Catelynn Lowell, one of the original members of the popular Teen Mom series, distinguished herself from her castmates early on. Deciding that she wasn’t yet ready for the responsibilities of parenthood, she made the difficult choice to put her baby daughter up for adoption. An agency matched her with a loving adoptive couple.
The decision was a good one for Catelynn. It allowed her to finish high school without the added stress of caring for a baby, and it helped set her on a career path as she realized that she wants to help other pregnant teens work through their issues. She and her boyfriend, Tyler Baltierra, also stayed committed to each other – which they say might not have happened if they’d kept their child – and they got engaged over the course of the show.
But every major life decision is filled with consequences and what-ifs, and Catelynn and Tyler are no exception.
On the Teen Mom Farewell Special (as reported by HollywoodLife), the couple revealed that they want their daughter, Carly, at their wedding next July 13 – but that may not happen.
Although Catelynn and Tyler have a cordial relationship with Carly’s adoptive parents, Brandon and Theresa, it’s also a limited one. Under the terms of the adoption, they can see Carly only once a year, and Brandon and Theresa haven’t made many exceptions to that arrangement.
On the special, Catelynn notes that the couple didn’t bring Carly to her high-school graduation “because our whole family was there.” With that in mind, she doubts that they’d bring the 3-year-old to her birth parents’ wedding. Tyler counters, “It’d be important, and how nice it would be to get married and see her there.”
Their adoption counselor suggests that they try asking anyway – giving them a few weeks to think it over – but to be prepared for the possibility that the answer will be no.
This is an excellent example of the complexities of adoption. It’s a loving but emotional choice for everyone involved, and it’s not always the seamlessly happy situation that many fantasize it to be. Some open adoptions are almost like co-parenting arrangements, with the birth mother actively participating in her child’s life. In others, the birth mother keeps her distance but stays available in case the child wants to contact her later on.
Giving up a child for adoption brings with it a sense of loss. Catelynn and Tyler may be happy with their decision to adopt, but it’s not so easy to come to terms with the reality that they can’t be a part of their daughter’s daily life and upbringing. Major events like holidays – and their wedding – bring those emotions to the forefront once again.
It’s equally difficult for the adoptive parents. They want to keep their child’s best interests in mind at all times, and it’s hard to know how much to involve the birth parents in their personal lives. Brandon and Theresa may be uncomfortable exposing Carly to her extended birth family. Catelynn’s mother, April, has had problems with drugs and alcohol, and recently embarrassed Catelynn by telling a tabloid that she was pregnant again. Tyler’s father, Butch, has a long history of addiction and jail terms.
Is it more important for a child to be there for an important day in her birth parents’ lives, or to be protected from a possible family drama? Just as Catelynn and Tyler made a tough decision three years ago, Theresa and Brandon must make one now.
What do you think? Should Carly attend the wedding?
[Photo: via Twitter]
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