I am forty-seven, married, and have three children. My eldest daughter, who is twenty-three and is about to finish her professional degree, is pregnant and has never introduced us to the father of the child. It is difficult for us as a Christian couple to know how to deal with this situation…. We thought we had taught our daughter the ways of God.

We don’t know how to act, but we do know that we can’t abandon our daughter. She thinks she’s not ready to get married. We don’t know the intentions of the man who got her pregnant. What counsel can we give her?

Dear Friend,

We are happy to know that you would never abandon your daughter. Even though you taught her God’s perfect plan—the plan for sexual relationships to be practiced only between a man and a woman who are married to one another—she chose to do things her own way. But just as God doesn’t turn his back on us when we choose not to do things His way, parents should not turn their backs on their children no matter what those children have chosen to do.

Your daughter has chosen to disregard what you have taught her and, as an adult, that is her choice. It doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong or that you didn’t teach her well. She made a mistake, and unfortunately she will now have to face the consequences.

You will naturally face consequences likewise. Some of your friends and family will judge you for what your daughter did.

When one of our sons became an unmarried father as a teenager, it was very difficult for us to have to face. There were a lot of whispers, and a lot of people who looked down on our family. We constantly reminded ourselves that our baby grandson didn’t do anything wrong and that we should not be ashamed of him. He was an innocent victim who deserved all of the love we could show him.

Before our grandson’s birth, we tried to talk to his teenage mother about the possibility of placing him for adoption. She was not willing to consider it, but your daughter might if you talk to her about that option. As the parents of three adopted children, we believe strongly that adoption is a loving option and is possibly the best one for your daughter.

Since you don’t mention it, we will assume that your daughter has decided against an abortion. If she were going to do that, she probably would have done it without even telling you that she was pregnant. The fact that she respects the life of her precious baby is something to be very thankful for.

We recommend that your daughter consult an attorney regarding the child’s birth certificate. The listing of the biological father’s name on the birth certificate has legal and potential financial implications that she needs to be aware of.

We wish you well,