'Teen Mom' Stars Catelynn and Tyler Deserve Time to Grieve


Catelynn and Tyler Teen MomThank you Teen Mom.

Every week, America is forced to face the stereotype that is the biological parent who gave their child up for adoption.

The easy assumption is that they're all drugged up lowlifes who couldn't wait to dump the baby.

But Tyler and Catelynn have thrown that one for a loop.

The teens who saw daughter Carly placed with another family via a semi-open adoption have spent much of this season openly grieving the loss of their daughter.

So when is America going to let it happen?

In a recent interview with People, the teens said they'd like to see Carly and her adoptive parents at their wedding -- when they finish college and actually get hitched.

The responses are jarring:

This is nuts. She is no longer your child. Let her be with her family, the ones who will raise her. You gave her up, period.

Geez. They act like the adoptive parents are just temp babysitters for "their" daughter. Um, she isn't your daughter anymore -- you gave up your rights to her. She has a mom and a dad now.

You gave up your parental rights to this child. She is no longer your daughter so please don't confuse her by having her be flower girl in your wedding. if you wanted her to be part of your life, you shouldn't have chosen adoption. Please think about what's best for HER, not what would be fun for your future wedding.

I don't think Tyler & Catelynn understand that Carly isn't their daughter anymore. They gave up that right the minute they signed the adoption papers. I'm tired of hearing their sob story that they miss their daughter. If you miss her so much you shouldn't have given her up for adoption in the first place! They need to move on with their lives and focus on their future.

Attention, world. Adoption is forever. But biological parents don't suddenly stop feeling the minute a baby is moved out of their arms. Even if they were the bad guys it's easy to imagine they might be, the science of hormones and milk production negate this illusion.

A standard American adoption agency offers free counseling for biological parents for up to a year after the birth and adoption of a child.

While TV viewers are complaining that the teens are throwing out a "sob story," what they're seeing is the grieving process of the average biological parent. Even when they know it's the right decision for them.

"Even in the happiest of moments, someone is going home brokenhearted," says Chandra Hoffman, a former adoption agency case worker whose fascinating new novel Chosen tackles the process in a way that lays out both biological and adoptive parents' warts and all. "Where else in life is the potential for the razor's edge between joy and heartache?"

As Virginia dad John Wyatt makes national news in his fight to overturn an adoption approved by a Utah court of a daughter given up by his ex-girlfriend without his consent, it's becoming more and more difficult to pretend the bio parents just don't count.

"There are no angels and devils in adoption," Hoffman explains. "The whole situation, the word that keeps coming up and the whole reason I wrote the novel is it is just complicated."

And Catelynn and Tyler prove that week after week.

Has this show changed some of your adoption stereotypes?


Image via MTV



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CafeS... CafeSasha

That last comment you highlight is especially cruel. I sometimes wish that there was some kind of button on the computer that would not only delete comments like that, but physically shock the person making them so they would learn not to do it. Anyone who makes a comment like that is just too stupid to breathe.

TraceyB TraceyB

Those poor kids. They probably thought that being on tv would be cool... Do people honestly believe that admitting that you cannot care properly for a child (though you LOVE that child) makes your emotions go away? If anything, I'd think it would amplify your love and concern for your baby. If I couldn't SEE my kids and had to trust that the decision I'd made in picking a new family for him/her was a good one, then all of my concern and motherly feelings would be directed towards that one decision... God. I cannot imagine the pain that bio parents go through. And one year won't be the end of it. There's a reason biological parents from generations past have "sob stories" too. There's a reason they search for their kids, 20 years or more after placing them through adoption: It's called LOVE.


Give these kids a break, people.

Betha... Bethany2035

I haven't seen the show, but I can't believe that those are the comments some people are making!  I'm sure that was a huge, heartbreaking decision for them.  And if it's an open adoption, maybe the baby's new parents would be fine with attending their wedding.  It's like people who become parents unexpectedly cannot win.  Everyone feels like abortion should not be an option, and then you get people who go through with the pregnancy and give the wonderful gift of parenthood to someone else through adoption, and people STILL think they're awful people!  What in the world.

SallyAM SallyAM

I can't believe people's reactions to Catelynn and Tyler. That's so sad =(

Amyin... AmyinMotown

I don't think the stereotype of parents who place their kids for adoptions is "drugged up lowlifes" --at least by anyne who has the slighest clue about anything, at all. As someone who was going through the adoption process when I got pregnant Catelyn and Tyler are pretty much exactly what I pictured as first parents. I know absolutely nothing about this show, but I did read a little bit about them in the People article, and it sounds like they are pretty realistic about who their daughter's actual parents are -- the people doing the work of parenting. But that doesn't negate the grief and sadness they feel. It appears they have a pretty nice relationship with the adoptive parents as well. I know if I were in the adoptive parents' shoes, I would be fine with my daughter being a flower girl in their wedding -- a close and loving relationship with first parents is important for a kid and is only confusing if everybody in the triad is confused about their role as well. They sound like nice kids who had to make a really grown-up decision way too soon. This all just points to how poorly open adoption is understood, still.

Nellyo Nellyo

I can see both sides of the fence on this one. I understand the couple is grieving, however they do seem to attach themselves quite a bit to a daughter they gave up their paternal rights to. You have to wonder what the adoptive family thinks- are these teens like the annoying fly in the room? If you listen, the teens are not given the address of the adoptive family. Did the agency make that rule? Does the adoptive family choose to exclude that information for the teens? Probably. The adoptive family has a daughter of their own now and want to live their lives and move forward. Its hard to settle with that constant fly always coming into the picture when you FINALLY start to feel like you have a family of your own. I can entirely see that point of view.

At the same time, the adoptive parents AGREED to this semi-open adoption, and should have been prepared for the ever-present involvement of the birth parents. If they didnt want Tyler and Catelynn involved, they would have done business with a closed adoption elsewhere.

So, again, I can see how viewers may be annoyed with the teen couple and their desire to have Carly involved in their lives even AFTER giving up their rights, but again, the adoptive couple agreed to this sort of adoption. They knew what they were getting into and so, life goes on. Its better for a child to have 4 loving people in her life than none at all.

Kimberly Virga

I don't have any experience with adoption or know anybody who does. However, in the end, both parties just need to do whatever is healthiest and works the best for the baby, no matter WHAT that may be. If they gave the girl up for adoption and recognized she deserves more than they can provide, that already is a huge step! And if the adoptive parents agreed to an open or semi open adoption or whatever, thats great, it allows both couples to be an active part of her life. This little girl doesn't have to grow up saying, Ok, THIS one is my mom, this one isn't, this one is my dad, this one isnt.... Why can't she have it both ways? Seriously.. She has adoptive parents who love her and raise her, and birth parents who want whats best for her and will have a relationship with her and love her unconditionally. It sounds like the best of both worlds.

nily nily

Honestly IMO I have mix feelings about adoption. On one hand I'm happy that there are good people that are willing to love a kid like their own and is a good way to make a dream come true to those couples that cant have babies. I think they have the right to become parents too. BUT On the other hand I cant get how are people that can give away their own child. I mean to carry a baby for 9 months and then give the baby away. I dont know I couldnt do it. I know they maybe are in a difficult situation and there could be issues in the thier lives, that is the ''best'' for the kids in some cases, that is better to have an abortion and all those stuff you can say to me I can understand. But I still think is cold and cruel to give your baby away. I have seen in those adoption story shows even how couples dint give the mother the chance to say goodbye to the baby and they take the baby away right after is born. On other hand there also mothers that do think that adoptive parents are baby sitters that just watch their kids while they do stuff and IMO is not true. Once you give your kid away you are no longer the mom. Mother is not the person that give birth but the one that raise.

Jill_W Jill_W

As a child who was adopted as an infant, I'd like to offer a different perspective.  While my adoption wasn't an open adoption, my parents were very open with me.  I do not remember the first time I was told I was adopted.  It was just something I always knew.  I grew up with story books about ‘special families' and questions were answered with complete honesty.  And there were questions.  Many, many questions.  Introducing me to my biological family would have been confusing at best.  Would I have come to terms with the situation of having both my parents and biological parents playing a role in my life?  I would hope so, but why complicate matters?  Why put a child in a  position where he/she may feel guilt for loving one set of parents more or feel that something is wrong with them because one set of parents chose to give them up, but shows up for special events?  It just seems to put a lot of pressure on the child, and I don't think that is fair

Jill_W Jill_W

Do I feel for this teen couple?  Absolutely.  I applaud them for making a difficult decision.  I don't doubt their love for the child, and I'm sure they do grieve, but they need to put the child's interests ahead of their own.   Let the child decide what kind of relationship she wants to have with them, and realize she may choose to not have one at all.  They also need to think long term.  What happens when they have more children?  Will they still include this one?  Will she be as much as a priority?  These questions sound awful, but it is the reality. I am thankful to my birth mother for making the decision that she did.  I have wonderful parents, that I love dearly.  She wanted to give me the opporunity to have a great life, and I do.  But I don't need a relationship with her to appreciate that.


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