' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Catelynn and Tyler--still grieving over the loss of their daughter

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Catelynn and Tyler--still grieving over the loss of their daughter

Catelynn and Tyler talk to Carly on her birthday
When Catelynn and Tyler relinquished their newborn daughter Carly to Brandon and Teresa Davis on the reality show 16 and Pregnant, Catelynn said as she left the hospital, “I’m at peace with my decision.”

That peace was short-lived. As they are preparing for Carly’s second birthday, presented on Teen Mom, Catelynn tells Dawn, their counselor at Bethany Christian Services, “I’m definitely more at peace than I was a year ago [on Carly’s first birthday].” Tyler blurts out the hard truth, “Adoption is a constantly coping process. I don’t know when you fully cope with it” Catelynn adds “I think it goes on for your whole life.”

Catelynn and Tyler give Dawn a birthday gift for Carly--a large, sandy colored bear which says “Happy Birthday” when a string is pulled--to mail to her. Tyler and Catelyn have a semi-open adoption; they can send and receive letters pictures and gifts through Bethany and see their daughter once a year. They were not told Brandon and Teresa's last names or where they lived,  although--perhaps because of the show-- they have learned this information. Adoptive father Brandon Davis is a financial planner with an on-line web page.  In fact they have no guarantee that Brandon and Teresa will maintain even this limited contact, although the parties' celebrity status makes it unlikely that Brandon and Teresa would cut off the relationship. Other Bethany birth mothers aren't so lucky. One Bethany worker revealed that approximately 80 percent of the "open" adoptions that they facilitate close within a couple of years. 

Dawn tells Catelynn and Tyler that Brandon and Teresa have invited them to join them and Carly when they will be in New York City later that month. The day after leaving Carly's present with Dawn to mail, 
Teresa and Brandon with Carly
Tyler and Catelynn celebrate Carly’s birthday with a pre-arranged two-minute phone call. Teresa tells them Carly will have a party with Elmo cupcakes. Carly thanks them for the bear. Then Catelynn and Tyler sit on the floor of the home they share before an elaborately decorated cake in scripted with "Happy Birthday Carly." A candle shaped as the number “two” stands in the middle. They have a sad ceremony, lighting the candle, sharing their wishes for Carly, and blowing out the candle. As the scene fades, they kiss. (According to Teen Mom News, they repeated this ceremony for Carly's third birthday in a segment yet to be aired.)

In spite of their relentless grief, Catelynn and Tyler remain true believers in the power of adoption to transform lives for the better. They tell each other reassuringly that without adoption, Tyler would be stuck in a low paying job and would not be attending college and Catelynn would not have finished high school and looking forward to college. (Both are now attending Baker College in Michigan.) Catelynn and Tyler seem unaware that other teen parents featured on Teen Mom kept their babies while finishing high school and are on their way to college or careers.

To Tyler and Catelynn, though, the real benefit of adoption is what it will do for Carly. As they stare at their absent daughter’s cake, Catelynn says her wish for Carly is for her “to grow up to be healthy, strong and to know we loved her and that is the only reason we did what we did.” Tyler’s wish is more expansive: “My wish for her is that she knows the life we chose for her was the one she deserved and for her to always know we loved her.”

Their naive belief that only by giving Carly to strangers could they give her the life she deserves in heart-rendering. Many children have been born in far worse circumstances and thrived. Tyler and Catelynn, who have been together since the seventh grade and are planning to marry next year, are the kind of stable couple a child deserves. They come across as a responsible and mature couple who would make excellent parents. True, their families are not ideal. Their parents had divorced, and Tyler’s father was abusive to his second wife, Catelynn’s mother. He violated a restraining order and spent 90 days in jail. Both Tyler and Catelynn show they learned from their early experiences and would not repeat their parents' mistakes.  

Ironically all Catelynn and Tyler know about Brandon and Teresa-- or at least would know if it weren't for the show—the couple on whom they’ve pinned all their hopes for Carly--is what Brandon and Teresa have chosen to share. While they appear to have ample resources, and to be a “Leave it to Beaver” family, there may be negatives which Catelynn and Tyler will learn about only when Carly confides in them years later. Or it may be just that Carly never quite fits in the family. There's no one-size-fits-all in adoption.   

After their visit with Carly in New York City, doubts begin to creep in. Carly asks Tyler “Do you think you would have made the same decision knowing what we know now and what we feel? Sniffling with tears running down his face, Tyler answer “yeah.” Catelynn says “It’s not like I regret my decision but I could have been a real good mom.” Tyler nods, “I wish she called me ‘daddy.’” Still Catelynn says she wants to be an adoption counselor. Sponsored by Bethany, she visits high schools and talks about the "positives" of adoption. She and Tyler have a Bethany-sponsored website directing viewers to the Bethany adoption site. Brandon and Teresa recently adopted a baby boy, and Catelynn was in the delivery room, helping the birth mother.   

Dawn, the adoption counselor, takes Catelynn to Bethany's birth-mother support group. An adoption agency running a birth-mother support group is like Smirnoff running an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting. As group members tell of giving up their babies, Jennifer, an adoption social worker who surrendered her son 20 years earlier, cautions them to use correct adoption language, “None of you gave up your babies; you all made adoption plans; you placed your babies, empowering, positive language ladies, right?” The sorrowful women shout “Yes.” (They would probably faint dead away if they even heard the phrases: first mother or natural mother.)

A pregnant woman planning to give up her baby says she is anxious, afraid of “how everything is going to go.” Catelynn tells her that giving up her baby was hard and the most helpful therapy is meeting other birth mothers. The others agree. None question the wisdom of adoption, nor urge the pregnant woman to reconsider surrender. The mothers seem to view adoption as those with incurable diseases view their condition, something that happened or will happen that they have to live with. 

What Catelynn and Tyler don’t talk about, probably because Dawn didn’t tell them, is the effect that adoption has on adoptees, that children don’t cleave seamlessly to their adoptive parents as if born to them. Individuals who are adopted suffer a great loss. "The feeling that something is missing never, ever leaves you—and it can’t, and shouldn’t, because something is missing” wrote adoptee Jeanette Winterson in her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?

Carly looks like both her parents--her natural parents--sharing Tyler’s mouth and nose and Catelynn’s forehead. What neither parent questions is how Carly will feel living with people who look nothing like her when she is old enough to see and understand that. Tyler and Catelynn don’t ask how Carly will feel when they have other children. And how will Carly feel when she finds that her parents were paid to be promoters of adoption and the agency that facilitated her own adoption?

The day will come that Catelynn and Tyler will learn that their struggle has been in vain; that their loses—and Carly’s—outweighed any gains. Meanwhile Bethany will use them to lure more mothers into the adoption trap, ignoramuses like Drs. Drew, Phil, and Laura and Jessica Arons of the Center for American Progress will tout the benefits of the adoption option, while thousands of trusting teens will lose their babies.


Teen Mom News

From FMF:                                                                          
Why Be Normal When You Could Be Jeanette Winterson?

This is a raw and raucous memoir from a brilliant British writer, adopted at birth into the home of a religious fanatic. Winterson managed to escape and eventually finds her natural mother. A fabulous read. Lorraine's review above. 


  1. Another sad story involving adoption tearing a family apart to create another family.

    Sounds like they are already feeling the painful reality that their bay is gone. Swallowed, by adoption and it's players. Lawyers, social workers, agencies, adopters, and last but NOT least these young parents.

    Lives that have been changed forever by those who care nothing about tem only used them for what they could gain a baby, a tv show, and the infamous Bethany.

    One day their daughter will come back to them. Sadly, she will not be the baby but an adult with lots of questions. With Katelynn working for the agency they keep her involved and of course it will all be documented where she pretends she made a plan instead of giving up her baby.

    It's called selling the adoption dream anyone can have a baby even if they have to buy one. Consumerism and Americanism way of life.

  2. I hate the propaganda that shows like this and other media spew! That adoption is oh so lovely, and the parents of loss will recover. I hope that at some point the young parents break down and admit they can't take it anymore. But of course that will never get aired. Because that would destroy the adoption dream and the myth that mothers (and fathers) ever get over it. Makes me sick to my stomach.

  3. "Brandon and Teresa recently adopted a baby boy, and Catelynn was in the delivery room, helping the birth mother."

    WTF! So many questions about this - will Catelynn befriend the birth mother since this baby boy is now Carly's brother? Are they now some type of step-sisters in bondage, connected by the long arm of adoption? (Strange that I never thought about this until now. My adopted-out-son also has an adopted brother and this is making me ponder what kind of connection I would feel if I ever met his natural mother).

    Is it a semi-closed adoption like Carly's? (To me an adoption is either 100% open or it is closed, or a variation of closed). I recall that Teresa originally wanted a closed adoption when she first starting working with the agency. Since they are on the show I guess it would be impossible to have a fully closed adoption but I can't imagine that it is fully open, either.

    Catelynn and Tyler would be wonderful parents to Carly. I've liked them from the beginning and I wish they could step away from Bethany and get a better perspective on adoption. Watching them push it on others saddens me
    but I suspect it is the only way they can cope at this point in time. It helps them validate their loss in some twisted way.

  4. I find this relationship and promotion of adoption and Bethany so twisted and sick. I hope that someday the scales fall from Catelynn's eyes (they sound like they have already a bit from Tyler) and so is at least able to stop being a shill for adoption and Bethany.

    The producers of "Sixteen and Pregnant" contacted me before it ran, asking if I could help direct them to someone who might want to be the subect....I mentally gagged, and said NO. They called back three months later, asking the same question. But now apparently they have no end of stupid girls who want their 15 minutes of fame, no matter the consequences. No wait, their brains are not fully formed and they can't understand the consequences.

    Another for the girls has just been sentenced to jail. Amber ?

  5. I just have to say, how do you know the phone call to Carly on her birthday only lasted 2 minutes. Because that's what you saw on the show? Have you ever heard of editing?

  6. I don't understand the consistent tear down of Catelynn and Tyler. People are allowed to grieve while still being at peace with their decision....it's not one or the other. You said that Catelynn and Tyler seem like responsible adults and would haven made great parents but how do you know that the reason they are so stable and responsible now is not a direct result of the choice they made? The odds of teen parents staying together and finishing high school/college is not good. The stress of having a baby may have broken them...who knows? Ultimately, they felt adoption was right for them and for Carly. Just because you felt it wasn't right for you and your daughter doesn't mean that it isn't for everyone. Its obvious that you don't like it when people tell you that 'you did the right thing' by placing your daughter because that's not how you feel but your are doing the same things to other birth parents by telling them that they did the wrong thing.

    I can see your point of view especially being from a time where you felt coerced or forced to place but some birth moms were not coerced or forced and while they grieve, they are still peaceful about their decision. What's wrong with that? You want people to accept your stance that adoption caused you and your daughter hurt and pain and that there was no good in it. Why can't you accept that others feel differently and not just accuse them of 'drinking the kook-aid"?

    I am an adult adoptee in a successful reunion and an adoptive mom in a fully open and successful adoption. No, we are not infertile, nor did we 'buy' our daughter as you accuse so many of us of doing. You talk about the stereotypes constantly thrown at birth moms and how it's not right and inaccurate however, you stereotype those of us on the other side. I dont get it. I read your blog frequently and accept the fact that you feel much differently about adoption than I do and thats ok. I read it to gain insight into perspectives that I can't understand having never been a bmom myself. I have learned a lot by reading your blog and will continue to do so. I just wanted to offer another perspective, respectfully.

  7. Who would watch such an idiotic show? Since I will never watch it, can someone enlighten me if there are other 16 year olds who kept their babies? If so how are they doing? Somehow I bet they are not honor students doing fine.

    Lo, good for you for not sending them anyone to exploit. The worst call I ever got like that was years ago some show wanted to know if our group had a mother who gave up a child because it was a dwarf, as they were doing a show on dwarf adoptions! Yikes, talk about freak shows!

    I do not think these shows care one way or the other about promoting adoption. All they are interested in is controversy and drama, and a surrender scenario gives them much more of that than a normal young mom raising her child in decent although boring circumstances. Of course throw in some trailer trash abuse, drug use, drinking, fights with Baby Daddy, and you have lots of ratings and lots of fun. Turn off your TV!

  8. Anon,
    Regarding the length of the phone call: The call was made at precisely 12:00 as arranged previously. It was a complete call--had a beginning and an end and no illogical gaps. Listen to it yourself and you'll see that.

  9. Maryanne,
    To learn more about the mothers who are featured on Teen Mom go to Teen Mom News or just Google Teen Mom and lots of news article will come up.

    Some of the mothers who kept their babies are doing well and some are struggling. Their problems are solvable, however, and I have not seen anything that suggests anyone of them regret keeping their babies

  10. Aimee, It's clear that Catelynn and Tyler are not at peace with their decision. They continue to struggle with the relentless pain. The only salve for them is that Carly is having the life they want for her, lots of baubles. Ultimately they will find that the mess of pottage was not worth losing her birthright.

    Of course we don't know how Catelynn and Tyler would have fared if they had kept Carly but they showed themsleves to be committed to each other and responsible before they gave her up.

    While no one put a gun to their heads, the Bethany counselor Dawn certainly knew how to play them to get them where she wanted them to be.

  11. No thanks, Jane, don't want to read about anyone on a reality show of any sort, any more than I want to watch one. Just asking if others kept their babies, you answered the question. If everyone ignored these shows and their pitiful "stars" they would go away.

  12. Maryanne, I'd add that the mother who is doing the worse is Amber who has multiple problems including substance abuse. However the father of her baby is a saint, absolutely devoted to his daughter and to Amber.

  13. I am a mother of adoption, so I am obviously not anti-adoption, However, I do not think Catelynn was a good candidate to give her baby up for adoption. I am sure she would have married Tyler in a scond if he had been willing and I am sure she wanted very badly to keep her baby daughter. I predict that, when this show goes off the air, Brandon and Teresa will close the adoption and Tyler will leave Catelynn -- even if they've already got married. Brandon and Teresa will have Carly; Carly will have her adoptive parents; and Tyler will surely have some other girl (who probably will get pregnant right away and keep the baby). All Catelynn will be left with is a broken heart.

  14. My heart absolutely breaks for Catelynn. Not only because of the loss of her child to adoption, but also for the horrific reality she is going to wake up to one day. She will one day realize her part in other mothers losing their child to adoption ~ and have to find a way to forgive herself for that. She and Tyler are nothing but pawns for the adoption agency and it's going to be very hard when they realize that.

  15. A two minute phone conversation doesn't strike me as all that unusual. Carly was only two years old.

    I realize two minutes doesn't seem like much using an adult perception of time, but... surely I'm not the only person here who has talked to a toddler on the phone?

    Trying to get a two year old to pay uninterrupted attention to nothing but a voice on the other end of the line for two whole minutes actually seems pretty optimistic to me.

    I think it would be unrealistic to expect a child that age to sit down and focus for a long chat. I'm not sure turning the phone calls into a chore by demanding more than a toddler can give would really be a good thing for the first parent/child relationship.

    It also doesn't seem odd to me that they only visit once a year. These are families who live halfway across the country from each other, not across town. Do most people here really see their own out-of-town relatives more frequently than that? Especially when the kids are that young? I didn't, growing up.

    I don't know enough about this situation to have a general opinion about the adoption as a whole, the couple's decision to place the child, or about their overall level of openness.

    I just wanted to point out that sometimes there are practicalities involved in these decisions, rather than just an ideal of what open adoption ought to look like.

  16. Zan,
    To clarify, the conversation with Carly was about five seconds. Teresa talked most of the time.

  17. @Aimee: I am concerned about Catelynn's promotion of adoption as an employee of Bethany. She is constantly in pain over the loss of her child yet she is encouraging others to go down this sorrowful path. How can this be a healthy situation to be in?

    If adoption is loving/great/miraculous, there should be no pain. Love=misery does not compute, at least not for those with healthy emotional lives.

    BTW: "The odds of teen parents staying together and finishing high school/college is not good."

    The odds of ANYONE staying together is only 50% given the current divorce rate. And most people in this country have not completed college degrees. I see neither of these as disqualifications for raising one's flesh and blood.

  18. Ginger,
    I agree with you. Tyler urged adoption and Catelynn bought into it, nudged along by the counselor Dawn. Tyler's father's life was a mess (in and out of jail, failed marriages). Tyler may have believed that the only he could succeed was to give Carly away.

  19. I'm sure that Bethany showed Brandon and Teresa's profile only to couples who lived in a different part of the country to assure minimum contact. B&T preferred a closed adoption but agreed to some openness only because it was necessary to get a baby.

    Catelynn and Tyler did not know to ask for profiles of couples who lived closer or to demand for more openness.

    It's appalling that in 2009, knowing how important openness is to adopted children, that Bethany didn't arrange a fully open adoption. Carly's interests seem never to have been discussed.

  20. Maybe said:
    "If adoption is loving/great/miraculous, there should be no pain. Love=misery does not compute, at least not for those with healthy emotional lives."

    Have you never heard of ambiguity, nor of healthy love causing suffering and pain as well as joy? What world do you live in?

    Not saying that the people on this tawdry show should be promoting adoption as a panacea; they should not. But for some people adoption IS the better choice, even when it is painful. Raising a child is painful at times too. If you do not admit this as a possibility, you are just saying that everyone should make the choice you wish you had made, regardless of individual circumstances and needs.

  21. "If adoption is loving/great/miraculous, there should be no pain. Love=misery does not compute, at least not for those with healthy emotional lives."

    I don't agree with this at all. Human life is a lot more complicated than that.

    When you have a loved one in an irreversible coma with no quality of life, turning off the ventilator is incredibly painful... but that doesn't mean it's not an act of love to release the person from suffering.

    Walking away from an abusive partner is excruciating. Many times, you still love the person. But it's right and necessary, for your own sake and the sake of your children who are caught in the middle.

    Watching your child fight cancer or terminal disease is agonizing, but that doesn't mean that it would be a more loving act to walk away from the hospital and never look back.

    If you cry at your spouse's funeral, it's definitely not an indication that you have have stopped loving them, or that the love you shared had no value. Quite the opposite.

    I could go on, but I assume I've given enough examples to make my point.

    I'm not saying Catelynn and Tyler were necessarily right in their decision not to parent. Like I said, I don't know enough about their situation to even venture a guess.

    What I am saying, is that claiming that all loving decisions and situations are painless and happy is pure fantasy. It would be nice if life worked that way, but in the real world joy and pain, love and sorrow, are often very much intermingled.

  22. I cannot believe that there can be any real reason for a woman to give up her infant, short of her death. I do not understand anyone who says it's a loving thing to do. It's a horrible, chilling thing. Anyone who chooses this option destroys their soul, and the soul of their child, forever and ever.

  23. @Anon 10:18

    So according to you, all of us and all of our children who were surrendered are now soulless? That's a bit extreme. I believe my child and I still have a soul, it was not destroyed in either case, just bruised a bit. Tone down the metaphor.

  24. Catelynn becoming an adoption promoter reminds me of people who have been brainwashed to act against their own best interests. Time will tell if she ever wakes up and realizes what she is doing, as others who have written for firstmotherforum have done:
    How adoption agencies 'turn' vulnerable women into spokespeople for relinquishing

  25. @Anon 10:18

    Hmm. Not only do you consider us soulless, but also horrible and chilling. Guess you are of the "cold, dead hands" school of thought.
    In most people's opinion, dead mothers are not an advantage to their infants.

    I have just sent of a copy of my surrender papers to Elizabeth Samuels.
    Just sayin'

  26. @Zan and Maryanne, none of the examples you cited are in the same league as adoption. They are examples of life throwing misery in your direction (death, sickness, abuse). No one deliberately chooses those situations then goes around telling other people how to find a way to immerse themselves in the same type of misery.

    Catelynn and Tyler are actively recruiting other families into their world of grief by promoting adoption - this is not commendable and is not comparable to dealing with life's problems that we all encounter at one time or another.

    Catelynn and Tyler were not engaged in an abusive relationship, neither one was on a ventilator or suffering from cancer, and I don't recall any episodes where one of them was in a coffin. They are healthy parents of a healthy child in a first-world society; they were not in a do-or-die situation that forced them to give away their baby in order to preserve her life.

    They were, and still are, perfectly capable of parenting their daughter.

  27. Not soulless, but destroyed. You're not my mother, I'll use whatever words I care to.

  28. ["If adoption is loving/great/miraculous, there should be no pain. Love=misery does not compute, at least not for those with healthy emotional lives."]

    Let me rephrase what people here are (I think) trying to say -

    If adopting a child causes another woman tremendous pain, why would you adopt that knowing that you could help her keep her child instead?

    Also, love=/= misery is far too black & white. Life is shades of grey.

    But when pain can be avoided, it should be avoided. I believe this includes adoption.

  29. @Aimee I agree with you that there is unnecessary and frequent tearing down of Catelynn and Tyler as young naive people who gave up their baby I agree,however, that they are being used by Bethany and the TV shows to promote adoption- something they will probably realize more and more as the years go on and one day may see how the most simple beautiful relationship between mother(father) and child is turned into a very complicated one indeed when the child grows up They are victims as surely as I and the older mothers were I think maybe we are sort of throwing stones at our younger selves because we still feel guilty and have not forgiven ourselves yet(just my opinion) Also, those of us who were just very young but otherwise strong and able to withstand the stress of being a single parent may not understand that some of us were,even though older, weaker or without skills to navigate a complicated society.I still agree with Jane and Lorraine that most problems could be overcome with counselling and appropriate help in a more compassionate society It is so important that the child knows his mother(and father too) while growing up. You can't just play pretend and take a baby from one person and give it to another and say Abracadabra-you're his mother now-the law says so. Nature doesn't work like that

  30. I'm definitely in the cold dead hands school of thought. Dead mothers are just as good for their children as mothers who relinquish. My baby would have to be pried from my cold dead hands, and surrendering your baby is horrible and chilling. My parents told me they were "self destructive drug addicts" who somehow survived and went on to each have kept children! The poor dears.

  31. Of course this is just my opinion. All the reasons I hear for surrendering a baby seem lame to me. None of them are satisfying for me. I always think, other women managed to keep their babies, what made you so different? Maybe someday my feelings will change.

    1. All reasons for surrendering seem lame. Are you an adoptee making this remark certainly not a mother.

      When there is only one choice there is NO choice!! Era of mass adoptions raped women of their babies because they could and I call it rape of my baby.

  32. The child belongs with their mother first! The "adoption" is THE CHILD+human being that is being tossed around because of what the rest of society wants for that child...to often the childs deepest needs are lost on everyone else. Open adoption or not, its the baby that has to make the most adjustment right a birth but because they can't speak of it, because they LOOK happy their needs asr sweptaside, or bbetter yet everyone ecides to say what the child is feeling bbased on what they want the child to feel.

    This whole situaion is a tradegy, its a failure of society, its a failure to respect our children and any future confusion they will have.

    The adoptive parents are probaly very nice peole, the bio parents are very nice peole..but I have to agree with Lorriane that a little counseling and the ability for these parents to raise their own child is what is BEST FOR THE HUMAN BEING that is the adoption.

  33. @Anon 12:27

    "Not soulless, but destroyed."
    Speak for yourself only.

    "You're not my mother,"
    And thank goodness for it.

    "I'll use whatever words I care to."
    So will I.

  34. I agree that Caitlin and Tyler should not be promoting adoption on a reality show. Nobody should.
    The whole concept of the show is disgusting.I have no interest in watching this show nor any interest in any of the people on it. I keep saying it, turn off the TV and it will go away.

    But if there are other teens on the show that are raising their babies, are they not "promoting" that choice? I understand the show is about a variety of pregnant 16 year olds and their choices, and how they are dealing with them, not just a show glorifying adoption. Do some of them chose abortion, or does that just end the endless drama for the viewers too quickly? For some parents that is a hard and regretted choice to live with as well, while for others it is a relief and hardly thought of again.

    Is it not possible that Caitlin and Tyler really are ok with their choice, even though it makes them sad at times, and will continue to be? Some people are, you know.

    By the way, there can be a lot of pain engendered by a freely chosen option, like the many marriages that go bad, or moves or job changes that become disasters. Whether anyone likes it or not, surrendering a child for adoption is one of the choices available in a crisis pregnancy. It should not be coerced, but for some people it is the better choice, and only they themselves can decide that, not us. It is not just what life throws at us, but also the consequences of our actions. Adoption is not the worst thing in the world for everyone, even if it was a bad choice for you or me.

  35. Of course I only speak fro myself. How can I speak for others? I never told anyone what words they can or cannot use. I'm glad you're not my mother also. If you're at peace with your choices, that's great. My mother and I were both destroyed by adoption. If you weren't then in my eyes you are a birthmother. I can't help how I feel.

  36. To me adoption is the worst thing in the world. I wish I felt differently, but I don't

  37. Anonymouses:

    I would be easier to know if there are many of you if you would make up some name and use that. Just select the Name/url (you don't need a url)and type in a name.

  38. OK, I'm Anon 5:35, 5:38, 3:05, 12:27 and 10:18. I didn't know the thing about the names.

  39. Jane has set herself up as an expert in Catelynn's life from the limited number of hours she's seen of it on TV (and I say limited as compared to the many millions of hours of her life that go unfilmed or unseen). She even goes so far as to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that C&T's phone call to Carly and her parents on her birthday only lasted 2 minutes. So now she's an expert on their lives and employed as a film editor for MTV. Jane also knows details about Brandon and Teresa the rest of us don't! Like they wanted a closed adoption and were forced into an open one. And that they plan on closing their open adoption as soon as the cameras stop rolling. How great it must be to know so much about other people you've never met!

    BTW, there's going to be a new show on Oxygen network about mothers giving up their babies for adoption. Now you can stop focusing so much on Catelynn and Tyler and find new targets. I'm sure pretty soon you'll become an expert in all of their lives and rake them over the coals for not making the exact choices in their own lives you would have them make.

  40. Ditto to what Maryanne said at 4:47 p.m. It would be great to see a lot more compassion for birth mothers here instead of hate, vitriol, and judgment from the blog authors and commentariate.

  41. Adoptomuss, you did not just speak for yourself, you said. " Anyone who chooses this option destroys their soul, and the soul of their child, forever and ever."

    "ANYONE" is not just yourself. You spoke for and maligned a whole lot of people you do not know. I am very sorry that you and your mother feel adoption destroyed you. I feel it almost destroyed me, so can sympathize with that. You are most certainly entitled to your feelings about your own life. But none of us can speak for everyone, nor is that sort of judgement kind or accurate when it comes to other people.

  42. mary anne.

    Thats very true that no one can speak for some one else...but i can say that anyone who truly delves deep within themselves knows that a person,(baby, child) losing their mother is a tragedy no matter what the reason. So there are some moms that are just fine with losing their baby..after all the college education, the need to grow up first and the opinions and needs of the potential parents really do come before the need for the baby to stay with their mother.(being sarcastic) There are many families that really feel its ok to banish a family member from the family because they were conceived and born at the wrong time....inconveniet .....

    This show is making just oky dokey to "just give em up" and the same attiude of infertile people..."just adopt" Those attiudes are so common in this society and its a total mind blowing experiance once an adoptee sees clearly and is done with the manipulations of everyone else trying to get that adoptee to "love me best"

    WE HAVE to speak up...we have to not allow the brainwashing of those that feel its really ok to just give up your child and think its all hunky dory...its NOT for thechild that has lost a family and has to deal with beeing pulled just to know about themselves...we have to speak up and let it be known that the attitudes of general society and adoption are out of control and NOT based in reality....for the child that is.

    AS most of us feel this does not include mothers or fathers that neglect or abuse..thats a no brainer they need to beremoved...but not have their idenity removed.

    so yes, if there are mothers that are so sure they did the right thing...really they need to listen to the adult adoptees that disagree or at least educate themselves on how an adoptee may feel later on..so they can beready when confronted and MAYBE just maybe be able to see the total inate, deep, hurt and confusaion their child may have suffered even in the best of circumstances....and not call them selfish, abusive, not compassionate, cold, or whatever....maybe they will be able to help their son or daughter cope with their life circumstastes instead.

    Some situations calls for judgements to be made so those situaions don't repeat themselves. THATS in the best interst of children.

    Right now these babes that are being showcased and havigt their privacy disrespeted are just babes..they will grow up and i truly pray they are ALL at peace with what this soceity has done with them...."lets all sit in front of the tv with our popcorn and watch the little cute babies get alled screwed up for the fun of it" Its so sick.

  43. Maryann wrote:
    Since I will never watch it, can someone enlighten me if there are other 16 year olds who kept their babies? If so how are they doing? Somehow I bet they are not honor students doing fine.

    Really Maryann? How dismissive. "She got knocked up so she must be a f'en looser" No honor students doing fine. My belief is that mothers usually do better at school because they have a purpose. Women that relinquish almost always never make those great strides they thought they would because the grief gets in the way.
    Maryann also said:
    But for some people adoption IS the better choice, even when it is painful. Raising a child is painful at times too. If you do not admit this as a possibility, you are just saying that everyone should make the choice you wish you had made, regardless of individual circumstances and needs.

    Exactly Maryann you used the word CHOICE. That's the problem with coercion; the person coerced thinks they are making a choice whereas they are really being bullied. My "choice" of adoption was based on everyone, and I mean every darn person in my life was telling me that IF I loved my daughter I would do this for her. I wasn't giving a gift to an infertile couple. I was making the selfless choice for the one I loved most in life. Crazy, right? But these adoption agencies are still getting away with it. We sit around and crab at each other while the adoption agencies run to the bank and the adoptive families get the product. Sickening.
    This is how adoption would be a choice and not coercive:
    Do away with pre-birth matching!
    Do away with a monetary transaction surrounding adoption. No agencies, no private lawyers, no discussion of adoption with a pregnant woman.
    No gifts or medical payments or maternity clothes or food or shelter for the mother from prospective adoptive parents.
    Have all mothers keep their children with them, for the first six weeks. Let all the hormones get back to normal. Whenever possible encourage the mother to nurse her baby.
    Set up financial assistance and educational opportunities for the young mothers. If there is no family support help young women with group homes until they can get on their feet.
    Explain the long term consequences of adoption on both mother and child.
    Have a liberal revocation policy for a mother to change her mind.
    When all of this is done and a woman places a child for adoption, only then is it truly her choice.

  44. "To me adoption is the worst thing in the world. I wish I felt differently, but I don't"

    I appreciate that you made clear this is only your own view.

    That said, I can't help but feel like someone who is presumably living in a developed nation, is literate, has access to information on the internet with a press of a button, and isn't living with the daily threat of physical or sexual violence, an infant mortality rate of more than one in ten, epidemic disease, war, or genocide but still claims to be dealing with "the worst thing in the world" is in serious need of some perspective.

    I don't deny that adoption loss is excruciatingly painful. Of course it is.

    But the worst thing? That seems a little self-indulgent and melodramatic. Many people around the globe have much more difficult lives than those of us who are privileged (absolutely including myself in that) can even imagine.

  45. Zan, to take the harshest position:

    What could be worse, but death? And if adoption results in death, what can feel worse?

  46. Zan, well said and I agree. Adoption has been excruciatingly painful for many of us, adoptees and mothers, me included. But is is by no means "the worst thing in the world". Any of us can say it is the "worst thing that happened to me." But there are objectively worse things happening to people all over the world every day, as Zan has said. Get some perspective.

    It is not denial and it does not diminish the real pain of adoption to notice this. Every painful, difficult, unfair and flawed thing does not have to be "the worst" to be bad and in need of change.

  47. @ Barbara: I did not mean to be dismissive of most teen mothers raising their children,among which I am sure there are many honor students and fine young women, just the sort who would go on this show. This is a self-selected group putting themselves out there for money and their 15 minutes of fame, not your average young mom.

  48. RE: Zan
    "I don't deny that adoption loss is excruciatingly painful. Of course it is.

    But the worst thing? That seems a little self-indulgent and melodramatic. Many people around the globe have much more difficult lives than those of us who are privileged (absolutely including myself in that) can even imagine."

    Thanks for coming here and telling a woman her pain is not important.

  49. Zan said,

    "But the worst thing? That seems a little self-indulgent and melodramatic. Many people around the globe have much more difficult lives than those of us who are privileged (absolutely including myself in that) can even imagine."

    Would you say that to a mother that lost a child to death...at any age? would you say that to a child that lost a mother to death at any age? I think not. Because its cruel and dismissive. Why is it ok to say it regarding adoption? Unless of course its a method of putting adoptees in their place...the little children they are....no matter what their age and the fact that the adoptees feelings are soooo threatening to the moms...I guess its a means to keep them quiet so the mothers ...both kinds...can get on with their healing.

    Take adoption out of the picture and react like that to anyone esle that is suffering something. Cancer? Hey, really you think this is the worst? You coud be living in anther country and have no access to health care...really your being melodramtic and self indulgant. Really? you just found your husband with the tart next door and you think thats the worst?? shut up...it could be worse...even if you still have to feed the kids and maintain the finances...suck it up.

    I find your comment to really be obnoxious and holier then thou....don't like hearing someone say that adoption..being adopted or losing a baby to adoption is the worst....to bad...to react to it is self indulant and meldramatic. An bad attempt at minimizing and maybe trying to protect yourself?

  50. Mary ann,

    so what if they are not honor students they still have their baby and can go on with lfe and still get an education..will they be at the top of their class maybe not...but their family will be intact. Her child will not have lost a whole family and the family won't have lost a very important part of their family.

    Success stories do happen....I know of a situaion where the mother had her son at the age of 17. Was it difficult? YES......did she go one and be at the top of her class...no....but she still has her son who is now going in to his second year at a good college. Should i ask her if HER college education was more important then him? I think she would say no. I also know of another case where a woman got prgnat at 20...one night stand...her parents supported her because they understood that you don'tgive family members away unless its the last resort and a college education does not count in my book. Their daughter...DID go one and finish college..no she was not an honor student but she does a fine job of caring the the poor children in foster care thatreally do have abusive situaions and her daughter is also in college and doing well. Another family kept intact with good results. Was it easy for anyof them ...no...but agin lets ask both the child and mother if it would have been better if the child was given to another family..I think they would both say no! IF...an adoption agency got their hands on this woman and tried to convince her thatshe would be mother of the year if she just gave her baby up...her and her daughters life would have been very differnt with a lot of pain and confusion.

    In both of these cases..and i know more....the interst of the child was with their non honor student mothers...hey they could have got an honor student adoptive mother is that better? Don't think so.

  51. Zan, you're absolutely right that adoption is far being the worst thing that can happen. As a firstmom, my daughter is alive, well, and happy and for that I'm thankful. My friend, on the other hand, lost her kept child in a tragic car accident; another had a stillborn. The list goes on and on. Read the paper, listen to the news, and one will see tragedies far greater than adoption.

  52. To the Anon who believes dead mothers are just as good for their children as mothers who relinquish.

    You are entitled to your opinion of course, but I doubt if many adopted people would agree with you.
    Living mothers can search and be searched for. They can supply invaluable first family information and support the fight for open records and the restoration of OBCs to adult adoptees. They can also, by telling their stories, oppose coercive practices in adoption. Dead mothers can't do any of those things, but if you think they are unimportant, that's your problem, not mine.

    " My baby would have to be pried from my cold dead hands "
    If that happened, the baby would probably be adopted anyway. It's also unlikely that anyone in that situation would gain a sense of comfort and reassurance from the knowledge that their mother died in order to prevent them being adopted.
    In fact they would probably grow up feeling guilty about such an act of pointless martyrdom.

  53. Zan said,

    "But the worst thing? That seems a little self-indulgent and melodramatic. Many people around the globe have much more difficult lives than those of us who are privileged (absolutely including myself in that) can even imagine."

    That comment is absolutely not helpful to someone in pain. It smacks of "Finish your vegetables, dear, there are starving people in Africa." Resist the urge to rap people's knuckles and to set yourself up as being "rational" and emotion-free, a paragon of rhetoric.

    People in pain use hyperbole, or perhaps they even feel something that you don't. What does it matter to you? There are ways to disagree politely without calling people self-indulgent and melodramatic, effectively casting aspersion on them. Wow.

  54. "Many people around the globe have much more difficult lives than those of us who are privileged (absolutely including myself in that) can even imagine."

    True, that.

    But you don't need to -remind- us of that. We are well aware that for some people, adoption is NOT the "worst thing" that can happen to anyone.

    However, that also doesn't mean you can use it as a dismissal. Many of us are aware that adoption isn't the worst thing in the world that can happen to anyone - starvation, cancer, disease, having your famiy killed, poverty, etc - but you don't see us going "Oh, well, all those things suck, but there's always someone else worse off than you."

    There is always someone who is worse off than the someone who says "Adoption is bad/adoption is the worst thing to ever happen [to me]."

    But the way that someone feels about adoption is just as valid as the someone who is worse off. And just because that other someone didn't deal with adoption doesn't make the adoption-related someone any less valid in their experience.

    This isn't the Oppression Olympics.

  55. [But the worst thing? That seems a little self-indulgent and melodramatic. Many people around the globe have much more difficult lives than those of us who are privileged (absolutely including myself in that) can even imagine."]

    To elaborate, I can understand what Zan was trying to say - adoption for some people is not traumatic, therefore, to say it is the "worst thing" in the world seems ridiculous when one thinks about poverty, cancer, disease, etc.

    However, when one's immediate response is to say "Adoption may have been a terrible experience for you, but just think about all the worse things that are happening to other people", you're invalidating those who say adoption is painful by comparing it to other situations, and by implication, saying adoption really *can't* have been that bad because others have it worse.

    And that's not fair, either. Yes, there are people whose adoption experience don't compare with those who watched a loved one die, or those who are presently dealing with cancer, or those who are living in a 3rd world nation in poverty that many of us can scarcely imagine.

    Their pain of being "the worst" is valid, yes.

    And so is one's experience of adoption being "the worst." Your attempt to point out that it is not, in fact, "the worst" is actually part of the problem: making them suppress their own pain by pointing out about how adoption is in comparison to "real" tragedy.

  56. Every culture that I can think of has regarded the loss of a child as, if not the worst, among the worse things that can happen. God gave Abraham the ultimate test by asking him to kill his son. God himself made the ultimate sacrifice by giving up his only begotten son "For God so loved the world ..."

    I lost my right eye to cancer. This is nothing compared to losing my daughter to adoption. Being blinded would be easier.

  57. "God gave Abraham the ultimate test by asking him to kill his son. God himself made the ultimate sacrifice by giving up his only begotten son "For God so loved the world ..." "

    Guys sacrificing guys.

  58. This blog is about adoption and the pain that it causes for both first parents and adoptees. How did this post devolve into a discussion of "What is the worst thing that can happen to a human being in life?"

    This blog addresses all of the UNNECESSARY adoptions and the fact that so many are still taking place. This particular post really has nothing to do with living in a war zone, losing a loved one in an accident, being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or any of the other terrible things that we all know can happen in life.

    Oh, and for the record, Brandon and Teresa did say on the show that they originally had only wanted a closed adoption.

  59. I believe I used the word "excruciating" to describe adoption in that post, so I'm hardly saying it's not traumatic. And I wouldn't have made a comparison about the pain had it not already been made by the original statement.

    If the person had said, "Adoption is the worst thing in my life," or "Adoption is the worst thing that ever happened to me," I wouldn't have even commented on it. Those statements seem perfectly reasonable.

    If the person had even said, "Adoption is one of the worst things in the world," I wouldn't have quibbled with it.

    The thing I felt I had to respond to is the "in the world" part. Because that isn't a statement about one's own pain - that's a comparison to everybody else's, and a claim that one's own struggles are the most significant.

    Adoption reform has to be about more than just preaching to the choir, because the choir doesn't have the power to change the laws. If those calling for adoption reform appear to be out of touch with reality, those calls will be tuned out.

    Reality is that there's a lot of pain in the world, adoption-related and otherwise. And yes, there are a lot of people facing daily violence and lacking their basic needs. We don't always have to talk about that when someone is hurting... but if someone is insisting that their own problems are bigger than that, then I think we do have a perspective problem, and I will stand by that.

  60. HAS ANYBODY NOTICED THAT CATELYNN has gained 30 or 40 pounds during this period since she gave up her baby? Usually a weight gain like that is indicative of emotional problems. She is a young woman. That kind of weight gain is not a marker of an emotionally healthy individual. Maybe in ten years she will end up on The Biggest Loser talking about the issue that led to the weight gain--giving up her baby. Will Tyler be there to hold her hand? Wait and see.

  61. Zan wrote"Adoption reform has to be about more than just preaching to the choir, because the choir doesn't have the power to change the laws. If those calling for adoption reform appear to be out of touch with reality, those calls will be tuned out."

    Exactly! Just try telling most people that adoption is the worst thing in the world, and more painful than death or disease, that it is better to be dead than adopted, and see how much sympathy for our cause that garners. That is out of touch with reality, and turns people off rather than inspiring sympathy and support.

    Adoption is not analogous with death. It is can be extremely painful, traumatic, it is often unfair, it is often corrupt. But where there is life there is hope, and most of us (although not all) have the good fortune to find the person we seek alive and well. That is not something to be dismissed as worthless, even when the relationship we wish for does not develop.

  62. I'd like to see those who preach to others about how to describe their pain spend their time instead on changing laws so that mothers have the time and information to make informed decisions about whether to give their children away.

    These savvy folks should package the message and deliver it to law makers who need to hear it instead of chiding wounded mothers.

  63. Thanks for the advice, Jane. I actually have written to legislators about adoption issues a number of times in the past, and have been working on a letter to the editor to submit on the subject of revocation of consent.

    Believe it or not, something doesn't have to be the "worst thing in the world" to be a genuine source of harm worth fighting against.

    I'm no longer confident about my decision to be part of that, though. If adoption as the worst thing in the world is a crucial article of faith, and any expression of pain is above questioning, then we really don't see eye to eye and I have nothing to offer here.

    As someone entirely outside the triad except for a close relationship to an adoptee, perhaps this just isn't my battle. I'm starting to realize that it's something I'll never truly get, so I'm going to leave it to those who do. There will never be a shortage of worthy causes to give my energy to.

    My eyes have been opened a lot with these comments, in some positive as well as negative ways, so thanks for the education, and I mean that sincerely.

    I apologize for intruding into your space, and I wish you best of luck in changing the laws.

  64. "Adoption is not analogous with death."

    No, but adoption can be like a spiritual death, and therefore, not seen as "valid" in terms of pain or grief.

  65. Well said, Jane. The person posting here was not talking about reform or writing a letter to a legislator. There is no need to tailor opinions here to please an audience imagined by Zan et al.

  66. Jane, were you speaking to me about doing something to change laws rather than "telling wounded mothers how to feel"? That's ironic, since I was speaking out publicly about adoption reform, going to demonstrations, writing to legislators, all those things, when you were still deeply in the closet. I was there with Lo in the 70s, she knows.

    Also my "wounded mother" credentials are in good order if you read my poetry and early writings. Been there, done that, felt as shitty as any other mom who gave up a child. And yes, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me, but I have led a very fortunate life for the most part. I have known people who endured things I cannot begin to imagine surviving. I do not feel it diminishes my very real pain for it not to be thought the worst thing that could happen to a person.

    I see we have lost a potential ally in Zan, just what she and I were saying. Nice work, folks. This is a public space, not a private support group or therapy session, and people from the general public read here to learn about adoption as well as those directly affected.I do not think recent comments would make most people want to get more involved in supporting our cause.

    It is not about telling anyone how to feel; but about how those feelings are publicly expressed. For you to say as a cancer survivor and first mother that giving up your child felt worse to you than losing an eye is an expression of your personal feeling and should not be criticized. For anyone to state "adoption is the worst thing in the world" or that adoption is worse than cancer as a general statement, on the other hand,gets into a very different realm of expression that goes beyond personal feeling.

  67. To Ms. Marginalia who said that people in pain use hyperbole.
    How are those on the receiving end expected to know that? It's not always easy to be sure if people mean what they say.

    "Or perhaps they feel something that you don't"
    Perhaps they do, but perhaps they are just trying to make you feel guilty so that you will go along with their way of thinking.

  68. Please re read my post about adoption being the worst thing. I'm just one person, expressing my feelings. I never claimed anything different.

    There is no reason that I have heard that can make me understand why a woman "had" to give up her baby. You can tell me you were forced all day long, and I won't believe it.

    All I know is that I was left alone, and it wasn't my doing. I'm sorry that hurts people, it hurts me too.

    Whenever someone say "adoption isn't so bad" it hurts me. Because it IS so bad. I lost my entire family when I was 5 days old. I'm damaged.

    I'm sure mothers were damaged too, but it wasn't their babies who damaged them.

  69. Betty: Of what receiving end are you speaking?

    Anon who wrote, initially, "To me adoption is the worst thing in the world. I wish I felt differently, but I don't."

    It was Anon's opinion, and hers alone. She wrote, very explicitly, "To me." I don't have a problem with people having their own opinions and expressing them. I take Anon at Anon's word. Why wouldn't I?

    Zan and others seemed to get their feathers ruffled and want to argue that it was needlessly hyperbolic to say that adoption is the worst pain the world. I refuse to enter such a worthless discussion; I hate fake Pain Olympics. Anon's pain is Anon's pain. I don't live in his/her body. I am a nurse. I take people's word for what their pain is, and I do not scold them. When a woman in early labor comes in and tells me her pain is 10/10, I don't tell her, "Oh, honey, you have no idea what you're talking about! It could be soooo much worse. Your pain is more like 1/10. You're still smiling." I. Don't. Know. Her. Or. Her. Pain. Maybe this is the WORST pain she's ever felt.

    I become frustrated, moreover, regarding adoption when people tell others that their pain, while there, is due to something else, or not all that bad, and to buck up. This is done quite frequently to adoptees and first mothers who, according to some, aren't "evolved" enough. I knew it was only a matter of time before that coterie pulled the "You need to stick to the facts because we should all be working towards getting OBCs, and this looks bad/gets us nowhere/is annoying, so shut up" card. They don't get to dictate terms. What's it to them? I find it weird that they spend so much time "correcting" others.

    And as for Anon feeling something that someone else didn't/doesn't, what does guilt have to do with anything? I don't see where/how Anon was trying to make anyone feel guilty. It was an opinion. We all have them, and often they're different. It doesn't matter.

    Now *Zan* pulled the guilt card out: we meanies have scared her away. She did ALL that work for us, but we couldn't play "nicely" and now we've ruined it. Seriously? I laugh; what a tired old nag of a narrative! If she is committed to adoptee rights, why stomp off over someone's opinion? If legislators read this blog, great! It shows a variety of experiences. We don't all have to sound like office workers and be guarded. Life is messy.

    1. Well said, Ms Marginilla you have nailed it down thoroughly!!


  70. Anon 6:51 said:"No, but adoption can be like a spiritual death, and therefore, not seen as "valid" in terms of pain or grief."

    Actual death is not the only thing that is "valid in terms of pain and grief", it is just the most permanent. Life is full of loss, and loss causes grief. Everyone feels grief differently and for different losses.

    Ambiguous losses like adoption are sometimes not acknowledged, but that is certainly not always true.
    I do think there is more understanding of the pain of losses other than death today than there was years ago, and this is a good thing.

    The grief and loss of adoption are absolutely real, like the pain of divorce, of losing one's home, one's career, of being shut out by a child you have raised as well as by a surrendered child. The loss of one's childhood to abuse is another terrible source of grief and trauma. The loss of years, job, family and friends to addiction is another.

    But "spiritual deaths" of this sort, to continue the religious metaphor, still have the possibility of "spiritual resurrection" or at least recovery, if a lot of emotional work is done with support and love.

    There is much to be said for metaphor and telling our stories, "Mythos" in the way that the term was used in ancient societies, working with but not opposed to "logos" or logical thinking, science, and strict literalism. In this sense "myth" was not something untrue,not a pejorative term, but something illustrating a greater and timeless truth. We do need our myths but also need to be clear about how they are expressed.

    If you are at all interested in pursuing these ideas, read Karen Armstrong's "A Short History of Myth". It gave me much to think about.

  71. To "Sarah" (July 18, 2012 4:41 PM)

    I, too, have noticed Catelynn's tremendous weight game and I believe it is evidence that she is desperately unhappy about having given up her daughter. As I posted earlier, I am a mother by adoption and, obviously, not "anti-adoption", but I think Catelynn was not a good candidate to give her baby up. I think also Tyler could not really love Catelynn to have prodded her to give their baby up, which is why I think their wedding will be followed by a divorce a couple of years later. Poor Catelynn is going to wake up in five or ten years and realize she was used by MTV and ill-served by the boy/man who supposedly loved her. I am raising my son to know that if he gets a girl pregnant, he's marrying her. I don't want my son to break anyone's heart the way poor Catelynn's heart has been broken. (Again, I am not anti-adoption; I'm just opposed to adoption when the birthmother is cajoled into it.)

  72. Ms. Marginalia, you asked me what I meant by the receiving end. I will tell you.
    "This blog is a place where first/birth/natural/real mothers can share news and opinions. And vent".
    So by the ''receiving end" I mean the first mothers this blog by, and for whom, this blog was originally created.

    You said "Anon who wrote, initially, "To me adoption is the worst thing in the world. I wish I felt differently, but I don't." It was Anon's opinion, and hers alone. She wrote, very explicitly, "To me." I don't have a problem with people having their own opinions and expressing them. I take Anon at Anon's word. Why wouldn't I? "

    Anon - or another Anon - also said that she and her mother were destroyed by adoption. I don't doubt that. I take her at her word too. Many people have been destroyed by adoption, and others have been almost destroyed but managed to come to terms with their losses and reconstruct their lives in a positive way. But another comment, possibly from a different Anon, says "If you weren't (destroyed by adoption) then in my eyes you are a birthmother. I can't help how I feel". That's is an ugly pointed barb. Maybe this person can't help how she feels, but even if so it doesn't excuse the way she says it, ESPECIALLY on a first mother blog. I think she CAN help how she says it, and that "I can't help how I feel" is a cheap attempt to avoid responsibility for her words.

    And by the way, I am not talking about Zan or anything Zan said. I'm talking about those adoptees who come here and feel free to make insulting comments about first mothers which can only add to the guilt most of them already feel and have had to deal with for years. Some of these commentators are quite remorseless. They don't even try to distinguish between one set of situations and another. They don't even believe there can be differences in people's circumstances. Like this, where Anon says "I cannot believe that there can be any real reason for a woman to give up her infant, short of her death. . . . Anyone who *chooses this option* destroys their soul, and the soul of their child, forever and ever." Obviously the only option someone like this would consider is for the mother to kill herself rather than surrender. Then there's the implication that the choice to relinquish is always made freely and without external influence, which it rarely, if ever, is. There is even a comment that seems to be saying that mothers who relinquish might just as well be dead. This kind of talk is O.K with you?

    I also don't know what you mean by "the coterie?" As you said yourself, people have different opinions, and, in my opinion, opinions DO matter. I think they must matter to you too, otherwise you would not have wasted your time by responding to my comment. And guilt DOES have a lot to do with relinquishment and adoption. Too many mothers have been guilted into unnecessarily relinquishing their children, by society, by social workers who threaten a life of suffering and poverty for both the mother and the child if the mother doesn't relinquish, sometimes there have even been threats of suicide by hysterical mothers if the "secret" of their daughters' pregnancies ever comes out. Then there is the guilt of having abandoned your child, voluntarily or otherwise, at a time when he or she needed you most - considered by many to be the most "unnatural" thing a woman could do, something which even today can brand a woman as a monster of indifference. First mothers don't have to passively accept being pelted with guilt turds just because some people "can't help what they feel".

    I also think some women try to guilt their reunited children into compliance because they are not responsive enough to their needs, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

  73. [Actual death is not the only thing that is "valid in terms of pain and grief", it is just the most permanent]

    And most recognized, because it's the most permanent.

    [The grief and loss of adoption are absolutely real, like the pain of divorce, of losing one's home, one's career, of being shut out by a child you have raised as well as by a surrendered child.]

    Divorce is seen as painful. Losing one's home is seen as painful. Losing one's career is seen as painful.

    But adoption? Nuh-uh. In adoption the response is "There are always worse things in life" or "Adoption can't really be *that* bad."

    A spiritual death is not "real" death as in "the person's life has ended."

    But in some eyes, that does, in fact, mean a spiritual death is not or cannot be as painful as a "real" death that is equally as valid.

  74. People who experience divorce, loss of a job, loss of a career, loss of a home etc.are often told that "there are worse things in life." This is a common response and not unique to adoption. As a matter of fact, there are those who would argue that children of divorce suffer more than children of adoption.r

  75. Betty: I am not going to get into a discussion in general of how adoptees treat first mothers. I thought you were engaging me in my involvement with the Zan comment regarding ONE adoptee, it turns out, saying that adoption was the worst thing in the world, for HER--not even mentioning her mother. I was defending her right to say that she felt that way. If you disagree, that's your business.

    I am very well aware of the guilt element involved with adoption; I did not see it in the comment I engaged in, and I will not go there with you.

    If you don't know to what I was referring by "the coterie," then you are blessed.

    I will not apologize for other people's words or behavior. I am responsible only for my own words and actions. I find it odd that you seem to wish to pick a fight with me, since I said none of the things you quoted. I have not insulted mothers. Good day.

  76. Anon 12:57 PM quoted:
    Anonymous said...

    [Actual death is not the only thing that is "valid in terms of pain and grief", it is just the most permanent]

    Actually I said that, and signed it. Not anon. Some people are insensitive to others about any kind of loss that is not a death, but not all. As another commenter said, it is not only adoption loss that is sometimes minimized and dismissed, but other losses such as divorce, loss of job, home, etc.

    For the most part people in my life have been most sympathetic about the loss of my oldest son to adoption and the grief I have suffered, and very supportive and joyful about our reunion. Some of them are even adoptive parents.

    Yes, some people are assholes about adoption loss, but not everyone, and some can be made to understand a situation they never really thought about before. I do think that part of it is how you present yourself and your story; stick to "I" messages, rather than talking about "all" adoptees or mothers, don't make sweeping generalizations, and don't be self-pitying or attack the person you are trying to get to understand your pain and loss.

    Tell your story as many mothers' stories were told in "The Girls Who Went Away" thanks to the insightful interviewing and editing of Ann Fessler. The story speaks for itself, and many who hear it will come to understand.

  77. So now Catelynn has gained tons of weight because of her unresolved feelings about adoption? Project your own issues on her much? Here's a thought, most people gain weight once they're on birth control. Or, I don't know, the camera adds weight. No, it's just easier to psychoanalyze someone you never met but have seen very limited and EDITED amounts of their life on TV.

  78. @Ms. Marginalia: There have been some clearly cruel statements made here about all mothers who surrender by some adoptees. Not your fault if you were not the one making the statements, but you certainly have been an apologist for those who did. Betty has just pointed that out.

    You are clearly not ok with others expressing opinions that do not agree with yours, so don't be so judgmental about some people's objections to mother bashing. Nobody has said anyone is not "evolved" enough, and several people have repeatedly stated that anyone's personal expression of pain is fine, but generalizing about everyone and all adoptions is not.

    Your analogy about the lady in labor and her pain does not work, this is a written forum, not a clinic where suffering people are crying out for pain relief. People here do have the opportunity to think about and edit what they say, knowing anyone in the world can read it.

  79. Ms. Marginalia, you wrote "I am very well aware of the guilt element involved with adoption; I did not see it in the comment I engaged in,"

    As far as the guilt element is concerned, even if you didn't realize it before, you must surely be aware by now that the comment you engaged in was written by the same person who said "If you weren't (destroyed by adoption) then in my eyes you are a birthmother. I can't help how I feel."
    Another comment by this person includes this unequivocal statment, "Anyone who chooses this option (gives up her infant) destroys their soul, and the soul of their child, forever and ever."
    That comment in particular was clearly written with the intention of making first mothers feel guilty. Of course you may disagree with me about that, or you may excuse it of the grounds that as long as she feels it, she is entitled to say it, regardless of how her words are going to affect others. Perhaps you even agree with her. I don't know,

    Contrary to what you seem to think, I did not ask you to apologize for someone else's words or behavior nor do I expect you to.
    However, I do think it is insensitive to defend a person who makes hurtful remarks aimed at first mothers on a first mother blog. It's just piling it on. You can't even let first mothers make their own objections to nasty comments in their own place?

    As far as I'm concerned, this discussion between us is at an end. Good day to you too.

  80. The camera did not suddenly add 30 or 40 pounds to Catelynn's body, she did. Birth control pills do not make you blow up like that. Maybe she gained weight for reasons other than her emotional state; maybe she has a glandular problem she did not have before. But she is saying that giving up her baby has been difficult, she is going to Bethany support groups, she is encouraging other girls to give up their babies. Does all of this sound like a happy emotional time?
    I'm just saying while she is a shill for Bethany, the girl has blown up.

  81. Speaking of cruel comments, there were some awfully nasty ones directed at Lorraine and other first mothers over at Face Book on a site called Adoption Truth and Transparency, and finally the administrator took down the whole post with the 140 plus comments. Maybe some of that meanness drifted over here.

  82. Antidepressants often make people gain weight. Maybe Catelynn is on antidepressants. I know I had to take them after I gave up my son She certainly doesn't look like she's ready to get up and dance like most people her age do. I just hope she gets through this It's not easy At least she doesn't have to stare at every baby/kid she sees who is the same age as her baby and wonder if that's her kid like I did Small comfort

  83. Ms. Marginalia wrote"...so much time correcting others."

    I find it acceptable to correct anyone who maligns a whole group of people. I defend anyone's right to say anything they want about their own mother or other relative, even if it is really nasty, or to state their personal feeling about their own life no matter how angry or bleak. But so much of what is said on adoption blogs regularly goes beyond that, and tars all mothers, adoptive parents, or adoptees with the same brush. That kind of speech does deserve to be corrected, and will be, because it insults and misrepresents others.

    One may have an opinion that all mothers who surrender are heartless bitches, but expressing such an opinion publicly is asking for it to be refuted, no matter who says it, and no, pain is not an excuse for hateful generalizations.

  84. Jane and I let the vitriolic discussion go on here because the comments were directed at first mothers in general, not anyone of us specifically. Certainly Jane and I would be included in the group that would be heartless women that at least one Anonymous was talking about.

    Some comments were amazing in their condemnation of nearly all first mothers. It is instructive to see how some people view others in the adoption triad, no matter how offensive it might seem, or how offensive it actually is. The mothers who wrote back seemed to be handling the firestorm well, and responding, and I thank them for taking on one or more who hide behing "Anonymous." They are like schoolyard bullies yelling invectives at someone just because they can. Here the bullies get to hide behind "anonymous."

    Perhaps one of them is the same person who did attack me personally (actually there was more than one, including another first mother) at Facebook last week. I am, and have been, a target but mostly it has been for adoptive parents and family-law attorneys who specialize in adoption. I take their attacks with pride, while being attacked by adoptees, and other birth mothers, is rather new.

    Life goes on. The bullies retreat. The issues are instructive. Feelings are sharp. Adoption is a many-sided sword, cuts deep, hurts many, leaves angry red scars.


    We welcome comments from all, and appreciate letting us know how you relate to adoption when you leave your first comment.

  86. To Rolling My Eyes July 20, 2012 12:07 AM --

    Anyone who gains 30 or 40 pounds from using birth control needs a new gynecologist. That kind of weight gain on a young woman is almost certinaly cause by comfort eating. I am not "projecting"; I'm just using common sense in asserting that Catelynn's weight is a symptom -- and, now, an additional cause -- of her unhappiness.

  87. Lorraine, you wrote "Jane and I let the vitriolic discussion go on here because the comments were directed at first mothers in general, not anyone of us specifically."

    No words.

  88. Yep, Betty, I did because it is instructive to learn what some people think when they can speak anonymously. The comments seemed to bounce off me; I did not feel threatened the way I did when I have picked up the phone and had someone yell at me, as I have had, or received angry letters in the mail, as I did after Birthmark was published.

    The comments were coming, it appeared, not from aps, but an adoptee who is angry beyond belief about her life. First mothers responded. You and Maryanne nailed it and whomever she was appears to be gone, and drifted off, or maybe she is still stalking FMF. I hope she learned something.

    I certainly did. Perhaps someone from Bethany will find the comments, or prospective adoptive parents who want a child, no matter how, no matter who. And reconsider.

  89. On the topic of poor Caitlin and her weight gain, a combination of baby weight, post-partum depression and the wrong anti-depressant can do that. It happened to me years ago, sad to see they are not treating these things better now. Bethany is an especially horrid agency, pity any mother who gets involved with them.

  90. Lorraine, it is also instructive to see how long it took before anyone called Anon on her virulent and stigmatizing generalizations. If things had continued the way they were going, the only message anyone would have gotten is that first mothers are patsies for abuse.
    Negative stereotyping of whole groups is always unacceptable, and in my opinion, as blog owners, you and Jane ought to have intervened earlier, when the comments were first being made.
    But thank you for doing so at last, and for acknowledging my own and Marianne's contributions. I do share your hope that some Bethany person or unscrupulous PAP will find this discussion and re-examine their attitudes as a result.

  91. I'm an adoptee and I'm very familiar with adoption issues.
    I feel you give Catelynn and Tyler way too much sympathy. They basically sold their baby. You do know that the teens on those MTV reality shows get paid big bucks right?


    "From there the Star magazine sources get a little more vague. “Catelynn Lowell and (baby daddy) Tyler Baltierra have enough money to buy both of their mom’s cars,” a source says, “and Tyler paid for his sister to get a boob job.”

    The teens on that show make between 60-75 grand a year along with all the other MTV perks like gift certificates and other things. Catelynn and Tyler also work with Bethany who probably also pays them big bucks.

    Their combined income between the MTV show and the Bethany gig is probably over 6 figures. They probably make more money than Carly's adoptive parents. They basically just sold their baby for MTV fame and $$$$.

    I don't buy their melodramatic crap boo hoo we miss our baby crap. Tyler could have just married Catelynn and enlisted in the military and Uncle Sam would have provided him with enough to live on and also a place for his wife and newborn to live. They also would have had the benefit of getting far away from their crazy families.

    Tyler didn't want to man up and took the easy way out by coercing Catelynn to put Carly up for adoption. He will stay with the miserable girl until the MTV gig gravy train leaves the station then he will probably dump her.

    I'm glad Catelynn got fat. Now she has far less of a coercive effect on teen girls about putting their babies up for adoption. Teenage girls tend to avoid fat girls and see them as being toxic and Catelynn definitely is toxic, especially to pregnant teens.

    As an adoptee if my situation was like Carly's and Tyler and Catelynn were my type of bio parents and my birth and adoption was on some trashy MTV show and I grew up and became an adult I don't think I would want anything to do with them. I definitely would want to watch all the old TV shows about my adoption drama out of morbid curiosity.

    But I would not be happy about the fact that my bio parents were still together...that my birth father didn't man up enough to keep me...that my adoption was exploited by some trashy MTV show...that my birth parents got paid big bucks by MTV... that my birth mother was so thrilled about putting me up for adoption that she got a gig with an adoption agency to get other mothers to do the same...that my adoptive parents were so desperate for any baby from any one that they went on that god awful TV show.

    I wouldn't want any thing but medical information from my bio parents if I was in Carly's shoes as an adult. Their pathetic groveling and declarations of love wouldn't even phase me because they had the choice of getting their crap together and raising me but instead gave me away to some desperate infertile couple on some sleazy T.V. show and got paid big bucks to do it. Then my birth mother worked as a pimp for the agency that got paid big bucks for selling me to my adoptive parents. I would just feel very exploited and used like a pawn.

    As an adoptee I look at things from that perspective of the triad. I don't have any sympathy for Tyler and Catelynn like the birth/first mothers on here do.

  92. Wow, Jill, that is disgusting! I knew they got paid but had no idea how much. I have to admit were I an adoptee I would be very upset if they were my parents, and as a mother who surrendered can't really identify with them at all.

    I do hope no teenagers consider Caitlin and Tyler role models of any sort, because they are not. Saying it again, turn off the TV and ignore these crass people and their sordid story.

  93. Jill and Maryanne, I agree that it's downright sinister to be enticing babies from their mothers for cash. However, on website it says that:

    "On the high side, 'Jenelle gets paid $75,000 a year and her mom gets paid $65,000: she calls her an overpaid babysitter,' a source tells Star of the unemployed reality star. 'She also gets a lot of gift cards to places like The Olive Garden from MTV as a bonus payment.'"

    Didn't Jenelle keep her baby?

    From CELEBS:

    "It isn't clear if new boyfriend, Kieffer Delp, will be moving in with her or not, but it certainly wouldn't surprise fans if he did! The Teen Mom went back to Kieffer after her arrest and inevitable break-up with Gary Head. Although she and Kieffer have had a tumultuous relationship, Jenelle claims that he has "changed" and even her mom approves (hard to believe, but stranger things have happened!).

    "Jenelle Evans has been doing such a good job, though, that her mother has agreed to have Jenelle stop paying child support. The Teen Mom was dishing out a mere $120 a month, which isn't exactly enough to support a child for a month, but at least she was contributing! On top of that, she has been spending more time with Jace and likely more money on him as well.

    "While house-hunting, it is likely that Jenelle will have Jace in mind. The little boy already has a room of his own at his momma's house and hopefully he will at her new place as well!"

  94. Thanks Fluffy, that went right by me since I do not watch the show. Evidently they are paying for family preservation in Janelle's case, as well as adoption in Caitlin's. It is all about the drama, cheap thrills, and contrast, it seems, rather than pushing adoption over raising the child. The rotten apple of course is Bethany's involvement in the adoption aspect, but that may backfire on them unless they can offer all their pregnant moms the sweet financial deal Caitlin and Tyler got.

    Reality shows with "real" people rather than actors spring up like weeds and flourish because they are much cheaper than paying for professional union scale actors, a finished script etc. The big money those kids are getting is just peanuts in the entertainment industry, and what will they do to support themselves once the show runs its course? And believe me, they are "scripted" in that the characters are chosen and manipulated and footage used selected for a desired effect the producers have already decided upon. They are not documentaries where the camera just rolls whatever happens. It is all ugly and appeals to the baser nature of participants and viewers.

  95. Wow, Jill, that was a chilling comment. I have also questioned why if Catelynn and Tyler are getting paid they didn't just use the money to support their daughter. And I have hated the fact that they used Carly as the poster child for adoption without her knowledge or consent. Catelynn and Tyler wanted to continue to post pictures of Carly as she grows up but Teresa and Brandon nixed that idea. At least someone has some common sense that Carly does not need to have her whole adopted life happen in front of the cameras.

    The only thing I disagree with, Jill, is that I think Tyler was only 16 when Carly was born and therefore too young to enlist in the military.

    Overall, the whole Catelynn and Tyler story truly scares me. They are painting such a positive yet unrealistic picture of adoption. I can see a young, vulnerable expectant mother thinking, yeah, adoption would work. I could give my child a 'better' life and still have regular contact. Never realizing that most open adoptions end up closing.

    And what about how Carly feels about all of this? Catelynn and Tyler seem so sure that Carly will want to be back in their lives when she turns 18. Yet, as we hear from so many first mothers that can hardly be guaranteed. Plus Carly has the added issues that her natural parents made her story public and made money off of it. And then encouraged other first parents to give up their children as well. If this had been my story it would have been a dealbreaker for any possibility of reunion.

    Btw, I missed the beginning of their season and didn't realize it was Tyler who was pushing adoption. Yuck! I know his father and April's mother were deadset against it.

  96. Bottom line these shows appeal to young teens who get pregnant. I don't understand getting pregnant nowadays.
    Plenty of choices in birth control. So different when I got pregnant. Condoms were avaiable but young boys had to go and ask at drug store. Which they didn't do they were intimated or embarrassed. Nothing compared to what we moms went through in every aspect of being pregnant.

    They glamorized pregnancy by being a "star" on these shows. I have watched a few to actually see what they audience is being fed. Adoption seems to be the solution.
    These young parents are going to regret what was done to their baby and them. Winners are those who got to raise Carly.
    I would have done anything to raise my baby. Including selling my soul to devil. Oh, yeah I sold my soul to the devil with my mother as my accomplice.

  97. Given the way these shows work the reason Caitlin and Tyler did not use the money to keep their child is that the show specifically recruited them for the role of couple giving up a child. It is not just random people who get on these shows. They are chosen to fit a slot already there, so when the casting call went out they were looking for someone who already was thinking about giving up the baby, as well as someone keeping theirs, and bunch of other specific situations and personalities to make the show varied and exciting, and to give viewers various types to love and hate.

    It looks like it worked, judging from comments from people who watch the show. All they want is ratings.

  98. Re: Catelynn and Tyler's healthly income from MTV.

    A recent episode shows them living in a trailer park - why can't they find a nice apartment or house to rent (or even buy) with their income? But hey, birth mother living in a trailer fits right in with adoption propaganda! Carly in a big fancy house with the adopters, natural family as ne'er do wells in a trailer park. Classic. (No, I'm not denigrating people who live in trailer parks).

    On another recent episode, Catelynn and her grandmother attended a support group run by Bethany. Adoption pusher Dawn said "all of you are my heroes." I wish she would come to this blog and try that line on us!

  99. First, I want to thank everyone for keeping this site alive! I've been totally busy taking my life back and haven't had that extra neuron with which to comment. I won't be able to comment much in the near future because I'm so bogged down and, also, I've been having an issue with my hand. Drat! It's always something!

    Wow! If Catelynn and Tyler aren't the perfect example of 2 VICTIMS who don't know they've been victimized - as victims don't - that's why they're victims. Noone chooses to be a victim. Poor Catelynn and Tyler are sitting idly by while someone else is living out Catelynn's and Tyler's lives and dreaming their dreams! They're amputees! Adoption is a very incestuous animal!

    The repercussions of their trauma will only continue to get worse as they age and realize how they were, indeed, hoodwinked into giving their child away. In addition, both of them may never conceive other children. Even if they do birth other children, we all know that a new child will never, ever, replace the lost child! Of course, the saddest part is: Life is short! And life is not about jobs, cars, toys, and possessions.

    I could see the anger of the very capable, young, natural parents, Catelynn and Tyler, festering as the years trudge by slowly, and sorrowfully. I envision them, eventually, joining our "adoption healing-the-aftermath" community as we attempt to de-glamorize and de-glorifiy the adoption industry in the United States of America. I definitely foresee domestic adoption banned in the United States eventually like it has been banned in the savvy Netherlands - just like slavery was abolished. It's too bad that Americans, as a whole, don't have a better self-esteem and self-worth - the world is laughing at us!!!

  100. The girls on "16 & Pregnant" do not get any money to be on the show. The girls who agreed to continue to have their lives documented for Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, and Teen Mom 3 are paid, like most reality TV shows. I highly doubt Catelynn and Tyler make more money than Carly's parents. But that doesn't fit into the narrative of hating on them.

    I haven't noticed Catelynn gaining a lot of weight. She looks the same as she did when she was first on 16 & Pregnant after she gave birth. But it's good to know some people are so fair minded to call her fat. I guess this site only supports the first/birth/natural mothers who agree with their world view. Everyone else is the enemy and deserves to be called names, apparently.

  101. Athena,

    Looks like firstmothers is allowing you your opinion.
    Try going to adopter.com and spouting off a different view like you have here.

    Incidentally, even mother's here don't see adoption the same way although we have all lost babies,don't paint us
    all with a broad brush.


  102. Anonymous,

    "Looks like firstmothers is allowing you your opinion."

    They allow comments like mine to appear to be fair and balanced when in fact all of their posts having to do with anyone disagreeing or having a different opinion about adoption is vitriolic at best.

    "Incidentally, even mother's here don't see adoption the same way although we have all lost babies,don't paint us
    all with a broad brush."

    How is pointing out that I think it's wrong to "name call" by calling Catelynn fat (as one comment put it, "I'm glad she got fat.") painting all first/birth/natural mothers with a broad brush? You are really reaching there. It's also extremely fatphobic and sick.

    Incidentally, I'm a first mother. I gave up my baby almost 20 years ago. And because I've never regretted it and still think it was the right choice for me and my child, I'm called names on this site by the very women who should have some freaking compassion for me! I'm brainwashed, drunk with Kool-Aid, insulted, just like Catelynn. No, it hasn't been easy and I have dealt with a lot of grief, but because I don't believe that adoption is absolutely evil I'm ridiculed.



    1. We all have our opinions Athena you came here stated Yours and then turned around and complained, I merely pointed out to you that you couldn't do that on adopter .com. Period
      If you are happy so be it. You of course were raped but the baby was still your baby. That's
      a hard one although I do know a few moms that were raped and found their adult children. If you don't want to that is your business.
      I too had a baby at a young age was able to keep her with help. My only daughter had four sons right after her.
      Cattily has gained weight and my bet it is because of adoption trauma. I myself carried extra weight after finding my son I shed 60 the following summer.

  103. Catelynn and Tyler do get paid by MTV and the Bethany adoption agency. They just bought a new house with the money they earned being adoption pimps.


    "Catelynn and Tyler have been hard at work renovating their new home that the recently bought together. The couple is turning it into a beautiful home of their dreams. I have to say they have great taste and the place is looking fabulous!"

    If you read comments on that article you can see that a lot of people find it offensive that they are making so much money being adoption pushers.

  104. Athena, we do not try to be "fair and balanced" in our posts. We leave that up to Fox News.

    We give our opinions, strongly worded and strongly opposed to the vast number of adoptions today.

    We have no way of verifying that you are a natural mother. We do allow a pretty free-ranging discussion here (such as your opinion)--so much so that we often hear that some people will not comment here.

    If you think our posts are full of vitriol (I don't), that is your opinion. "Vitriolic at best"? What's worse?

    As for Catelynn's weight, she was always a little chunky, but that new picture indicates a considerable weight gain after she gave up the baby. The comments about her weight, incidentally, came from comments, not the post itself. Personally, I do think the picture with the blog that was released by the program speaks for itself.

    We find it odd that since you have "never regretted" giving up your baby and think it was the right thing for her, that you spend time here. Most of us first mothers regret our decision, and most of us who have found our children do not find people who were glad they were adopted, despite obvious differences in social status and financial wealth. However, we agree that if that is how you feel--that you have no regrets, that it was best for your child--you are undoubtredly right. Certainly there are circumstances where giving up a child is the best solution.

    In general, we do welcome hearing from all sides of the adoption spectrum, but we are finding it increasingly pointless to publish comments that are no more than nasty.

  105. Lorraine,

    After reading this blog and the comments for the last two years I wouldn't feel safe sharing my story because I would jut be ridiculed and insulted.

    But tell me, what is a 15 year old victim of a brutal rape supposed to do if she is impregnated from that rape and doesn't believe in abortion for religious reasons?

  106. As I said, Athena, you must have done the right thing for yourself and your child because that is what you feel. Without major family support or from social services, it would be nearly impossible for a 15-year-old to keep a child and raise him/her. We get it. Remember, we gave up our babies too when we felt we had no choice.

    We know none of this is easy. I am sorry for the grief you have known.

  107. While adoption is likely the best answer for a 15 year old pregnant from rape who opposes abortion and has no family support, it doesn't mean it is without pain.

    After I reunited with my surrendered daughter, I joined several adoption-related support groups. I was surprised to meet birth mothers who, although they had become pregnant through rape, grieved for their lost children and searched for them.

    Such was the case for film maker Sheila Ganz. She found her daughter but her daughter refused contact for many years. I saw Sheila about seven years ago and she was excited to tell me that her daughter had finally agreed to meet her and it went very well. Sheila showed me pictures of the two of them.

  108. Lorraine and Jane,

    Thank you for your kind responses.

  109. Rape is one situation where I would have wanted an abortion. If I had to carry the child of a rapist I do not think I could raise them, and might not want to ever meet them, especially a male child. That has to complicate things terribly. For the child's sake it is good that some mothers can overcome their trauma and relate to them, but not everyone can do that. I am thankful I never had to. I am in favor of the morning-after pill being available to all rape victims.

  110. sigh.....I feel so much compassion for the poor child concieved in rape. Rape is horrible but the baby born is not the rapist!! They are inncent chidlren that came into this world in a violent way. This adoptee derserves to know their beginnings and history just like any other human. How aweful for them that they are considered a monster right off the bat.

    Its another situion where a human being is just seen as a symbol. The rapist is the villian here not the innocent child.

    Do i understand the need to place for adoption...yes...but to equite the child with the rape is misplaced and cruel for the person concieved.

  111. Reading this feels so odd. I gave a baby up for adoption thru Bethany and working with Dawn Baker. This was shortly after Catlyn gave up Carley. I had a good reason for adoption and STAND behind my decision today. But could not figure out why Dawn showed them a adoption book from another state? There were many families in our (Catlynn and my area) waiting on children for long periods of time! Bethany seems to push people who have money and "donate" to Bethany and puts them on the show everyone their book they made. I think they would be much closer with Carley if she lived in Michigan! And why did they adopt again from Michigan? If Dawn was there it was another Michigan baby. I find Dawn pushy and in the business of getting people babies, which is great but she is also in the business of if you have money, we will get you one faster! As for Caitlynn and Tyler, I wish them the best. It's a hard scary choice and the what if's no longer matter. As for the new brothers birth mother? I pray she wasn't perswaded to give him up because of Caitlynn fame. I will keep them all in my prayers!

  112. Thanks, Anon. I'm sure the money angle was of all importance to Dawn and Bethany.

    I'm also thinking that another reason Dawn presented Tyler and Catelynn with a couple living over 1000 miles away is that T & C agreed to a semi-open adoption. (They didn't know about fully open adoptions.) Adoption practitioners often recommend that PAPS try to find expectant mothers who live far away so that the PAPS can keep control of the relationship. Unless the mother is rich (unlikely), she won't be able to afford visiting more than once or twice a year. And she won't be driving around the neighborhood or standing in a school yard hoping to catch a glimpse of her lost child.

    I also note that Catelynn's labor was induced, likely arranged by Dawn to give B & T time to get there for the birth. Inducing labor may extend the time in labor causing a mother more pain and creates greater risk for mother and child.

    Dawn obviously manipulated the circumstances around the adoption to meet the desires of Brandon and Teresa, at the same time convincing the gullible teenagers that she was doing them a favor.

    In other words, "he who pays the piper calls the tune."

  113. Catelynn's labor was induced? It gets sicker and sicker.

  114. Catelynn called Teresa and told her when she was going to be induced, giving Teresa and Brandon a week or so to get to Michigan from North Carolina.

    If Catelynn had let nature take its course, T & B would likely have arrived after the baby was born. Catelynn would have had to take Carly home or she would have gone into foster care until T & B arrived.

    Delay would have increased the odds that Catelynn would change her mind. Having T & B at the hospital, ready for the "hand-off", added to the pressure to surrender Carly.



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