or not? ‚Äď Take the Abortion Test


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