Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain write the Marriage Matters column for Members of St. Joseph Parish in Collingdale, they have been married 50 years and have seven children and 21 grandchildren.

She says: 

Amy says: Our 15-year-old daughter just confessed to us that she is pregnant. She is determined to keep the baby, for which we are thankful. Once I got past my initial anger, my concern is that she finishes high school, and eventually goes to college. I think, as her parents, we need to do whatever we can to help her raise this baby. My husband, Bob, is dead-set against it, the clock is ticking and it’s causing us a lot of tension.
He says: 

Bob says:  I love my daughter, and I want her to finish her education as well. And the best way to do that, as well as ensure a good life for her child, is to give up the baby for adoption. For us to bring a new child into our house at this time would be insane! I think we should issue an ultimatum: If you keep the baby, you are on your own.
What do they do? 

This situation isn’t new and family after family has experienced this same seemingly agonizing and incredible crisis. Now is not the time to fix blame, but to search for what is best for God’s newly created human person.

Yes, it is heartbreaking to discover your 15-year-old-daughter had sexual relations and, as a consequence, is pregnant. But neither Bob nor Amy can remedy what has already happened. Now is the time to discern together (all three of you) honestly what is best for your new grandchild, your daughter and for your own marriage relationship.

Many families have shown how to turn what may appear at first to be a dead-end road into blessings beyond our imaginations. Your daughter will need all the love and support the two of you can muster. She needs both of you to model unconditional love and unconditional sacrifice, as Jesus did.
Because this is a very sensitive issue to discuss, be practical and compassionate with each other. We suggest Bob and Amy earnestly pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit before beginning the discussion and be open to God’s guidance and peace that come from prayer so that they can calmly lead the discussion with their daughter.

If your daughter decides to raise the baby, it’s important to discuss the changes this will bring to her life and to yours. Even though your daughter is only 15, this is an adult situation and we recommend Bob and Amy should begin speaking to her as an adult, remembering her maturity level is not the same level as theirs.

And if Bob and Amy decide to help, they need to set forth expectations for their daughter – ones she is capable of meeting. She will have to grow up quickly and will have added responsibilities if she decides to raise her child. There are numerous other considerations that need to be addressed: What role, responsibility and involvement will the father of this child, and his parents, have in the raising of this child? What are the legal issues to be addressed?

It is important to remember that all life is a blessing, and every child is a gift from God. No matter what decision you and your daughter make, now is the time to prayerfully discern and be open to God’s plan for your family.