Defending Catelynn

Carole Towriss Adoption, International Adoption, Parenting 0 Comments

Tyler and Catelynn (from their new book cover)

Tyler and Catelynn (from their new book cover)

I cannot believe I am going to do this.

I am going to defend a Teen Mom. You know, not a normal teen mom, an MTV Teen Mom.

I don’t follow this show, although I’ve watched a few episodes. But this story has blown up all over the internet, and I heard about it. So here it is: In 2009, Catelynn Lowell and her boyfriend Tyler Baltierra became pregnant. Over a period of months, they heart-breakingly decided to place the baby with a couple named Brandon and Teresa. Along with viewers, both sets of parents were stridently opposed to their decision. Catelyn’s mom yelled at her and even after the birth continued to voice her disapproval. The baby girl, named Carly, is now five and lives in North Carolina. It’s an open adoption and Catelynn and Tyler still see her.

January 1, the couple had another baby, and another firestorm was launched. Apparently, there are those who believe if you place one baby for adoption, you are not allowed another. They received communications (tweets, I think – they’ve not been made public) saying some of Catelynn’s tweets about how happy she was about Nova’s birth could be “hurtful” to Carly.

It’s important to realize that these kids, and I do mean kids, were sixteen when they had Carly. Though their parents opposed the adoption they would have been little help—Catelynn’s mom was an alcoholic and Tyler’s dad was a crack cocaine addict who was in and out of jail. The kids made the best decision they could at the time. They are now 22. This couple’s circumstances have changed drastically and they now feel ready to raise a child, no longer being children themselves.

No other Teen Moms have made an adoption plan. The rest keep their babies, the boyfriends leave, (I believe Tyler and Catelynn are the only ones still together) and if you watch even one episode you will see how difficult their lives are. Just getting through the day without a meltdown—from the mom, not the baby—is a miracle.

Now, I am the first to admit adoption is hard, complicated and extremely emotional. But it is above all, PERSONAL. Every “newspaper” and magazine has carried the story, and the comments section becomes an ugly debate. It seems no matter what they did, it would have been wrong. There are those who are violently opposed to adoption in any form ever, who believe that a single 16-year-old who has to drop out of school and work at Walmart for the rest of her life is better than a stable couple just because she is related by blood to the baby. Now there are those who believe if you give away your first baby you can’t have any more. No mix-and-match. Seriously?

Rarely does anyone make these decisions lightly. They are difficult choices, but as Tyler said, “… it all comes down to what do you think your kid deserves? And I think Carly deserves exactly the parents she’s got now.”

No one spends time and money to adopt on a whim, or for the fun of it. They do it to make a child’s life better, to make their family more complete. And no one places their child with another family without some anguish. They do it because they believe it is the best option available.

I’ve heard all the comments myself. And I’m getting tired of them. This needs to stop.

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