My rights

Bojan Krsnik

Bojan Krsnik

social work graduate

Please help me with advice. My girlfriend is pregnant; she will now be 5.5 months old. She is 16 and I am 19 years old. I finished school and I work, she is currently enrolled in the second grade of secondary school. Her parents do not like me from the beginning, they forbid her to see me, I cannot even go near their house. I am with her, I would like us to take care of the child together, but I am afraid that they will not allow it. She is afraid to oppose them because if she opposes then she is constantly arguing, and it is very stressful for her. What should I do, what are my rights in the whole story, I am the father of the child after all. Thank you for your reply.

What should be emphasized at the very beginning and what you need to be aware of is that your parents are in a new situation that they also did not hope for, and like you, a new life role awaits them – their children are becoming parents, and they are becoming grandparents. Life role changes often cause stress, both for you and them. 

The key thing you mentioned here is opposition. Parents are very often protective of their children and in the absence of quality communication; there is opposition and misunderstanding on both sides. I advise you to talk sensibly and calmly with her parents, not immediately opposing their opinion, but allowing each other to express their views and expectations. Sometimes we assume the worst without trying to do something and talk, and then it hinders us from achieving the desired goal. It is commendable that you finished school and found a job, which proves that you are diligent and hardworking, and that you as a future partner of their daughter are planning a responsible future together.

Maybe your parents could also help communicate with her parents. I believe that each of you has certain fears and dilemmas about how to proceed and what to do now. It is important that each of you, including your girlfriend, says their expectations but also offers a plan for how you intend to cope with this important role, how you will take care of the child and yourself, what about further education, etc. Outline your detailed plan for the future to prove to her parents that you are mature and ready to deal with the new situation, and show them how important their help and support is to you and in which situations. 

If your relationships are disrupted to such extent that it is impossible to establish communication, I recommend that you contact the Social Welfare Centre, which also has the role of providing expert advice in overcoming everyday problems, strengthening partnerships and family relationships, and parent-child relationships, which is one possible solution. 

Regarding your rights, I hope that the first part will go well and that it will not be necessary to fight for them. You can claim your rights only after the birth of a child if your girlfriend does not register you as a father in the birth registry by filing a lawsuit to prove paternity, by confirming which you undertake the obligation of material support and other rights and obligations determined by the Family Act. By all accounts, despite her parents’ current anger, it should not happen. We also invite you to contact our counselling centre and visit us if you are able so that we can be an additional form of support in this sensitive period of life. Thank you for the question and good luck in future fatherhood.