We Got Pregnant! Should We Get Married?

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So much has changed in the past decade or so regarding marriage and childbirth. In years past, it was frowned upon to have a baby out of wedlock; and now, that stigma has lifted considerably. According to a 2011 study done by the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate for unmarried women was 46 out of every 1000 births, and the total percent of all births to unmarried women was 40.7%.

A lot of people will want to weigh in on whether or not you should get married, but stand firm on whatever you decide.

It is also proven that the vast majority of these births are from older women—not teens, as some may suspect. In fact, teenagers only accounted for 23% of births in 2007. While rates have risen for women ages 20 and up, teen rates have changed very little and, in some cases, even declined.

This phenomenon isn’t just specific to the United States either. The UK’s news source, The Telegraph, reported that in England and Wales 47.5% of babies were born out of wedlock in 2012. If that rate continues, then more than half of all babies will be born out of wedlock by 2016.

MORE: Should Moms Be Married? }

The Great Crossover

The National Center for Family and Marriage Research coined the term “The Great Crossover,” which refers to new data announcing the median age for women to have their first child (25.7 years old) is lower than the median age for women to have their first marriage (26.5 years old).

The following excerpt has been taken from The Knot Yet Report: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America:

“Culturally, young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a ‘capstone’ rather than a ‘cornerstone’—that is, something they do after they have all their ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood.”

Why Are People Waiting to Marry After Baby?

There are many reasons why people are waiting to get hitched nowadays. Some common reasons are:

  • They have seen their own parents’ marriage fail and don’t want to make the same mistake.
  • Women have elevated their socioeconomic status in the workforce.
  • It is taking longer to finish an education and secure employment.
  • The stigma of being unwed has diminished considerably.

What do you think? We Got Pregnant! Should We Get Married?

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25 comments

  1. Avatar of Claudia Claudia says:

    I have been with my other half for 7yrs now. Though we aren’t legally married I do call him my husband because of the stigma that still follows having a family and being unmarried. I personally choose not to marry. I don’t believe in the constitution of marriage and although my family did try to force me to get married when i was pregnant with my first daughter, after seeing my mother and father go through multiple nasty divorces and how traumatizing that was for us kids I decided that whether the parents are married or not does not matter signing a piece of paper doesn’t make anything better but it does make it more difficult for the whole family if the two parents decide not to be together in the future. What is important for the kids is have two loving parents that are committed to each other (legal document or not) and love and respect one another.

  2. Avatar of Rosebud Rosebud says:

    Marriage discussion has beenon the table since day one with us. It really was love at first sight. And now a little over 2 years later we have a beautifaul baby girl on the way. I feel the pressure from older family members to tie the knot, and I am feeling somewhat anxious myself. It’s funny because only until now do I realize how much it means to me to have our family and love “legitimized”. My contemporary self believes love is love despite a piece of paper, but my spirtiual and traditional self want to officate our union especially before my angel arrives. So much to weigh, I’m not stressing it though, I know it will happen and when it does it will be beautiful.

  3. Avatar of Shana Shana says:

    We want to get married so we treat each other like that now instead of waiting to sign a piece of paper. I love him with all my heart and I cant wait to make him a father.

  4. Avatar of Tiffany Tiffany says:

    My boyfriend and I have been together a yr and one month, and I am getting ready to have his baby. I feel that if you want to get married then you should wait to see if that person is going to be able to handle you for you and if your going to be able to handle them for them. I love my boyfriend with everything I have, he is the only one that can make me smile, laugh, and just get happy for no reason. Yes we have relationship problems but who doesn’t, we have known each other for awhile yes he aggravates me buti do love him dearly!! One day we will probably end up getting married, well I hope so anyways he is truly my knight in shining armor.. As long as someone can make you happy and not want to strangle them everyday then I believe that things will work. Anyways I don’t believe everything that I read unless its things I have heard before and still its hard to believe or listen to.

  5. Avatar of Ashley Ashley says:

    Here’s my two cents. My now hubby and I were together for one year and moved in together. 2 years later we found out we were pregnant. We already felt like we were married and weddings can get expensive so we said Eh, we are happy. Let’s keep things the way they are. That was in 2008. In 2010 we had our 2nd child (planned) and got engaged in 2011 we had our third child (planned) and in 2012 we got married, then in 2013 we had our twins (unplanned) and 3 months later found out I was a month pregnant and just had our 6th child end of April. So many of my friends and family said we did it all “backwards” and maybe we did but many of those same friends have now been married and divorced a few times. Just because a person gets married, it doesn’t guarantee they will work out. Not being married right away worked well for us and now we just celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary and in July we will celebrate 9 years together. We couldn’t be happier.

  6. Avatar of Ashley Ashley says:

    My partner and I have been together for 5yrs. Went through one miscarriage, then 2yrs later we find out we’re pregnant again. He wanted to do it before she got her. I wanted to wait. I felt like he wanted to because of what older families members might think. So we’re waiting until she can be apart of our union.

  7. Avatar of noamiGalaviz noamiGalaviz says:

    marriage to me and my partner is very important now more than ever that we’re pregnant. but patience is the key at this point. my mom wants us to from what i can tell but dont want to rush things if we arent ready. its up to the couple in the end and well hopefully the best decision is made.

  8. Avatar of katrina katrina says:

    My mom was worried about this, but my partner and I have been through a lot. We have talked about it, I believe he wants to but now we are pregnant and my mom thought we absolutely need marriage and was worried about last name. I want to have my partner propose when he’s ready. Hopefully soon lol, but until then I am excited about the pregnancy and want that to go good before anything else.I don’t believe it is needed and is up to the couple. They will hopefully make the best decision.

  9. Avatar of victoria victoria says:

    i got engaged a month before i found out i was pregnant. so far things are ok. we still havent made any firm plans about our wedding. he is wanting to do it before our boy comes. so im feeling a little bit rushed but i want my son to know his mom and dad are together no matter what. so im gonna do it cause i love this man to the death of me and without him my son wouldnt be here.

  10. Avatar of Melissa Melissa says:

    We plan on getting married but we lost 2 babies and want to try for another.

  11. Avatar of Michaela Michaela says:

    I believe that it is up to the baby’s parents. However, I believe that a two-parent home express great stability for the child, it maybe traumatic as well. Just because a woman gets pregnant does not mean that marriage should come next. It needs to be a mutual and genuine agreement for both parties.

  12. Avatar of doreena doreena says:

    Obviously we should make decisions that would be best for everyone involved. People shouldn’t get married just because they’re having a baby. Take the time to think about the whole picture and the future. It should be a decision based on whether it’s going to be a healthy and happy relationship between the parents, especially after the baby is born. A lot of times, couples start to have more problems after the baby is born due to stress and expectations from each other. OR maybe I’m just watching to much Teen Moms and 16 & pregnant.

  13. not unless its a happy home

  14. Avatar of Beverly Beverly says:

    We have discussed marriage – and I agree that I want the children (2 from his past relationship & the one we’re having) – to see their father happy and married – BUT we are in no rush to jump right in. Having a baby brings about enough change right now for both of us and focusing on one step at a time is most important. Besides, i want to see how we handle our new responsibilty & each other AFTER baby is born. that for me will be the deciding factor

  15. Avatar of katherine katherine says:

    im 19 and the guy im with is 34 we have a baby on the way and he wants to get married what should i do bc im not sure im ready to get married but i dont want to hurt his feelings please someone tell me what i should do the baby will be here before to long and need to know if i should marry him bc we r haven a baby or should i be honest with him and tell him im not ready and do note we only been together since june 15 of last year and i got pregant not to long after we met

    • Avatar of Kara Kara says:

      I would say tell him the truth and wait. You should not get married just because you are having a baby. See how you feel after a year. He needs to know the truth. Good luck!

  16. Avatar of Timothy Timothy says:

    NO NO NO NO NO NO…DID I SAY ….NO… I DID IT TWICE AND NEITHER MARRIAGE WORKED… MY WIFE NOW AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 3 YEARS BEFORE MEEKA AND THINGS ARE STILL GOING GREAT. WE WILL HAVE OUR 4TH ANNIVERSARY NEXT MONTH. I THINK SOME OF IT WAS ALSO ME GROWING UP.. BUT I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER AND WE ARE IN WEEK 38 NOW.. MEEKA HERE VERY SOON AND WE ARE SOOOOOOOO EXCITED..

  17. Avatar of Angela Angela says:

    It’s nice to know that there are others out there that have mixed emotions on the topic…as if we need something else to make our hormones go crazy, lol. I am 36 and have 2 other children from a previous marriage (16 and 10). My significant other and I had only been dating for 6 months and children did come into the conversation and we were both fine with the two that I had and sure enough…next thing you know, here we are about to have a child of our own. We actually became engaged on New Year’s Day, although no date has been set and I’m not sure that we will be setting one anytime in the near future. I have my reservations about not being married when our little one is born in 2 months, but I also have been through another nasty divorce that involved children and even I thought I love him, no one knows what the future holds. As of now, we are content to be engaged…we are committed to each other and I think that for us, it fills that “need”. Thankfully I did go back to my maiden name when I became divorced, as I did not want my previous husband’s name on OUR child’s birth certificate (that may sound silly, but if you knew the ex…you’d understand).

  18. Avatar of Alicia Alicia says:

    My husband and I were not married when we got pregnant with our first child. However, we had talked about marriage before we found out we were pregnant. We never felt pressure from anyone to get married. We decided to get married after the baby was born and got married right before she turned 3 months old.

  19. Avatar of eileen apple eileen apple says:

    First off, if you were already planning on getting married don’t let it stop you. I do not think pregnancy or a child is reason to get married. but I also think getting pregnant on purpose when you are not married is not a good Idea. Yes accidents happen, even married couples have “unplanned” children but having one an purpose to me is not a good idea. I had a child when I was 21, she was not planned. All I can say is looking back now I am so glad I did NOT get married. I am now 46 and I got married at 42 had an unplanned pregnancy, actually more like a miraculous one at 43 naturally, and I could not be happier. I can see from both sides since I was a single parent and I am now a married parent and older. I can see many sides and I have seen what happens when you have a child out of wedlock. There is more for the child to deal with, all children do have things to deal with but when you are a single parent children tend to take on a role of an adult even if it is small and not on a regular basis. Yes this can happen and does to married couples as well but it seems the child has a better support system when their parents are married. It was explained to me like this when I was young and I thought it was BS but that I am older I understand it. When you raise a child as a single parent and the other parent is not always there or close you are not nurturing that part of the child. How can you, you are not that part of the child the other parent is. It is basically the same as you don’t talk bad about your child’s other parent in front of them because you are actually talking bad about your child because your child is 1/2 of that person.

  20. Avatar of Jennifer Jennifer says:

    you should not get married just cuz of a baby its not enough to hold a relationship together

  21. Avatar of Jessica Jessica says:

    I think if you feel that you should get married then go for it! BUT! Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Having a baby is a blessing and in my opinion just because you are having a baby doesn’t mean you have to get married. I am currently 13 weeks 4 days pregnant and my boyfriend has a 2 year old son from a previous relationship. We have talked about getting married and we both feel it would be nice to get married before the kids get older. So in the end do what makes you and your man happy!

  22. Avatar of Samantha Samantha says:

    Don’t do it just because you get pregnant. Marriage isn’t for eevryone. I married my husband when I was pregnant and it has been NO walk in the park. We have a good marriage but sometimes I feel it was just for my son and if I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant then we would still just be dating I’m sure.

  23. Avatar of dana dana says:

    I’m happy with my 4 children (4th child on the way) this means any money I make anything I want to do and I don’t have to answer to anybody daddy can get his kids when I need him to and I can handle my business the only thing is we are in a relationship but he can still get his children so I can have some me time. If I never get married it will be okay I have what I want 4 kids

  24. Avatar of Miranda Miranda says:

    I have personally been struggling with this question myself. My boyfriend of 5 years decided (after finding out I was pregnant) that he wanted to get married. We’ve never really discussed this before and I’ve been kind of against it. I don’t want to get married just because I am pregnant because I had one child prior to meeting my fianc’e- I was pregnant when we met, he knew and took my son on like his own. He hasn’t pushed marriage, so I am thankful but he definitely wants to get engaged. He says he’s wanted to anyways and what better timing… I’m nervous that he’s making such a huge decision as a social statement, kind of like the fifties, we are pregnant so we are getting married….
    ~Not sure….

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