A common practice among certain ethnic groups in Nigeria (and possibly Africa too) is to marry off a girl / woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock, to the man who impregnates her. I know it is an old, traditional practice, but it is still carried out today.
Ideally, a man and woman who are dating or courting should practice abstinence. In reality, pre-marital sex is common, even in churches. Or maybe I should say "especially" in churches. The result? Pregnancy. Sometimes. So, what happens when a woman discovers that she is pregnant? One answer is marriage, especially where the families agree, and ignore the desire of the man and woman.
The reasoning behind forcing such a man and woman into a marital union is still unclear to me. While I am sure that some happy unions have resulted regardless of this "rocky" beginning, I don't think it is wise to knowingly pursue such a path.
If getting pregnant in the first place was unplanned and a mistake, "marriage-by-force" is an even bigger mistake. Notice, I said the unplanned pregnancy was a mistake. The child, though is NOT a mistake. I hope that is clear.
If a child is the only reason two people get married, that can potentially lead to a very unhappy marriage and in the long run will do more harm than good for the couple and child(ren).
Now, regardless of what happens between the mother and father after the child is born, even if they don't marry, it is not an excuse for the man to shirk his responsibility and delete himself from the child's life. I believe the father should still endeavor to have a relationship with his child, provided he is a good role model and is not abusive towards the mother and/or the child.
In short, after an unmarried woman discovers that she is pregnant, marriage is optional and not mandatory. It makes no sense for two ill-suited people to get married just because they have a child between them.
What say you? Agree or Disagree? Let's hear it!