Who Is the Father?

Who Is the Father?

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Pregnant — 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 — 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 have 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: How Does Pregnancy Happen?

An Appointment With Your Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

The possible window of conception can be additionally narrowed down through a gynecological examination, either by testing your hormone levels, 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 uterine wall, 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 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 - 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 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 adapt to this situation and allow him to take on the father’s role gradually.

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 child's father unless paternity is established, proving otherwise.

Dad

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

Pregnant Without a Father

This article may be gut-wrenching because none of the potential fathers are willing to be a parent. You are getting zero support. You may wonder 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 or take the test: 👩‍❤️‍👨 Pregnant from an affair — Now what?

Here are three things you can do:

  1. 🕰 Take the time and space you need to deal with this situation. Only then start seeking solutions.
  2. 💪🏻 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? Take the Solutions Finder Test!

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