Teen Mom

August 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm 5 comments

I’ll admit it…One of my favorite past times is watching junk tv. Some of my favorites are: Keeping up with the KardashiansKendraThe Real World, and more recently,Teen Mom. This kind of stuff provides a welcome distraction from my real life and zone out. Usually there isn’t anything on these shows I’d consider really “blog post worthy”, but Teen Mom, really deserves a write up here on TQOD.

Teen Mom (which airs on MTV) is a spin-off of Sixteen and Pregnant. The first season featured a different pregnant mom every week and followed from the last few weeks of pregnancy to the first couple months after birth. The show was pretty interesting to me because the majority of the girls kept their babies. Usually the girl decides to give her baby up for adoption ala Juno. And I hate that because it’s so unrealistic that Juno would really be so flip about it all and move on two weeks later.

One particular episode of Sixteen and Pregnant was difficult for me to watch. It followed Caitlyn and her boyfriend Tyler as they decided on adoption for their baby girl Carly. Their parents were not happy with them. They believed Tyler and Caitlyn should have kept baby Carly and parented her. Out of all of the parents from that first season, Tyler and Caitlyn are the two I believe could have been the best parents. They really seemed to love each other, and while their living situations and family life could have been more ideal, the “better life” offered to Carly by adoptive parents is little in comparison to the love they both have for their daughter.

It was sad to me. The adoption agency and adoptive parents promised them an “open” adoption. The adoption didn’t seem open to me at all. They restricted the “openness” to a few letters and photos. Caitlyn and Tyler did not even know their daughter’s new last name or address. They were not able to see her. Not able to visit. Not able to send gifts. How open is an adoption like that? I’d say barely if at all.

I did appreciate the fact that MTV has documented how difficult it was for them. Both have dealt with immense grief surrounding the relinquishment, although the way they rationalize the decision is to tell themselves the same “better life” crap. This season I’ve noticed they are starting to realize that they could have kept their daughter and tried to make a life for her themselves. Sometimes I wish I could reach through the screen and shake them. Tell them what it’s like to be the other party, the one who had no choice. Every time I see the episode where they cry and say goodbye to little Carly, a little part of me hurts for her and for myself. It’s kind of like watching a car accident. You can’t tear yourself away, but it makes you sick to watch.

One of the things that bothers me most about the whole thing is when I see people say they think what Tyler and Caitlyn did was “brave”. Or “selfless”. To me it was really the easy way out. The other moms on the show took the harder road. They’re struggling to balance school, work, friends, and raising a child at a young age. They’re dealing with baby daddy drama, sacrificing their education, money woes, etc. To me they’ve taken the more difficult road.

I think I will continue to watch the show. I hope Caitlyn and Tyler ’s daughter will find her way back to them one day. In the mean time, I hope other people will watch and learn from their heartbreak that giving up a baby is not easy or Juno glamorous.


Entry filed under: adoption, Pregnancy. Tags: , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rox  |  August 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Just to say, having chosen single parenting, and also choosing adoption… oh holy hell is parenting way better.

    My sons father is an alcoholic with anger problems, and we are poor as hell. I have no friends, I don’t get to go out, I don’t drink, I don’t party.

    And yet everything about it, all the work, not getting sleep, not of it matters.

    It’s heaven.

    Trust me, mom’s who lose their kids are never really ok again. I know as an adoptee, that adoptee suffering is deep. But it’s been nothing in comparison to losing my daughter.

    That being said, adoptee pain is MORE IMPORTANT, simply because the child involved is the most important. So it doesn’t matter if the firstmom is in agony that adoptees can’t see or understand. The adoptees pain is still the primary issue in adoption.

    But just in case you’re wondering if first parents are out having a blast without their kids, they aren’t. Or they have some sort of neurological problem if they are. We are biologically made to fight any obstacle to be with our children. If our efforts fail then we die inside. And sometimes on the outside.

    Women who say they gave up their child and they are SO HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES!!!! are either lying, or they have some sort of pathology that causes them to have no connections to their own emotions.

    If they don’t have something wrong with them, then they’re just evil. If a mom gives up her kid and lives happily ever after, then my adoptee perspective is that that person is evil.

    Just to say.

    • 2. kateiskate  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:23 pm

      You know I really think the one good thing about how they show these two that gave their daughter up for adoption is that they show how torn up inside they are and how much grief it has really caused. Because there are people who believe you can just move on and go to college and back to your life.

  • 3. Susie  |  August 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I also hope that the people that watch this show realize that “Juno” is so very far from the reality of losing a child to adoption.

    I am a first mom, and would wish this life as a mother without her child on nobody.

    It was so hard to read & learn of the effects on the adoptee ~ to realize the pain that I inflicted when I believed the adoption industry & thought I was doing the right thing, the brave & selfless thing. It was the opposite.

    Thankfully there are shows like this, and first parents & adoptees sharing their stories in blog-land that tell the truth about adoption loss. Now if we can just get people to listen & believe!


  • 4. Erica  |  October 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    There are many different kinds of open adoption. All parties agree on the papers before they are signed. Caitlynn and Tyler agreed to the terms in their paperwork. I do believe what they did was incredible. I come from a family where my parents adopted one of their children. My brother adopted both of his children. I adopted 2 of my children. Blood is not what bonds us or makes us family. Love is our bond, love makes us a family. It makes me sad that there are people that can’t be open and understanding to that. Caitlynn and Tyler made a choice, the best choice for them & Carly. I applaud them. I do not think they regret it at all. I do think sometimes they are sad and miss her. But I believe they are at peace with their decision.

    • 5. kateiskate  |  November 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      Respectfully, I’d have to disagree. Since neither one of us actually know Caitlynn and Tyler it would be hard for us to say what the right decision really was for them. Since you’re an adoptive parent, I’d expect you to say that they did the right thing by giving their child to someone with more means to raise a child. But as an adoptee, I think that material possesions and better quality of life are not good replacements for the parents who created you. Tyler and Caitlynn seem to be responsible, mature kids who would have been good parents and that’s what’s really sad to me.


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