Even though you’re a professing Christian, you may find yourself in an unexpected pregnancy. You may never have imagined you’d be in this situation. It can be overwhelming and scary. Of course, one of the hardest conversations you’ll have is telling your parents that you’re pregnant. As Christians, they likely expected you to wait until marriage.
When you tell them that you’re pregnant, they may say things they don’t mean. That’s because this is a shock to them. Your parents’ first reactions could range from being upset and disappointed to being downright angry.
Telling Your Family You’re Pregnant
You’ll need to prepare yourself to tell your parents the news about your pregnancy. Here are six tips to help you get through the conversation.
1. Do some serious thinking
No doubt, when you tell your parents that you’re pregnant, they’ll have some strong opinions about what you should or shouldn’t do. They may suggest you get an abortion, parent the child, or place the child for adoption. Some parents put pressure on their children because they feel it’s their right and duty. That’s why you need to think ahead of time about what you want to do.
2. Consider the future
You are the only one who can make this decision for you and your child. Although you don’t need to make a final decision right now, it’s good to have at least some idea about your next step. Prayerfully ask yourself some questions, such as:
- Am I ready to be a parent right now? Could I handle the responsibility?
- Will the father be involved and prepared to help me?
- Can I financially care for a child?
- As a Christian, how do I feel about abortion?
- How do I feel about adoption?
- Am I willing to place my child for adoption with a Christian family?
- Do I want to see my child grow into an adult and have a relationship with them someday?
As you think and pray about and answer these questions, you’ll be better prepared to talk with your parents about your feelings about what you want to do.
3. Remember, God is with you
If you are a Christian who has accepted Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins, you can feel comforted knowing that he will help you get through this trial. Scripture says,
Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
-Psalm 55:22 NIV
Ask God to give you the strength to tell your parents about your pregnancy. Ask Him for wisdom and courage to share your news in a calm, peace-filled way. Pray that both of them will receive the news well and that they will listen to you as you explain how you feel.
4. Find the Right Timing and Place
It would help if you chose the right time and place to tell your parents that you’re pregnant. Telling them you’re pregnant while drinking coffee at a busy coffee shop isn’t the best place to share your news.
So that you can have a calm and loving chat with your parents, pick a time and place that gives you privacy and the time to talk. Pick a location that lets you freely express yourself without worrying about strangers overhearing.
It’s best to tell your parents you want to talk with them about something important. Then schedule a time and place you know will give all of your privacy and allow conversation.
You may want to invite them over to your apartment. Ask your roommates to be out of the house during the conversation. Of course, they’ll be curious, but you should guide the conversation. Be clear and concise. Don’t make excuses or try to soften the blow of what you say. Simply say something like, “I have something important to share, and I wanted you to be the first people I tell. Mom and Dad, I’m pregnant.”
5. Remain Calm and Patient
Good chance your parents will be shocked to hear that you’re pregnant. If they’re Christians, they may have assumed you’d wait to have sex until after marriage.
Stay calm and be patient as you wait for the news to sink in. Don’t be surprised if your parents get upset. They may get angry or say something they later regret. Show your parents that you’re mature enough to listen to them. Answer their question, but don’t be afraid to tell them, “I don’t know.”
If they offer suggestions, you can thank them for their concern, but firmly remind them you want to decide what’s best for you and your baby. You may need to have another conversation with them to explain what you plan to do. Assure them of your appreciation of their suggestions, but you need time to think about your best option. Thank them for their understanding and emotional support throughout the process.
6. Set Another Time to Talk
Telling your parents that you’re pregnant will probably be a shock to them. They’ll need some time to let this information sink in.
If the conversation didn’t go well, it might be helpful to wait so your parents can cool down. But, of course, they may stay angry. It’s the risk you need to take by telling them.
Your parents are dealing with their own feelings. They may feel like they’ve failed as parents and worry about what other people will think of them and you. Remember, you can’t control how your parents react or feel. You will need to trust God to help them. You shouldn’t feel the weight of trying to help your parents. Right now, you need to take care of yourself and your baby.
If your parents remain upset, you’ll need to tell them firmly, but kindly, that you understand they are shocked by this news, but their reaction isn’t helpful to you or them. Then, hopefully, they’ll get their emotions under control enough to listen to you.
Schedule a second meeting with them to discuss what you plan to do. Ask your parents not to tell other family members until you’ve decided what you’re going to do. You don’t need lots of family members pressuring you.
Your Second Meeting
During the second conversation with your parents, you should be ready to tell them what you have decided to do about the baby. Explain your options and what you feel is best for you and your child. Remember, your parents love you even if they are upset at first when they hear the news of your pregnancy. Ultimately, they will want to help you any way they can.
As a Christian, you can trust God to help you make the best decision. Choosing life for your child is a courageous decision, but one you won’t regret.
Here at Lifetime Adoption, we have helped many women in a similar situation to you. Our Adoption Coordinators are understanding and ready to help you walk through your decision process.
If you choose an open adoption, your parents will have the joy of knowing their grandchild their entire life. Thinking about being your child’s grandparents will make them thrilled and ready to support your decision.
What if My Parents Aren’t Supportive?
There is a chance that your parents won’t be supportive of you during your pregnancy. If this happens, you will need to find your own support system. You may find support through your church or Bible study. It’s important to surround yourself with other Christians who love you and want to help you. Your trusted friends will want to be there for you as you walk through this difficult time.
Most of all, remember God is here for you. He wants you to feel his love and care. He will guide you throughout this process of telling your parents and making the best decision for you and your child.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on January 7, 2018, and has since been updated.
As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.