' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Catelynn and Tyler's "semi-open" adoption closed!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Catelynn and Tyler's "semi-open" adoption closed!

When teens Catelynn and Tyler placed their newborn daughter Carly for adoption with Brandon and Teresa Davis on MTV's 16 and Pregnant in 2009, it was all that adoption was supposed to be and more. Catelynn and Tyler made the "loving" decision to give their baby a better life. Brandon and Teresa were the dream parents--attractive, professionals who wanted for nothing except a baby they could call their own. The facade began to crack early as Catelynn and Tyler continued to grieve from their loss of their daughter, and their relationship with Brandon and Teresa began to deteriorate. Last year Brandon and Teresa threatened to cut off contact because Tyler posted pictures of Carly on the internet contrary to their instructions.


Jane
We've now learned that the Davis's have cut Catelynn and Tyler off all together. Catelynn has been trying to call Teresa to arrange their yearly visit with Carly, but Teresa has not returned her calls. Catelynn and Tyler sought help from Dawn, the social worker at Bethany Christian Services who arranged the adoption. Dawn  pointed out their agreement allowed them only to request visits which would be granted at the discretion of the adoptive parents as "they determined what is in the best interests of Carly."  There it was. They had no right to any contact with their daughter. Trying to show concern, Dawn went on "I know this is hard for you guys," as Catelynn burst into tears. She said, "This is frustrating because I was sixteen years old when I made this decision."

And that's the shame of it all. At 16, Catelynn could not have bought a drink, joined the military, or voted, yet she could give up the most basic of human rights, counseled only by Dawn, who is in the business of facilitating adoptions and whose job would be threatened if she did not have adoptions to facilitate. Without adoptions, even Bethany as a business might be gone! She needed teens like Catelynn to relinquish rights to her own baby.

Even if she had been 18, or 21 or 31, Catelynn would not have known the ramifications of adoption unless they had been fully disclosed. Laws generally require that someone be fully informed before they sign an contract or agree to a medical procedure. Doctors must advise patients of what they are doing, the alternative treatments, and risks involved going forward. Stock brokers must assess their clients' financial situation and risk tolerance before recommending investments. Realtors must advise prospective purchasers of the condition of property they may be unaware of before closing the sale. If the information is not disclosed, the patient or purchasers has the right to collect damages.

Adoption has no similar requirements. State licensing rules require agencies to make some disclosures, but these rules are weak. In any event the penalty for failing to disclosure relevant information is loss of a license (which rarely happens) not return of the child. Mothers can undo their consents only for fraud or coercion, and fraud in adoption especially is exceedingly difficult to prove. It requires the mother to prove that the adoption counselor made a false statement of a material fact, knowing that it was false, and that the mother relied on it to her detriment. Failing to disclose the likelihood of lifelong grief, for example, is not fraud. Failing to provide information about resources which would help a mother keep her baby is not fraud. Failing to report that adolescent adoptees are four times more likely to have suicidal thoughts is not fraud. Yet this is critical information to make an informed decision.

There are those who argue that all this theoretical stuff is beside the point. The adoption was legal and Catelynn is better off. Adoption may have been best the decision. But certainly not the one Catelynn and Tyler entered into which allowed the adoptive parents to deny Carly any contact with her natural parents, with no opportunity to have their decision reviewed by an impartial party, such as a judge.

Although we initially predicted back in 2011 that the adoption would not close because Brandon and Teresa wouldn't have the chutzpah to go back on their implied promises before a national TV audience, a year ago we had to admit we were wrong. We predicted the adoption would close.

All signs pointed to it. Catelynn and Tyler have not been model natural parents, fading into the background, doing what they're told, leading impeccable lives, the way they were supposed to in the scenario imagined by Brandon and Teresa. Tyler posted pictures of Carly on the internet contrary to their instructions. Catelynn has been receiving mental health treatment to deal with her severe depression. Her weight has vacillated. Although not stated by Catelynn, it is clear that losing Carly must contribute to her depression. As we've written many times before, women who relinquish children for adoption are more prone to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trouble with relationships, and sexual dysfunction. They are likely to have more doctor visits and one small study showed they even have more hysterectomies than women who did not give up babies.

One of the saddest things about the Tyler and Catelynn story is that so many viewers bought into the adoption is "for the best" scenario. We who live adoption loss need to continue to inform the public how damaging adoption can be to mothers and their children. And it is often unnecessary, even if the situation seems dire at the time. What is regrettable is that until not so long ago Catelynn and Tyler were shills for adoption in general and Bethany in particular, and making the rounds of college campuses where they promoted adoption to other young and unaware teens what the longterm fall out can be. We know this happens to others also as they attempt to make sense of what has happened and become convinced they "did the right thing" for their child, and later come to regret it. Sadly that is likely what is happening here. If there is any good to come of this, it is that their turn on 16 and Pregnant may ultimately deter other teens from getting caught in the adoption trap.

What do you think about this whole mess? After telling us here, tell others on Catelynn & Tyler's Fanpage and Teen Mom page--jane

(Some who are opposed to abortion will claim FMF which supports choice is being inconsistent. Teens can have abortions without parental consent and, counseling is done by the abortion provider. The situations are not analogous. If a teen is not permitted to have an abortion, she is forced to bear a child. In adoption, there are an array of choices and there is time both before and after birth to make a decision. Furthermore, an ongoing study shows that women who were turned away from having an abortion and gave up the child mostly regret the decision. We will be covering the "Turnaway" study soon. )
___________________________________
Catelynn and Tyler receive bad news about Carly

From FMF:
Catelynn & Tyler's open adoption will stay open; for other first mothers not so much.
Catelynn & Tyler's open adoption closing?'
Pro-Life' equals 'pro-adoption' in Pence's punishing choice
Why not choose adoption? The longterm effects of relinquishing on first mothers

BE A SUPPORTER! If ordering from Amazon, remember us. Order anything through the portal of the books, here or sidebar. And a big thanks to those who remember us. 

YOU MIGHT ENJOY
Waiting to Forget: A Motherhood Lost and Found
by Margaret Moorman
A wonderful memoir about two births--one when the author was 16 and gave the child up; the second 25 years later when she was 41, and how the first decision impacted her life, and her fears about her second child.
The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child
By Nancy Verrier
The enduring classic written by an adoptive and biological mother, and adoption therapist. Controversial to some, healing to others but explains the impact of adoption on the individual adopted.
and Lorraine's Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption
Not only her story, but placed in the contest of the wider world of adoption research and reality. Although her daughter had good parents, and advantages that Lorraine could not give her at the time of birth, adoption was a major factor in her daughter's difficult life.

70 comments :

  1. This is heartbreaking. As an AP, I cannot fathom why counseling by an independent party wasn't sought out if there were issues. I also would have had a problem with my daughter's story being "out there" and would have requested the parents not put out pictures of her because Carly isn't old enough to decide if she wants everyone to know about her. However, the APs KNEW this going in- they chose to be on the reality show (something I wouldn't have done because I know it would have eventually become a problem for me in terms of privacy- the APs should have thought of that!). Why couldn't they work with a mediator if Tyler wasn't listening to their requests not to post Carly's picture? Was any attempt at all made to work out a solution, together, for the best interests of Carly?

    I've been listening to the Adoptees On podcast, and every episode, it's just a stark reminder to me that as an AP, absolutely none of this is about me. At all. My daughter will live this FOREVER. My job as her mom is to constantly put myself in her shoes and try as hard as I can to attempt to begin to understand how she must and will feel. And I cannot think that that includes cutting off contact with her parents. It's just not at all my choice to make for her- it's such an immense decision.

    Tyler and Catelynn seem like very nice and generally stable people, especially when you look at everything they have gone through. From the outside, there is no obvious reason why the adoption is closing. And from the outside, as an AP, it is yet another reason why open adoptions should be a legal agreement enforceable in a court of law. I also think parents considering giving up their children for adoption should have independent legal counsel.

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    1. Of course there is, Carly could be aware that in the situation as is, she has another, more real home to go to. The implications to that in a child having to learn about Independence and Civil War, about having rights as a citizen and so on might be that she could and should attempt to break free from the people who stole her identity...I am not saying that that is so much a realistic option, as one adopters may fear.

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  2. Catelynn and Tyler's reason for agreeing to adoption struck me as a typical example of accepting a permanent solution to a temporary problem. They did it because they were concerned about the situation in their home and the problems that their parents have. But those problems didn't have to be Carly's problems.

    By closing the adoption Brandon and Teresa have not only shut out Tyler and Catelynn--they have also shut Carly's sister out of her life. If Brandon and Teresa stop sending photos of Carly then Tyler and Catelynn should respond by sending more photos of themselves and their other child. Let it be the a-parents decision to hold those photos back.

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    1. I think--am almost positive--the photos and such go through Bethany. When they met Carly it was not at their home. Of course now, they should be able to find their address but that would just seem like stalking to Brandon and Teresa.

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  3. Control freak adoptive parents like them don't just play God in the life of the child they buy, they act like they are the parents of the couple who had the child (the real parents). Anyone who gives up their baby better be aware that they will be bossed around and treated like a kid via open adoption instead of the adults they want to be treated like. Shame on all 4 of them. Catelynn and Tyler NEVER should been on that tv show or given away their daughter and the adoptive parents need to stop acting like immature narcissists. They all have hurt Carly. (btw, 16 is old enough to be a mom-throughout history, that was the normal age to marry and bear children)

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    1. I was 16 when my son was born.

      The problem with being 16, if you still live at home, is that you often have no experience of the wider world or of the duplicitous nature of some people. So, as in my case, you have no idea that you are being manipulated, you carry on trusting the people you've always trusted and don't realise that other agendas are in play, and you don't always know how to access the resources or information you need (particularly pre-internet). All these make you very vulnerable and in need of a strong champion or support network.

      But I agree with you. Sixteen is a fine age to be a mother. I would've been a great one for my son - loving and full of understanding for his particular kind of personality. Unfortunately I did not have enough practice of the world to protect us from foes I could not see. I see them now alright, but it is and always will be, too late.

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    2. The saddest thing is that vulnerable women like you are taken advantage of by older, more experienced women, social workers and prospective adoptive parents.
      They are like hunters, stalking their human prey. And the vulnerable woman and her newborn are easy prey for their sophisticated tactics.

      Cruel, inhuman, barbaric, selfish.

      It's women who do the dirty work, but I wonder how many adoption agency heads are men? Anyone have any idea?

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    3. The Teen Mom episode with Lori Wickelhaus (series 2 I think) was a horrible but crystal clear example of how vulnerable young dependent teens are to being manipulated.

      Lori wanted to keep her son. Her adoptive mother had a meltdown at the mere suggestion by Lori that she has a baby shower. Weeks later, after all hope is gradually stripped from a crying Lori, her son is adopted. What her aparents did was shocking and unforgiveable imo.

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    4. Oh...I just cringe when I hear of an adoptee giving up a baby! To have to live with that double whammy...Yet it is obviously so common. I think it stems from two things: One, an inborn need to repeat history and understand one's mother better, thus a certain carelessness with birth control; and two, the adoptive parents are not invested in no having an adoptive grandchild that will in no way resemble them, or carry on the family line, and so...they not only put no effort in keeping the baby (bastard here fits), and in fact, encourage the adopted daughter to get rid of it. Life is cruel. We are only higher creatures with more brain power, but at bottom we are mammals and have the same instinct to preserve our own line, not anothers.

      As regular readers know, my daughter Jane could not let her first child's father keep the baby, as he wanted to. It was easier for her to live with absolving her of all responsibility than letting the father (and his mother) raise the child, as he wanted.

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  4. Adoption should be illegal. Only Guardianship should be available. Everyone only has ONE mom, that is reality, adoption just takes kids out of reality which is psychologically abusive and unhealthy.

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  5. The problem with choice is that sometimes the wrong choice is made. Why is infant adoption a choice? It is cloaked as a need but really it is offered as an entitlement, to the birth mother and the adoptive parents, in cases like this one. Infant adoption is baby trafficking, not a reproductive choice, not a loving choice, not a need for any of the parents involved. These babies are not without loving or love-giving-potential parents or families, where is the need?

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  6. I agree. Teens and young women in Catelynn's situation need to keep their child and take it a day at a time.

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  7. Thank you for keeping us up to date on this most public of adoption stories. I do have to take exception, though, with your use of the term 'reprehensible' where you write: What is really reprehensible is that until recently, Catelynn and Tyler were shills for adoption in general...

    I don't think the closed adoption outcome to this Teen Mom story is the least bit surprising. But with that said, I have also long felt that at some point C & T's eyes would be open to the truth about adoption. That's why I would prefer to read that it is 'regrettable' not 'reprehensible' what this young couple did for Bethany. I say that because I do hope that when C & T come to our side of adoption that we will all welcome them with open arms. It sounds like you are calling them reprehensible not just their actions. And as Catelynn said, she was 16 years old when she made this decision. My .02

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    1. Robin, You are right. I just found it so awful when they were doing this. If you remember, we had a go round with Tyler who was really pissed off at us. The blog is still around, if anyone cares to find it by searching for it.

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    2. PS I made a change in the blog.

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  8. This was human trafficking - plain and simple. I am glad some of us are telling it like it was and still is. I was eleven years old when my child was taken from me and YES, an eleven year old is too young to raise a child on her own. The truth still is - my child was my child and I was and am my child's mother. My body made milk. I bonded with my child and was devastated by our separation. My life was ruined.

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    1. I'm so sorry for the pain you've endured x

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  9. Open adoption is the worst fraud the adoption industry came up with. At least closed adoption there was no hope dangled out there on a string, waiting to be snatched away because you weren't "good" enough or "well-behaved" enough. And how could we be? After all, we were the whores who go pregnant without a husband or a support system, or a way to keep our children with us. What kind of example is that? Obviously I was, or was going to be, that bad girl the fake parents wanted to deny was related to my precious, relinquished daughter. THE only solace I feel for C &T is that if their daughter ever Googles, she'll find out the truth and the only ones to blame are the liars that closed the adoption.

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    1. Yes, but she'll also find footage of her parents going out on tour talking about how great it is to give away your kid. That may sting a bit.

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    2. I wonder if that footage exists. Nothing is private, but maybe that was not videotaped. I can see the teens attending not wanting it to be. But if it does...you are right, sally.

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    3. "That may sting a bit."

      Understatement!!!

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    4. They were very happy and had no regrets back in 2011, at least according to what they told Rosie O'Donnell:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLMQXmuzrd8

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    5. They probably had to sign a non disclosure agreement about any unhappiness they might have had.

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    6. As an adopted person, that's hard to watch. If I heard my mother saying she had no regrets about giving me up, it would break my heart.

      So cold hearted. How did they get that way?

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    7. Ah, yes, Rosie, adoptive mom extraordinaire! Whose adopted daughter ran away and went to live her natural mother.

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    8. They were in the fog back in 2011.

      They were perfect adoption industry fodder - inexperienced, uneducated, with crushingly low self-esteem and a calamitously absent support network.

      I hope their daughter understands how they were used, and that their actions speak nothing about what she meant to them.

      My social worker tried to get me, as a 16 year old with head spinning and heart mashed, to persuade other teenage girls who were 'reluctant' to give their babies up for adoption.

      Thank god I didn't. I don't know why I didn't - it was for some prosaic reason like not being available that day or something, because I could not see then how wrong it was what she was asking me to do. I see it now that I am older and out of the fog, but back then, still so trusting in social workers and other adults, I almost did the same.

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    9. 'So cold hearted. How did they get that way?'

      In a word, adoption.

      I think you have to put your heart in a tiny box somewhere to continue being able to live. If you don't, you...well, you end up how Catelynn is right now, self-harming with suicidal ideation.

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  10. I haven't seen the footage from the show so I don't what has happened between Catelynn and Tyler and the adoptive parents. Have the adoptive parents ignored Catelynn and Tyler's request to get together and not responded? Or have they responded and said, "We dont want to get together now or ever, dont call us we'll call you, buh-bye!!!"? It would seem like if the adoptive parents were concerned about Catelynn's current mental state they would express that concern rather than just not responding to Catelynn's request for a visit...or just slamming that door closed altogether

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    1. The full show hasn't been aired. From the snippet I linked to, C complains to Dawn that she has left calls regarding scheduling a visit but T has not returned them. Dawn says she talked to T that week. Dawn says T will not discuss visits but has not closed the door on all all communication.

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  11. So many thoughts on this one...first and foremost is WH has no medical professional linked Catelynn's anxiety and depression to Carly's adoption? She isnt "mentally ill"...she's having post traumatic stress! Masking it with medication isnt going to make it all better and just go away!

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  12. What taints this whole story and all participants is that it was all done for public consumption on a reality TV show. A reputable agency (which Bethany is not) should never agreed to participate or to subject clients to this level of public scrutiny. I am sure both surrendering parents and adoptive parents were paid to participate and keep things dramatic to keep up audience interest. The fact that there is a real child involved and real people's lives made a public travesty has gotten lost in the shuffle. I think everyone has gotten hurt here and will continue to be hurt as long as they are part of this show and do not go back to private lives and try and work out human relationships, not a TV script.

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    1. So true. This dear girl may not want her sad story made public, but she has no choice. Her dopey parents brought their child's relinquishment into millions of living rooms!

      Bethany thought it would be good for their bottom line, but it's turning into a case study of the flaws in the commercial open adoption model.

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  13. When is this next episode on? Anybody know? Jane, stay tuned!

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    1. The next showing of Teen Moms OG is this Monday, November 7. I don't know whether MTV will be showing this episode in the lives of C & T.

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  14. I commented about a month ago about a reality show that an agency was trying to get me to do in order to convince me to give my daughter away - guaranteed that T&C had to sign agreements to be mouthpieces for the adoption indu$try - I would have had to do the same. It's sick!!!

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    1. The Dutch advisory council on citizens with less rights
      (i.e. minors and prisoners) came with an advice to stop with foreign adoption, especially from China, the European Union and the United States of America, for the following reasons:

      a) An unsupervisable mess of adoption laws, regulations and practices.

      b) Those countries could and should take care of their own children.

      c) An adoption culture, system and political mindset in direct violation of the spirit of the (child protecting)international treaties on adoption, such as tricking young parents into child relinquishment with promises of open adoption.

      Guess which reason was NOT used to argue that adoption from the United States of America should stop.

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    2. Wow Beth, you actually have inside information. I knew there had to be money involved. No human being would be so naturally joyful about giving away a child. This is really a cruel industry, making money on the misery of innocent women and their children.

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    3. I don't know about 16 & Pregnant--this has certainly not turned into a promotion for adoption anymore and I'd guess their younger fans have not stopped following their teen idols in their journey. And now the impressionable viewers (aren't we all?) are seeing the reality of a semi-open" adoption turn to closed. I'm thinking that the show has down young women a great service. Having a baby at a young age makes like difficult and giving the child up is also fraught and full of pain and loss.

      As I said, re reality TV, FMF has been contacted by Long Lost Families. The show's two hosts--a man and a woman--are both adopted. It started in Britain, where records have been open since 1975 (!) and has won awards already. I don't think it's a sleazy show and I watch it with Kleenex nearby and I know others who do.

      The show does the search and pays the expenses in return for letting you film it--and yes the moment the people meet each other for the first time. They search for absent fathers and mothers, siblings as well as natural mothers and they children they relinquished. This may not appeal to everybody, but if I were desperate and at a dead end looking for a family member, I'd do it. Just because you volunteer doesn't mean you will be chosen. You start by filling out a form and telling your story. They will be looking for a mix of different kinds of stories. Tony's niece, who is looking for a sister, has started the process. Contact me through forumfirstmother@gmail.com

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    4. The version of 'Long Lost Family' in the UK is very well done, very sensitive indeed. I howl my head off every time.

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    5. Everybody I know who watches it cries when you watch. Me too.

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    6. I hope that that's the case for them. The new show that is coming on ABC Freeform ("Make My Family" - yes, really - vomit) is going to be a doozy and a total step backwards.

      If they can ever find anyone to do the show.

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    7. Not that good, it is just the answer the ADVISORY branch gave to the question: "What kind of (international) adoption system should we have in the future?" The answer: "None". Adoption from China should be stopped immediately as we cannot be certain that the rights of the adoptee have not been violated, and from the USA because we can be sure that at least one of the rights of the kid has been violated (such as the right to have both mother and father COMPLETELY informed before they agrees with (relinquishment and) adoption, or the right to have international adoption only considered if the child cannot be placed in foster or adoptive family in country of origin). That goes back to the non-ratification by the United States of America of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Even the Vatican is part to that, and even Gibraltar is in full compliance (whether technically still an exception or not), so some actions which are legal in the United States of America, including selling adoption with the lure of "open adoption", should be considered violations of the child's rights. We do have to take into account that the council, in accordance with Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, did not consider the rights of original mothers or would-be adopters.
      It is just advice on what to do in the future, it has no legal power, but it is more or less the stand the legal branch of child protection has taken on the issue what should be done, and as such it is a great discussion opener. One could see it as the baseball bat, thrown by a drunk (merely from happiness, if you wish) Cubs fan into the Adoption hen house, it causes commotion, but it is no guarantee that anything more will happen.

      As good news I would rather consider the most recent from "year to year change in number of international adoptions to the Netherlands"-10 year series: -31%, -4%, -2%, -11%, +3%, -25%, -8%, -17%, -11%, -17%...

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    8. Maybe not that good but better than the US where the conversation is not happening except among international adoptees who, critics label, as maladjusted and ungrateful.

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  15. The whole thing is sickening. The mother is suffering from PTSD and hasn't worked out how much she hates herself yet, the father is angry and blaming - and the adopters, they simply walk away with the prize - after all, look how unstable the parents are!

    Not even a surprise.

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    1. Completely agree Lori.

      And what's extra sickening is all the commenters on the facebook sites for Teen Mom and Catelynn & Tyler. They feature endless comments along the lines of 'well, she's not your daughter now, she's theirs' and 'well, you chose this' - as well as loads of abusive comments about Catelynn being 'lazy' and having a 'pity party' (no thought that she is a mother grieving profoundly for her missing daughter and realising how completely she has been hoodwinked by the adoption industry). Poor love.

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    2. When I see "teen parents" like C & T I wonder if they ever heard from other former teen parents...from the long past....like the 1960s. I am talking about the ones who got pregnant, got married, and it worked for them.
      I knew several couples like C & T, back in 1964-66, etc. They had to drop out of school for awhile, work, change plans for awhile. But, they did okay. And today they are still together. Their children are middle-aged now...in their late 40s to early 50s.
      They needed help and support of course, and they got it from their family. And they loved and supported each other.

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    3. On Teen Mom, it seems that the young mothers who tend to do well are the ones with supportive parents such as Chelsea and Maci. Personally, it would've made the absolute world of difference to me if just one of my parents had helped.

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    4. ....also, Chelsea and Maci come from families with more security, both financially and socially: their parents' houses are large, the parents themselves are in long-term marriages (not approving or disapproving, just noticing).

      Catelynn and Tyler came from poor and chaotic backgrounds, with no security of any kind available. Perfect adoption industry fodder. Vulnerable young parents from the start.

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    5. I agree with the above replies. 2 young kids, taken in by promises of something that sounds too good to be true - naive and impressionable. They thought they were doing something good, as that's what they were told, and drank the Kool-Aid, as they say. Plus the lure of having their experience documented and all the fame that goes with it. Now they are "stuck" in the position of having to prove their decision was right, their judgment was correct. Very sad.

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  16. 11? Yeah,right. How much did Catholic Charities pay you to say that?

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  17. It's easy to understand why BMFMs are critical of adoption agencies, Adoptive Parents, and the Adoption Industry in general, but Tyler has been a jerk from the beginning, yet gets almost no criticism. Katelynne would have married him when she first got pregnant, but the whole world asserted, "They are too young!" Yet they were old enough to continue semi-living together and (eventually) have another child. Then, a few months ago, when the AParents said, "Stop talking to social media or we'll cut off contact", Tyler said, "Go ahead; I'll continue to live my life in public." Tyler said if the AParents cut them off from their child, it wouldn't be his fault. The AParents are being jerks, but Katelynne was willing to do whatever she had to to keep contact with their child, while Tyler said he would continue to do what HE wanted. Tyler consistently puts HIS wants ahead of K's and their child's, yet almost no one here criticizes him. Why is this?

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    1. I've noticed this too. But I've noticed it much more widely in the adoption world - fathers seem much more readily forgiven than mothers, even if the father buggered off for decades and didn't even try to help.

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    2. I agree, Tyler has not acted in a very mature way. It is not admirable to fight over Facebook posts, but since he is a public figure, it's hard to tell whether his actions might be the same if they were not famous. To his credit, he seems to care about his child, Carly and it's great that he and Caitlyn have stayed together.

      It seems that in an open adoption, you are not in a position to tell the aparents how it is going to be. They will be telling you, how it is going to be, and it's very important not to make them feel threatened or create any bad will. Your feelings have to be subservient to the feelings of the aparents. Not an ideal situation from the start, and it's unrealistic to expect anything else, isn't it? I imaging C&T's story will be a cautionary tale for other young couples, I hope so. They were not able to look into the future (as are none of us), to see that things may not go as promised, as planned, and your natural emotional instincts as a birth parent will take over (feelings of deep loss), like it or not.

      I wonder if there's more going on with the aparents than we know in the public arena. They do have the right to insist that Carly have her privacy, and not be part of a media event. And I'm bothered by Caitlin's "Driving high" activity; the aparents may not want that to be part of a child's life. Not being judgmental, just saying it might be part of the equation. Perhaps they will soften their view, given some time. But it's impossible to tell, since the television show and public exposure - and gossip - are such a major player in the lives of all of them.

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  18. "Why is this?" Utagagen, it beats me too. I think reality shows are almost always exploitive in one way or another. They distort reality, not represent it, and too often seem to mess up the participants even more than they were messed up before.
    After reading this post I did a bit of googling and from what I discovered it seems that you are right about Tyler.

    As far as "forgiveness" goes, society as a whole has always given greater latitude to men, including when it comes to being a parent. Not that there aren't decent guys who want to be good fathers to their kids, and who sometimes get shafted by skanky agencies and birth mothers.

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  19. Cherry, New and Old, and Lisa, thank you for your response. To all others...some food for thought: watching what Catelynn has gone through has reinforced an idea I've had for a long time. I understand why FirstMothers have ambivalent-to-negative feelings about adoption. I understand also why abortion is so controversial (for everyone). I assert that shotgun weddings, while not always the solution to an unplanned pregnancy, DO make sense for the pregnant woman in a large minority of case, Catelynne's being one of them. I'm sure there are many stories about shotgun weddings that should never have happened, but could it really be the case, as it is currently, that they almost should NEVER happen? For example, in the case of Tyler and Catelynn, why was everyone so adamant that they should not get married when she got pregnant, yet the same people thought it made sense for them to essentially remain a romantic couple, semi-live together, and eventually have a second child, all while keeping up contact with the child they had given up for adoption? There is no doubt in my mind that Catelynne would have been better off if she and Tyler had married and they had kept their child. As for that child -- and I am a mother by adoption, so I am not "anti-adoption" -- it is too soon to decree that she is necessarily better off for having been given up for adoption. As for Tyler...enough about Tyler. His life would have been pretty much the same, either way, and I am sick of his selfishness. As recently as a few weeks ago, his attitude was, "If I keep telling my story publicly, and my daughter's adoptive parents cut me off from her, it won't be my fault." This is the person whose feelings are paramount here? Anyway, as I've posted before, I understand FirstMothers' anger at adoption agencies and adoptive parents, but I think it behooves them to turn their attention (and anger) to the biofathers and all the people who put the bifathers' needs ahead of the biomothers'. Shotgun weddings often DO work out, and even of they end in divorce, the mothers don't end up forever cut off from their children. Seems to me the adoption industry -- as well as the abortion industry, while we're at it -- conspire to ROB the FirstMother of her baby to let the biodad off the hook.

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    1. From this (first) mother's point of view, it was to get a baby for (fill in the blank couple that wanted one) the ob/gyn doctor and his wife, or the high school counselor and her husband, or for the neighbor couple that lived next door to where I went to stay after the loss of my baby, or the numerous other couples that seemed to come out of nowhere that had adopted a newborn male infant. It was also to spend as little as possible on this new human being and his mother. It had little, if anything, to do with getting 'bio dad off the hook'.

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    2. Uta, you are making sense to me. One of the stories I tell in hole in my heart is that of a high school girl who became pregnant from her French teacher< I believe it was. While it was also statutory raape, her parents conspired with the police...and basically the guy got off the hook if he agreed to pay the expenses while the pregnant teen went away to a home. That was it. Everybody was concerned about his damn reputation. The woman initially contacted me through the blog, I put it in the book about the earlier era, and she contacted me again after she read it. I think it would be hard to ever forget the anger that would result--the teen woman's life was ruined--we know how the pain never truly leaves after you give up a child--but the man just went on with his wife and family and didn't lost his status, his job, his life.

      How the public has treated Tyler is more of the same old stuff. We've upbraided him here and gotten him quite angry as he reacted to a post of ours. Let me find it...
      The Lost Post regarding the issues of Tyler and Catelynn, reconstructed

      catelynn-and-tyler-face-reality

      Tyler Baltierra's adoption regrets

      There are a few other posts. The pictures of Brandon and Teresa have disappeared from the post as they must have pulled the original images. That's how you help close an adoption...

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    3. "Seems to me the adoption industry - as well as the abortion industry, while we're at it - conspire to ROB the FirstMother of her baby to let the bio dad off the hook."

      I do think that's an oversimplification, Utahagen.
      I don't agree Catelynn would necessarily have been better off it she had married the father. Or that, even if she had, she would necessarily have been able to keep her child in the long term.
      Or that abortion is invariably pushed by men who don't want the women they have impregnated to give birth to children they don't want to support. It's not always a diabolical plot. Sometimes women just don't want to be pregnant. And if they never wanted to become pregnant in the first place, then they deserve to have the right to decide whether or not to carry the pregnancy to term. If they do decide to give birth, from that point on they will have other decisions to make.

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    4. Uta, my mom very much wanted my father on the hook, but they were both married and she could not take the risk of her husband finding out and taking my five other siblings from her. She placed me before her husband got home from Vietnam.

      I got knocked up in high school, got married, had an abortion and did not feel that I had anywhere to go or a way to support myself and stayed in a marriage I did not want. Got knocked up again by my husband, finally got the guts to leave and have not seen my only child for 20 years.

      A ring on my finger did nothing for me or my family. My sibs all had a better life than I did. I needed my real mom, and birth control, not adoption and marriage.

      Full story is here under To my siblings. http://adultadopteesupport.org/blog.html I am tanker-yanker.

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    5. I saw many shotgun weddings when I was in college in the early 60's or, as people noted wryly, "the baby came early." Some of the marriages lasted and some din't. This was true of the non-shotgun marriages as well.

      However, couples were often discouraged from getting married "just because the girl was pregnant." Adults conjured up a parade of horribles, "You'll have to drop out of school, you'll end up single working in a dime store; he'll end up as a gas station attendant." Or "he'll miss being single, hanging out with his friends and he'll dump you." I have met natural mothers who followed this advice much to their regret. About 20 percent of the natural mothers I've met eventually married the father and had other children with him. This was true of the parents of Emily Hipschen who Lorraine mentioned in the post. Such a shame they lost their first child.

      The available of adoption gave cover to young men who likely would have married the mother rather than see her raise a child alone. This was the situation for Carol Schaefer ("The Other Mother") where the boy's father pushed him into not marrying Carol and having her give up the baby so the boy could finish college, have a career, etc. Then if they still wanted to marry, they could and start off right. Of course they could never start off right having lost their child.

      So yes, I would encourage couples to marry even if that is necessary to avert adoption even if the marriage will be shaky.

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    6. Encourage, yes. However "shotgun" implies force and really only applies to minors or dependants. If the extended families of the expectant couple are seriously dysfunctional (addiction, abuse, etc) and one or both of the expectant parents wants to make a break from that, then family-forced marriage probably isn't going to be the best idea. So much depends on the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy.
      JMO

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  20. How would a ring on their finger have materially changed their circumstances? They still would've been living in psychologically horrendous circumstances - something I am sure they wanted to save their daughter from. That was certainly in the mix for me - I did not want my son to suffer what I had done within my family home, yet I didn't feel old enough to leave. I think a supportive living environment would've really made the difference, rather than a wedding ceremony.

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    1. Agreed. Feeling that you have nowhere to go or means to provide for yourself leads to stupid moves.

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  21. I'm not sure if this couple would still be on the show if not for the adoption. They would not be that interesting.

    Society needs to change the way we treat the infertile. We think having a child will fix them. If not with medical intervention, than through infant adoption.

    We need to see infertility as a medical issue. Infertile women need extensive counseling, to come to terms with what life has brought to them, and they need to leave mother nature alone!

    If the fertility treatments don't work, you grow a pair and deal with it.

    After all, we expect vulnerable women to deal with the grief of giving away their newborns. Why are infertile women above all that pain?

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  22. Not all opinion agrees that MTV's "reality" (highly scripted, rehearsed and edited) series may have led to a decrease in teen pregnancy. A study by University of Arizona researcher Jennifer Stevens Aubrey presents a different perspective on the impact of these kinds of shows on teenagers. It seems to me that the way these shows are presented, people Are unable to recognize commodification when they see it. Maybe least of all the participants, who probably think it fair exchange (attention, $$$), at least at the outset.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10810730.2013.872721
    "This article examines the impact of a popular documentary series about teen pregnancy, MTV's 16 and Pregnant, on adolescent girls' pregnancy-related attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions. The results suggest that girls who watched 16 and Pregnant, compared with a control group, reported a lower perception of their own risk for pregnancy and a greater perception that the benefits of teen pregnancy outweigh the risks."

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  23. My heart breaks for them. See this is what they do. They butter you up, use you, then throw you away once they get what they want. My daughter's adoptive parents did this to me. It hurts. I hope when my daughter is 18 she come finds me so I can tell her the truth. I hope this discourages adoption.

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  24. I was adopted before I was 2 couldn't hate the system more I'm depressed being told my adoptive parents are my only family. But at 14 I found my birth family and connect with them better as they understand me and how I think and feel. I will never promote adoption yes I agree with permanent guardianship however I don't agree with changing a child's identity to fit in and help you accept a child. The government is cruel the world is cruel and as an adopted mixed child in an all white school I had to learn to stand alone.

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