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06/02/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

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Jacqui on

No, it is NOT okay to tell your child he/she was unplanned. There are so many ways to gracefully address that if it comes up without bluntly saying the child was not planned. Anyone I’ve ever known who has been told that — regardless of age — has felt hurt and diminished by such information.

Jen DC on

I think it depends on the circumstances in which you were told and how one is told. If it is presented as “you were a mistake,” then yes, that’s hurtful. But if it is presented as “you were a (happy) surprise” why would someone be hurt by that?

I was bluntly told that I was a mistake and almost aborted – when I was 10 and again when I was 35 (family drama!). It definitely colored the way I looked at my mother the first time (second time I just rolled my eyes), but overall, I saw it as her shortcoming and not something that reflected badly on ME. I think I’m in the minority of children who would have had that reaction, and I definitely wouldn’t tell any other child that way or the “almost aborted” detail.

Stella Bella on

Is it okay to tell your child they were unplanned? Yes. Is it okay to say or imply they were a mistake? Definitely not. I was planned and my parents still couldn’t hold their marriage together. Same with my husbands parents. Planning your children doesn’t mean s**t in the long run of creating a cohesive and happy family, which to my mind is the real goal.

jessicad on

I plan to be honest with my daughter, it’s pretty obvious she wasn’t planned and she’ll figure it out eventually as she gets older anyway. I want her to know what a wonderful surprise she was for me and how much I wanted her even though she wasn’t planned. I’ll definitely leave out the part about her Dad asking me to abort her, Jen DC how awful for you to hear!

My younger brother wasn’t planned and I don’t think he ever felt hurt or unwanted, my parents just always called him a sweet surprise and were open about it.

alicejane on

My mom told me when I was maybe 11 or 12 that she found out she was pregnant with me the day before my dad’s vasectomy appointment. Needless to say, I wasn’t planned. I understood the irony right away and it’s always been a joke in my family, never once did I ever feel like I wasn’t wanted. Like other posters said, it’s one thing to say someone was a mistake, but I think a “happy accident” is another story altogether.

Jillian on

When a child grows up and asks their parent or parents if they were planned, the parents should answer honestly. There is no reason why a parent should lie. There is nothing wrong with the pregnancy being unplanned….it is how they treat the person that is the issue. A pregnancy can be planned and the parent can have no care in the world for the child and the pregnancy can be unplanned and the parent can have the most care in the world for the child. I think that certain details can be left out, but to hide and lie and say it wasn’t unplanned when it was……is deceitful.

krewcat on

My husband grew up knowing he was the product of a rape. He has issues of feeling not wanted and it has shaped the person he is. Some things are better left unsaid.

Erika on

I don’t think it’s wrong to tell a child they were unplanned if it is done in the right way. My parents used to tell me and my brother that I was the baby they hoped and prayed for, and my brother was their surprise miracle pregnancy. Both are just as special and cherished, but under different circumstances. I think most kids would want to know the truth anyway.

Lau on

Unplanned is NOT a synonym for mistake! StellaBella said it best, I believe.

Amanda on

I was unplanned, so was my brother. We were told that, never changed a thing about how I felt about myself or my parents.

There’s just no way I could try to convince my kids that my oldest was planned. I was 18 when she was born, “yeah sweetie, we tried so hard and wanted you so much I graduated high school 7 months pregnant.” I don’t think she was a mistake but she was definitely not planned and I won’t ever try to tell her she was. I may not have planned her but I certainly believe there is a reason she came to be and that’s probably what I’ll stick with if the subject ever comes up.

Cecelia on

I agree with Lau.

As long as a parent doesn’t say so out of anger or with malicious intent, I don’t see the harm. Unplanned doesn’t always mean unwanted.

marina on

My mom told my sister that she was unplanned, and my sister is fine with it (she just roll her eyes). It wouldn’t change a thing for me either (I don’t know, and certainly don’t care)

Toya L. on

My husband and I didn’t use protection, with the intentions of conceiving all of our children except for our youngest daughter but I really don’t consider her unplanned because our actions to conceive pregnancies were the exact ones that we used when she was conceived (no birth control of any kind).

This may be one of those things that differ per person. I personally believe if a male and female are consentingly having sex and aren’t using birth control and both partners are medically able to conceive a child and it happens, then that was not unplanned. Unplanned to me is sadly being raped or ALWAYS using a condom, diaphragm, Depo-Provera, the pill, iud, tubal, a vasectomy etc…. with the intentions of not wanting to conceive and it happening anyway.

I know some will say that an unplanned pregnancy is one where conception took place without the purpose of trying for it too and I can definitely see both sides. If I had conceived a child by my personal definition of an unplanned pregnancy, then I would be honest with my child, “if they asked”.

Lacey on

We conceived our daughter shortly after getting together. It came a shock to both us and our families. She’s going to figure it out, so I might as well be honest with her. 2 weeks shy of one year, we met, got pregnant, bought a house, got married and had a baby! Hooray!

Lauren on

Amen, Toya. One of my good friends, who is engaged, puts it best : “To me, you should either at least be open to the idea of having a child or remain abstinent. I would rather not remain abstinent.” 🙂

I also agree with your definition of an unplanned pregnancy. Birth control and vasectomies sometimes fail, and rape is a sad reality that often yields the same results. But two adults having regular, consensual sex with no attempt to prevent a pregnancy? Sorry. We all know where babies come from. Unless you skipped biology, the fact that women get pregnant after sex should come as no surprise.

Indira on


My boyfriend was also the product of a rape and, it definitely has had ramifications for him. He has a solid relationship with his mother but, still feels unwanted and it has definitely created a divide in his life. I know it might be hard for his mom and family but, I almost wish they had lied to him. He may have been better off thinking his dad had abandoned him or was dead.

Jillian on

Indiria, I could have sworn you said he was adopted….did he always know his birth mom?