What about Teen Dads?

In the August 29 panel discussion on “How Do We Write Sex Today?” at the second Philippine Literary Festival, someone asked how come there’s no male author in the panel.

I shared that it would be interesting to hear stories of unplanned pregnancy from the perspective of teen dads.

I remember this heartbreaking story of a young man who got his girlfriend pregnant. Without his knowledge, his girlfriend had an abortion. The post-abortion complications were not managed so the girl died. And just like that, the young man lost his girlfriend and future child.

How is a teen boy’s life affected by getting someone pregnant?

What are the harsh realities of teen fatherhood?

Does he also experience stigma and discrimination?

Is he also forced by circumstances to marry the girl he got pregnant?

Is he able to finish his schooling or does he have to disrupt his education so he could find a job and earn money to support his child?

If he did not marry the girl, how will he manage to see his child? Will they come to some sort of child custody arrangements? Will he be able to have a close relationship with this child?

Are there instances when the teen is not even aware that he fathered a child?

Are there cases when the teen wants to be involved in his child’s life and is willing to provide support according to his capacity but the girl denies him his parental rights? In the Family Code of the Philippines, the parental authority of an illegitimate child belongs to the mother and this includes her right to have the custody of her illegitimate child. Fathers cannot be denied visitation rights but you know how it is…the girl and his family can make it difficult for the teen dad to see and be with his child.

Are there situations where the teen is fully aware but totally abdicated his responsibilities to his child?

It would be interesting to hear from you. Do you know stories of teen dads? What were their struggles? How can they best be supported?

What about Teen Dads?
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