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AIBU?

21 year old daughter pregnant - help please

539 replies

MacciesApplePie · 02/02/2024 21:48

I’m fairly new to this so thought I would post where there’s most traffic.
As the title said my 21 year old daughter has told me tonight that she’s pregnant. She has talked it over with her boyfriend and they would like to keep it. I said I will support her whatever
She has just started a zero hours contract as a waitress and he is self employed as a gardener.
Her dad and I don’t have huge amounts of money but we do have a flat that was left to us by his mum (shared with his brother) that is currently rented it
Could anyone please advise me where to look for any benefits they can claim, and advise if they could potentially live in the flat (we can’t afford for them to live there rent free so maybe benefits). This is a big shock to me but I want to help them all I can. Thank you :)

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

487 votes. Final results.

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flutterby1 · 03/02/2024 08:11

How will your brother in law who owns half the flat be remunerated , will he still be entitled to half the rent? But surely this will be lower than the current Tennant, how does he feel about that ??

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Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:15

Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:10

It’s not the path I would choose for my dds either but I was younger and it didn’t ruin my life at all. Actually, I wouldn’t want it for my dd1 as she would be devastated, dd2 would probably be ok and if she was ok I would be ok. We are all different, I’ve had a great life and have a degree and good career, I’ve travelled (with my dds) and we’ve grown up together. It’s actually been lovely and we have a very close relationship. I found parenting easier that most of my friends who waited until the “right” time. So don’t feel sorry for them. For some people it’s the right thing and works out really well.

But the OP does need to actually treat her adult dd like an adult. The fact she doesn’t seem to be able to worries me more than her dds age.

thats was in reply to @Passingthethyme reply. For some reason it didn’t quote

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Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 08:18

Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:04

She’s 21, not 15. She’s an adult and she’s making an adult decision to keep the baby. This isn’t a problem for you to sort out, be kind, be supportive, talk things through with her, but be guided by her and please don’t take this all on as if it’s up to you. It’s not. If she isn’t able to do this for herself is she really ready to have a child?

for what it’s worth, at 21 I fell pregnant with my planned dd2. I already had a 2 year old, a house, a mortgage, a job and did not need any parental support beyond the norm for any person of any age having a baby. Let your dd be the adult she is, she isn’t a child and doing everything for her isn’t really helpful.

For every young mother that enjoys a prosperous life there will be many more that tip into poverty and destitution. You had a mortgage. A job and had your life together, and I guess didn’t immediately reach for the benefits calculator. There is a world of difference between the two.

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beAsensible1 · 03/02/2024 08:21

At 21 they're old enough to figure it out themselves, and if they've decided to go ahead I assume they have a plan.

I wouldn't be kicking out your tenants without assurances they can pay the full rent, other than that offer some emotional support.

but practically they have to figure it out themselves, they're the parents now.

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MistressoftheDarkSide · 03/02/2024 08:21

Good Lord. What a sad indictment of attitudes to family pulling together in unexpected circumstances this thread is.

OP you sound level headed and have a good grasp of the practicalities positives and negatives of the situation. All these very negative and judgemental comments - Jeez if everyone waited for the optimum moment to pro-create the human race would have gone extinct a long time ago.

You know your daughter and her boyfriend better than posters here and your instinctively supportive position is to be admired. There is an odd paradox on here - on the one hand good parenting is helicoptoring until they get to 18 then expecting them to never need guidance or support ever again.

It's batshit and not reflective of real life.

Talk of abortion or adoption overlooks the negative impact both options can have long term.

Feminism was supposed to give women choice but apparently not for "the poor" and "feckless". Yikes.

When did children come to regarded first and foremost as a burden above all else,? Human beings are biologically driven to reproduce which is not to say those who choose otherwise are wrong either. And I'm pro-choice for the record.

Anyway, wishing you and your daughter and your potential grandchild all the very best - life should not be reduced to a financial spreadsheet.

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Jennyjojo5 · 03/02/2024 08:22

Wow the vitriol and judgement on this thread! Shocking!

having a baby at 21 doesn’t pre determine a life of poverty for the child. I had mine at 22 and I bet I earn more money than most MN’ers!

she obviously has a supportive family who love and will help her (surely a loving supportive family is normal regardless of whether she’s 21 or 35? 🤷‍♀️).

this nonsense about her not being married or secure.. you only need to look at the million MN threads to see how being married does not guarantee the child being brought up in safety/financially secure home etc


these circumstances she’s found herself in as HER circumstances and hers alone. It does not warrant judgement and snide comments to be made by complete strangers. You know nothing about her or her family or support network. Most decent families step in to help with a new baby, regardless of the circumstances or age. It’s just what decent loving caring families do for one another.

OP, ignore this stupid pile on and you carry on doing what you want to support your daughter. The thing is, lots of people on this thread will be acting out of jealousy and bitterness that you are providing support and care for your daughter because they didn’t receive this themselves from their own parents

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Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:25

Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 08:18

For every young mother that enjoys a prosperous life there will be many more that tip into poverty and destitution. You had a mortgage. A job and had your life together, and I guess didn’t immediately reach for the benefits calculator. There is a world of difference between the two.

I’m not sure you’re quite right there. I think it’s about personality. So those that reach for the benefits calculator, may well have done that no matter what age they had a child. Understandably being a young parent, I know a lot of young parents and those who have done well would have no matter the age they had kids, and those who have sat on benefits, didn’t really have much motivation and probably wouldn’t have done much with their lives even if they’d waited another 10 years.

people who aren’t driven tend to have kids younger, because why not? So that kind of skews the figures. But all my friends had their kids in the late teens or early 20s and none of us have sat on benefits at all.

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Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 08:29

MistressoftheDarkSide · 03/02/2024 08:21

Good Lord. What a sad indictment of attitudes to family pulling together in unexpected circumstances this thread is.

OP you sound level headed and have a good grasp of the practicalities positives and negatives of the situation. All these very negative and judgemental comments - Jeez if everyone waited for the optimum moment to pro-create the human race would have gone extinct a long time ago.

You know your daughter and her boyfriend better than posters here and your instinctively supportive position is to be admired. There is an odd paradox on here - on the one hand good parenting is helicoptoring until they get to 18 then expecting them to never need guidance or support ever again.

It's batshit and not reflective of real life.

Talk of abortion or adoption overlooks the negative impact both options can have long term.

Feminism was supposed to give women choice but apparently not for "the poor" and "feckless". Yikes.

When did children come to regarded first and foremost as a burden above all else,? Human beings are biologically driven to reproduce which is not to say those who choose otherwise are wrong either. And I'm pro-choice for the record.

Anyway, wishing you and your daughter and your potential grandchild all the very best - life should not be reduced to a financial spreadsheet.

I guessed you were pro choice and therefore won’t know that millions of women have had terminations with zero consequences beyond relief with many stating it was the best decision of their lives! Me included. I can not fathom why anyone would bring a LIFE into the world with no means to support them and without the wherewithal to work out how to tap benefits calculator in to google.

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flutterby1 · 03/02/2024 08:30

starbrit · 03/02/2024 07:57

I agree they are old enough to sort it out their entitlements themselves but agree with the posters who argue what kind of life your daughter is making for herself (she doesn't seem in a very secure position). Why is the state picking the bill up?

I think a tough chat needs to happen. The benefit system is there as a safety net, not as a choice.

I got pregnant at 20 with my partner (at the time he was the love of my life and my first proper boyfriend. I was excited about baby strollers and baby yoga etc. He was nervous but I talked him into how exciting g this would be and what great parents we would make. I worked in a restaurant and he was a labourer. We rented a small flat.

It was my Dad who took us both out for lunch and we had a long chat about everything and he said he would always be there for us but we were to think long and hard about this and the consequences of having the baby.

In the end, after more long talks with the bf, I terminated.

I actually felt quite liberated as I think I'd put a lot of pressure on myself to 'just get on with it'.

BF and I split up a couple of years later. I trained in law, still working in the restaurant and met my DH when I was in my late 20's. We got married when I was 33 and we have two girls now.

I have never regretted my decision. We couldn't afford to have a baby. I loved my bf, but would he have made a good dad? On reflection, absolutely not. We were both SO YOUNG. We had lots of growing up to do.

My dad and I have never spoken again about the pregnancy or that chat but I'll be forever grateful for the hard truths he told me that day.

I'm so grateful for my career and family now. I just know my ex and I would have really struggled to give the baby a decent life and for us to be comfortable and happy.

I know abortion isn't the right choice for everyone, but wanted to share my experience.

I agree with this , it's a very tough unpleasant decision to terminate but to me , in all honesty, your daughter's current situation and future sounds bleak . Whereas she could be liberated and take time to build a good, exciting life, full of travel, parties, socialising, career prospects, fun. Money, friendships, home ownership or renting a place they really want and freedom until a time they are ready emotionally and financially to settle, and if this were the case you never know, she may even choose to be with a different partner by then. I personally think 21 is too young in today's society for a baby.

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Woman2023 · 03/02/2024 08:31

Lots of people have their first child in less than ideal circumstances, but step up to the parenting role perfectly well. Good luck with supporting your daughter, help her consider all the options for setting up her family home.

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Y0URSELF · 03/02/2024 08:31

OlderGlaswegianLivingInDevon · 03/02/2024 00:28

Do you actually have a flat or 50% of a flat ? as you say it is shared with dh's brother.

and it already has tenants ? who is receiving the rent ?

If you give your tenants notice and they don't want to leave then you would need to evict the tenants and it could take months for them to go.

Make sure the tenancy is in your daughter's name, you do not want them splitting up and he decides to throw your daughter out ! then she and child are homeless - whilst you take months to go thru the legal process to get him out.

This is good advice. Though you may have problems keeping him off the tenancy agreement if he chooses to make a fuss about it.

As Pp have said, you will need to charge a market rent and there will be extra scrutiny of the arrangements if they try to claim benefits. However living off benefits shouldn’t be necessary- gardeners are paid well and there are plenty jobs available on the winter. Plus she can work as a waitress in the evenings and weekends when he is home to look after the baby.

A PP suggests that she might like to be a SAHM for 3 years. That seems like a crazy idea for a young woman with no qualifications and no job ( I’m assuming she has no qualification as she has a zero hours contact in an unskilled job ). If she does have qualifications then she needs to look for a better paid and more secure job right now, if she plans to have a child to support.

Statistically it’s unlikely that this relationship won’t work out so SHE needs to plan how she will support this child for the next 20 years. Please encourage her to think long term - it’s not about playing houses with a cute baby and all the latest buggies and accessories that she’s seen on social media.

And yes of course , as no doubt lots of posters will pop in to tell me, in theory her partner also had the legal and moral responsibility to support his child if they split up. But the reality is that most men don’t - it’s very easy to avoid paying child support if you are self employed ( ask me how I know ).

Statistically the most likely outcome here is that she ( and you ) will be raising this child for the next 20 years , not him. A future living on benefits is not ideal for them both - it’s not what I’d want for my child and GC.

Remember that your husband and his brother will have to pay tax on the full rent that’s on the tenancy agreement. So if you do what a Pp suggested and give then some back, your husband will still pay tax on it.

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Mariposistaaa · 03/02/2024 08:32

What they WANT and what they can afford and is viable are two different things.

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Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 08:33

Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:25

I’m not sure you’re quite right there. I think it’s about personality. So those that reach for the benefits calculator, may well have done that no matter what age they had a child. Understandably being a young parent, I know a lot of young parents and those who have done well would have no matter the age they had kids, and those who have sat on benefits, didn’t really have much motivation and probably wouldn’t have done much with their lives even if they’d waited another 10 years.

people who aren’t driven tend to have kids younger, because why not? So that kind of skews the figures. But all my friends had their kids in the late teens or early 20s and none of us have sat on benefits at all.

It’s not just about personality though is it, it’s about the environment and the values you grew up with. Your peer group, expected ambitions and trajectory, family wealth and the quality of your education. I suspect you choose friends that held the same values as you, hence all having similar outcomes.

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MistressoftheDarkSide · 03/02/2024 08:39

@Newchapterbeckons

As someone who has had two terminations myself which were the right choice in the very different circumstances I was in both times I'm well aware it can be the right decision in some cases so I don't understand your point.

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WithACatLikeTread · 03/02/2024 08:40

thebestinterest · 03/02/2024 02:06

Ayyy here we go again 😭😫 another young woman choosing to follow through with a pregnancy she can’t afford, that will likely land her in an extremely vulnerable position. Why? 😭

Not everyone can go through with an abortion. I certainly would struggle to do it.

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Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:40

Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 08:33

It’s not just about personality though is it, it’s about the environment and the values you grew up with. Your peer group, expected ambitions and trajectory, family wealth and the quality of your education. I suspect you choose friends that held the same values as you, hence all having similar outcomes.

That was kind of my point. Not just personality no, but yes a mix of that, culture and values they hold that have shaped them. So basically those being their values, it wouldn’t have made any difference what age they had kids, the outcome would have been the same.

Just like for those who hold different values being a young parent wouldn't change their drive to do well in life. Actually for many it only makes the drive stronger. So yes, it’s down to the person rather than the age they fell pregnant.

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Wadermellone · 03/02/2024 08:43

Does the bil want to rent to his niece and her boyfriend and the baby?

Or potentially sell the flat? What if he does want to do that?

I wouldn’t want to rent to a family member? What happens if they split up and she can’t afford the rent? Would Op reimburse the Bil?

In all honesty, having had a child at the same age, I would expect them to have told you when their decision was made. But I would have expect do them to also have a realistic plan by that point. Surely, the benefits calculator, money, where to live etc all came up while they were deciding to keep the baby?

I was married and already in the job that would be my career. My husband had a stable career. When I got pregnant I knew, what mat leave I was entitled to, finances etc and a plan of going back to work. Because me and my husband had discussed these things and looked at our finances.

If they haven’t even looked at these things it could be that they aren’t mature enough, imo. And they have the made decision without actually understanding the decision they were making. It could work out. But knows.

But as a parent of a, now, 20 year old if she came to me with a boyfriend saying she was pregnant and were keeping the baby but didn’t know where they were going to live or or they were going to finance it, I would support and help them to get to a place where they were standing on their own 2 feet. But that would be after a really serious discussion about the realities of it.

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CoffeeMachineNewbie · 03/02/2024 08:43

I think you sound like a lovely, supportive mum.

I would caution against the flat option. Its currently a passive and permanent income stream that supports quite a few people and I'd worry about upsetting the apple cart, particularly if you worry about them paying market rent prices because that means someone has to lose money.

DD will still be young and babies are hard work instead of supporting them to set up home, I'd suggest sitting back and offering advice as you are asked if that's what she wants. You will never be fully in the picture of another persons mind or relationship so I would be thinking about a back up plan on how you can support DD to move home if she needs to.

I'm not saying you need to but if they get permanent jobs, could you and DH put some money away or pick up some extra shifts to help buy a house a few years down the line? Kindly, now they will have a dependent and insecure jobs, a mortgage is a long way away and they are not going to be ideal tenants to rent to so the focus needs to be on earning and saving for baby and perhaps accepting they need to live at home and seperately for a while.

Far better than moving in in a rush x

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WithACatLikeTread · 03/02/2024 08:46

Y0URSELF · 03/02/2024 08:31

This is good advice. Though you may have problems keeping him off the tenancy agreement if he chooses to make a fuss about it.

As Pp have said, you will need to charge a market rent and there will be extra scrutiny of the arrangements if they try to claim benefits. However living off benefits shouldn’t be necessary- gardeners are paid well and there are plenty jobs available on the winter. Plus she can work as a waitress in the evenings and weekends when he is home to look after the baby.

A PP suggests that she might like to be a SAHM for 3 years. That seems like a crazy idea for a young woman with no qualifications and no job ( I’m assuming she has no qualification as she has a zero hours contact in an unskilled job ). If she does have qualifications then she needs to look for a better paid and more secure job right now, if she plans to have a child to support.

Statistically it’s unlikely that this relationship won’t work out so SHE needs to plan how she will support this child for the next 20 years. Please encourage her to think long term - it’s not about playing houses with a cute baby and all the latest buggies and accessories that she’s seen on social media.

And yes of course , as no doubt lots of posters will pop in to tell me, in theory her partner also had the legal and moral responsibility to support his child if they split up. But the reality is that most men don’t - it’s very easy to avoid paying child support if you are self employed ( ask me how I know ).

Statistically the most likely outcome here is that she ( and you ) will be raising this child for the next 20 years , not him. A future living on benefits is not ideal for them both - it’s not what I’d want for my child and GC.

Remember that your husband and his brother will have to pay tax on the full rent that’s on the tenancy agreement. So if you do what a Pp suggested and give then some back, your husband will still pay tax on it.

Plenty of people have qualifications but find themselves in those sort of jobs. Just saying.

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Noneofourbusiness · 03/02/2024 08:47

I am really shocked by this op. Your 21 year old daughter and her partner have just found out she's pregnant and the first thought is benefits!

Sorry to be harsh but it's not up to the state. It's up to your dd and her partner to support themselves and a baby. The benefits system is for people in real need not for your choosing.

I fell pregnant at 18 and my then partner worked 6/7 days a week to support us until I went back to work. We are now married and have been together over 25 years.

My ds and his partner are early 20s just had second baby. Guess what? Never claimed a single benefit because my son works hard in a good job 6 days a week. His partner when pregnant during the pandemic signed up to be a carer for the elderly and worked full time until a few days before giving birth.

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BeeDavis · 03/02/2024 08:49

Let them sort themselves out. They’re already off to such a great start thinking about what benefits they can get 🙃 maybe they need educating on how to actually support and pay for their own child!!

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thunder234 · 03/02/2024 08:50

Why it is automatically assumed they should go on benefits. They can both get jobs and support themselves like everyone else does.

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Mangerine · 03/02/2024 08:52

You aren't aloud to claim housing element if you rent from family

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WithACatLikeTread · 03/02/2024 08:55

thunder234 · 03/02/2024 08:50

Why it is automatically assumed they should go on benefits. They can both get jobs and support themselves like everyone else does.

They have jobs? Nowadays you can claim benefit top ups whilst working. It isn't automatically benefits=not working.

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Nannyfannybanny · 03/02/2024 08:58

Was the pregnancy planned? What jobs were DD and partner made redundant from?. I know people have DC a lot later now, but 21 isn't young. I got pregnant at 18, naive, got married (this was the 60s) no benefits,no family help. It was what it was, just got on with it.lived in a couple of rooms,no bathroom (London) then bought a caravan (basic metal box)rural area didn't drive,house when DD was 5. Worked hours around each other.... night/day. 21 started nursing training. Ex H was a qualified Horologist,hated it (family firm) working as a milkman many years. Used to start at 3am. With house,2nd DC shifts around each other. He worked as a cleaner, started his own business. No loans no help from parents. It didn't last,that's another story for another day. DD pregnant at 18 (I've never asked if it was planned, I will have to) engaged, relationship lasted 5 years (still sees regularly and input) At 4 years 2nd DC DWP said she had to get a job,yes zero hours nearby hotel chain. I provided childcare when needed (after a night shift) other GDP helped hugely. DD went to work in large store chain,ass. Manager,offered management in her 20s.

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