' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Tyler Baltierra's adoption regrets

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tyler Baltierra's adoption regrets

"This whole adoption thing was supposed to be a lot different in my opinion," said an angry Tyler Baltierra on MTV's Teen Mom OG (Original Girls) aired Tuesday night. He had just posted a video on Fan.com of the daughter he and his girlfriend Catelynn Lowell relinquished for adoption five years earlier, named Carly. Catelynn cautioned Tyler that Carly's adoptive parents had warned them not to post pictures of Carly. "What happens if they get mad and say you're not going to see her any more?" she asked. Then, if she were talking to someone considering giving up a child, she added, "You have to make sure you pick the right people for you."

Tyler exploded: "That's a huge thing--if any pregnant woman is watching this, pick the right couple and make sure you go over everything."

Watching Tyler, it was clear that his romance with adoption has unravelled. He was taking his frustrations out on Brandon and Teresa Davis, Carly's adoptive parents, but we expect that he will soon realize that the real culprit is adoption itself.

Later when Tyler and Catelyn told Tyler's mother about the possibility that Brandon and Teresa would cut off contact, Tyler's mother said "I think it's just the reality of being told what you can and what you can't do."

Tyler responded:  "Especially when you feel inside that you have the right to do it." That is, post pictures of his child.

Catelynn laid out the ugly truth: "The thing is we don't have the right to do it. We signed everything away. We don't have any rights at all."

In this episode, filmed last year, Catelynn is pregnant with the couple's second daughter. This impending birth raises more doubts about adoption. Catelynn and Tyler talk about how much happier this pregnancy is than Catelynn's first--when they were planning to give up their baby. When Catelynn and Tyler go shopping for baby paraphernalia, they are joyful that they can keep the goods rather than wrapping them up and sending them off, as they do with Carly's presents--and hope she is given them.

During this episode Catelynn and Tyler also discuss the impact that Carly's adoption may have on their second daughter, Novalee, born January 1. They caution each other that they need be careful not to treat Novalee as a replacement for Carly. They discuss how they will explain to Novalee about her adopted-out sister. They do not talk about how they will explain to Carly that they kept her sister, but gave her away.

We assume the answer will be because we were too young to keep you, Carly, but wonder whether Dawn, the oh-so helpful social worker from Bethany Christian Services, or anyone will help Carly understand. Dawn, incidentally came to their shower for Novalee.

This episode also featured Amber and Maci, two teens who gave birth about the same time as Catelynn, and kept their babies. Their children are adorable five years old, just beginning kindergarten. Both Amber and Maci face conflicts. Amber became addicted to drugs and lost custody of her daughter to her daughter's father. Maci fights with her son's father's about his irregular visits with their son. Their problems, though are resolvable. Amber no longer uses drugs and has written a memoir, Never Too Late. She is able to visit her daughter. Maci is getting counseling to improve her relationship with her son's father.

Catelynn and Tyler have also written a book, Conquering ChaosCatelynn went on a book tour with Amber which included a stop on the Dr. Drew show. According to a review on Amazon, the book..."is an incredible look at two young people who beat the odds and used their victories to give hope to others." Anyone watching Teen Mom OG could see that while they may have conquered the chaos of a teen pregnancy, they have inherited sorrow in its place.

We have been critical of Catelynn and Tyler not because they gave their baby up for adoption, but for their pubic and unwavering support of adoption after, even as Catelynn openly grieved. She let some of her distress out in their appearances on television, including on a creepy series about couples who needed therapy to stay together. Although they grieved publicly for their lost daughter, even appearing on the cover of People, Catelynn and Tyler became ambassadors for adoption. They visited high schools and at least one college on behalf of Bethany, telling vulnerable teens that if they became pregnant, adoption was the way to go. Catelynn even aspired to come an adoption counselor for Bethany. We recognize, though, that it often takes years for those who relinquish a child to grasp the enormity of the loss.

Incidentally, these two young people did not proceed with the plans for education as they said they intended--when they gave up their daughter; then, they talked about college. Instead, they became reality stars, a platform they are still riding six years later. But it will end, and they will go about their lives, without their daughter. and possibly without the education they gave her up in order to get. Both are twenty-two now, the age at which most finish college.

We'd like to tell Tyler and other young people out there considering adoption that selecting the right adoptive parents is not the solution. No adoptive parents could meet your expectations because if they did, they would not be parents, but guardians. Bethany may have presented adoption in a way that made Catelynn and Tyler feel they would still be involved, in order to make adoption appealing to them. It's just a likely that Catelynn and Tyler didn't realize how involved they would want to be, and how terrible it would feel to be cut out of their daughter's life. No one can prepare a mother for the feeling of giving up a child when every timbre of your being tells you to keep and love that child.

To often adoption is presented to young people as a way that allows them to go school, have a career--all the time the child is being raised by an affluent couple. Yet the mother-to-be imagines that she will remain involved, even in making decisions for her child--because the people she met before giving birth were oh so nice and talked in a way that stated or implied a natural mother's involvement. It sounded like a win-win for all. But as Catelynn noted, the truth is that a mother loses all rights. She vanquishes parenting when she signs the relinquishment papers. Open adoption--even if the adoptive parents keep their word--cannot make up for the loss--of the child, of the right to have any say-so-- and there is some research showing that for the short term, open adoption is even harder on the natural/birth mother that closed adoption.

Recently "Tina"--likely an adoptive parent or an adoption industry worker--commented on an earlier FMF post** dispelling the myth about open adoption:
"When you SURRENDER your baby out of desperate need and eternal love, you must also surrender to the trust that he/she will be loved and taken care of, as you would hope. You CANNOT expect adoptive parents to simply be 'glorified guardians' or to be a 'co-parent' yourself.
...If you don't like the adoption plan or arrangement, then somehow RAISE THE CHILD YOURSELF or find family members to raise the child." 
FMF hopes that pregnant women will heed this admonition. No amount of pre-screening prospective adoptive parents will guarantee anyone finds the "right" couple. Adoptive parents may find that "sharing" parenting doesn't work for them, once they have the child. We have heard many stories of prospective adoptive parents who promise the moon, but shut down soon after the adoption is finalized. Even if the adoptive parents keep their word in every respect, first parents still suffer an inconsolable loss. In order to give your child the life you want her to have, you have to do it yourself.--jane
For a later post see: Catelynn and Tyler face reality
Watch the episode:
Teen Mom OG
'Teen Mom OG' Stars Catelynn and Tyler Clash with Carly's Adoptive Parents
The Fan Page.

From FMF
**When an agency promises 'semi-open' adoption, look elsewhere
Catelyn and Tyler's Open Adoption Closing?
(Pro) Adoption Special: Dr. Drew encourages teen moms to give up their babies

Conquering Chaos
encourages giving up a child, from what we can tell on Amazon. As one reviewer asked: "Did they go to college?" Uh, no. They have become shills for adoption. It's rather sick. Lorraine says she almost feels like getting the book to see what they say....Click on the link to read to go Amazon.


  1. I can only feel sadness for Catelynn and Tyler. Sadness that they, too, have to now know the pain of adoption. I know Tyler has been quite vocal in the past about how "great" he thought adoption was, and how "wonderful" things had worked out. I think they just ran out of KoolAid and the fog suddenly cleared. Welcome to the lifelong painful path of adoption. We're here for you.

  2. The fog wears off... sooner than I thought for these two; since just a few short years ago they were touting adoption as THE solution to an unplanned pregnancy anywhere and everywhere they could.

    It will wear off even more in the coming months and years, they can be rest assured. The adopters will continue to cool to them and declare their ownership over Tyler and Caitlynn's daughter when they feel more and more threatened. They should feel threatened. Carly is not their daughter and they know it. They played a 'part' to finagle a child away from her parents and are now showing their true colors. Most do. It does not take long for this to come to light.

    And to adoptoraptor or baby broker "Tina", sorry to break it to you; you are just "glorified guardians". You don't want pesky natural famlies around proving that point to you. You are jealous, possessive and greedy. Nothing more, nothing less. Imagine yourself in the shoes of a natural parent who watches her child call some genetic stranger mommy. Can't imagine it, can ya? Of course you can't because it isn't natural. Many times a young woman and/ or couple makes a decision based on lies, coersion and fraud. Most often than not, they realize what a horrible mistake they have made and call the industry, adoptive parents and adoption itself out on its lies and hypocrisy. That is where folks like you come in, stalking natural parent blogs and the like to put us in "our place". Ain't happening, lady. It's over. The game as it has been played for decades is over and you are being found out. Thanks to the amighty internet above!

    "Finding the right adoptive parents", said Tyler. Unfortunately, they all look good on paper and in person, at first. It's only after the fact do you realize they were never "right" and never will be. Being used as an incubator broodmare for your flesh and blood, then tossed out to the wolves to suffer is as low as humanity gets. Nothing about that will EVER be right.

    ...If you don't like the adoption plan or arrangement, then somehow RAISE THE CHILD YOURSELF or find family members to raise the child."

  3. found on a discussion page talking bout all things 16 and Pregnant OG:
    I know Catelynn and Tyler have made plenty of money touring around the country doing speaking engagements and promoting Bethany Christian Services.

    If anyone's interested there's an interesting short reading here about the large percentage of open adoptions that eventually close (perhaps up to 80% of them) and Bethany in particular- http://www.firstmoth...-for-birth.html.

    I think T&C are damn lucky B&T haven't closed the adoption. They are either good people who care for T&C and think its important for Carly to get an opportunity to know them or they realize they're the public faces of open adoptions (on the adoptive parent side). Maybe they fear closing the adoption might cause some girls & women considering open adoptions for their babies to rethink adoption. (Cause we know if they closed the adoption, we'd never hear the end of it from Tyler.)

    I have to wonder how a Christian organization feels about their spokespeople getting pregnant again while not married and not having finished any of the things they probably claimed in speaking engagements they were going to be able to do "for Carly" (college, etc) since they placed her for adoption. Having the second child at 22 when they haven't finished anything except high school (which I give them credit for & I'm not sure they would have done without the pressure from TM; I think they may have been first generation high school grads on at least some sides of their families) and are unmarried. I can't imagine that a Christian adoption agency that targets married, middle to upper class Christian couples appreciates or is particularly pleased that their two sweetheart spokespeople have had a baby out of wedlock on purpose.

    I wonder if getting pregnant with Nova cut down on some of the speaking engagements, etc that they do for money with Bethany. And if so, I wonder if that plays into the anger Tyler feels about the whole adoption situation. Maybe he's also upset with himself for not only pressuring Cate into the adoption but also the role he's played in influencing other young parents to place their babies for open adoptions only to find out they really aren't as open as they'd been led to believe by Bethany.

    1. I think it may be more a matter of being concerned that if they closed the adoption, Tyler would post about it to his "millions of fans" and B&T would receive hate mail or have venom spewed at them for doing such a thing. I am sure when they adopted Carly, they had no idea that this program would turn into a cash cow that the people on would milk for this long a period of time. B&T do not seem like famewhore type people at all. They probably would much rather live a quiet life with their adopted daughter. Teresa even said in the episode that people stop and question them while out shopping. Imagine what people might say to them if they closed the adoption entirely? Unfortunately they are in a bind.

  4. I think we ought to hold off on thinking that Tyler is rethinking adoption--he may have his grumbles, but his Facebook back still lists him as a "Public Speaker at Bethany Christian Services." Maybe he hasn't changed it yet, but that is what it says....

    Personally, I find him naive and cast in the spotlight too soon.

  5. Is adoption a civil "right"?

    Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Florida House approved a bill (HB 7111) that allows adoption agencies to cite a "moral objection" in refusing to adopt to gay couples. (How an agency can have morals is another question, but something or someone has to have them;
    morality is one highly-flexible concept. Since Citizens United, and corporations being people, anything is possible.) What struck me in the coverage about this adoption agency "right" was a
    quote from one of its opponents, Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) who, in labeling the
    bill as state-sanctioned discrimination of gays, linked the right for gays to adopt to the lunch counter sit-ins during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Here's the money quote from Richardson, the first openly gay member of the Florida Legislature:

    "If you're open to the public, you're open to the public. . . . If the lunch counter's open, it's open for everyone."

    Fine. Yes, by all means, reduce women at their most vulnerable to a lunch counter, and compare infant humans to grilled cheese sandwiches. Pure supply and demand: "I have a right to that baby, so make it snappy. Oh, could you make that 'to go'? I'm on my lunch break."

    Speaking of lunch counters and food, Richardson's comment reminded me of a distasteful
    comment I heard during an office discussion some years ago. Several of us were discussing abortion rights, and this young and newly-engaged woman was against them. Was her objection one of morality? No, no, no. She had no moral objections to a woman's right to abortion (this was well past Roe v. Wade), it was a matter of . . . supply and demand. What if she couldn't have children? She would need to adopt, and so it should be her "right" to adopt. A child, a baby, should be available to her should she require one.

    (Not to worry. She did marry. She did give birth to two children with her husband. And then her
    husband met Someone Else, asked for a divorce, married the Someone Else, and moved
    thousands of miles away, so for the most part, she had her children all to herself. Then he had
    two children with his new, Someone-Else wife.)

    Again, here was this expressed "right" of adoption: this woman's right to a child should trump the right of other women to have abortions. In other words, her right to obtain her idea of happiness (a child) should force another woman to go through a pregnancy and give birth, just so that she can provide a child for someone else. In many cases, that is the equivalent of great unhappiness.

    What about all these "rights"? Are we trampling over one another to get what's ours? To Rep. David Richardson of Florida, vulnerable women relinquishing their children are apparently chopped liver; their babies are grilled cheese sandwiches. Commodities.

    The Florida adoption agencies should have the "right" to their religious convictions (how does an agency have a conviction, much less a religion? Citizens United.)

    And with all the outrage over, let's face it, an overt attempt in Florida at legal discrimination of
    homosexual couples on the heels of Indiana's attempt at much the same thing, I haven't seen outrage over this mercantilist view of vulnerable women and infants. Like produce (served in the sandwiches at your local lunch counter (this isn't the 1960s, so make that fast food drive-thru), they're just ripe for the picking.

    Something's wrong with all these rights. Where is the balance?

    Here's the link to the story out of Florida, "House Passes Religious Exemption to Block Gay
    Adoptions" and note, the bill has yet to pass the Florida Senate:


    1. I don't think the LGBT community should be singled out as the tipping point. Far more straight people will step up to adopt. Let's not attack who adopts. Let's attack adoptions that are corrupt, coerced, not needed. The lunch counter analogy was unfortunate but I think the guy was saying that if people are going to qualify to adopt, you can't disqualify them on sexual orientation.

      It's true--the public has a very naive view of relinquishment as babies just magically appearing for adoption because that's what the parents agreed to. But it's still a separate issue.

      I liked Lorraine's comment about Tyler B. not being ready for prime time. We don't know what his ultimate feelings will be, or Catelynn's.

    2. Well said Jess!

    3. Adoption should NOT be a RIGHT for anyone. As an adoptee I don't want us used as a platform for someone to fight for THEIR rights and the kids be damned. Lunchcounter huh? Don't people realize this is far different than any other sale and how quickly people will jump on the bandwagon just to be supportive of someones RIGHT to adopt and not realize they are putting the adoptees right under the bus in their quest for their rights. I don't care if an adoptive parent is gay,straight or whatever many still feel they have ownership over the child. To make woman have babies JUST so those babies can get adopted to someone who is demanding rights to another human being is disgusting!

  6. There is no "right to adopt" for anyone, gay or straight, nor should there be. Adoption should only be for those who have been carefully screened and understand that a child is not a blank slate, already has a family and heritage, and that ongoing contact in an open adoption is best for the child. And of course no mothers should be coerced to surrender, that should be a last resort, not the first option. Not everyone is fit to adopt, and too many of the unfit buy their way to a child. Money has to be taken out of adoption.

    That being said, LGBT people who have been shown to be fit parents should be just as able to adopt as straight people. As Jess said, they are not the problem; the corrupt nature of adoption, especially in Florida, a notoriously bad adoption state, is.

    I don't quite get Muggery's outrage at gay adoption nor horror at comparing it to lunch counter sit-ins, another civil rights issue. I could not even tell if Muggery is for or against the Florida religious exemption bill, or if she is just offended by LGBT people in particular being able to adopt. To me her comments were confusing, not especially "well said".

    1. Lunch counter sits are horrible when you are talking the SALE of babies...same reason adoption is abhorent to many of us as adoptees. WE DONT WANT TO BE ADOPTED unless their is a compelling reason to be. AND if thats the case then the child should have totally open records and the parents will need to respect biofamily. We as human beings are being reduced to further a cause, being reduced to being a sale...the product is US!!! And we have no say in how it is done, who we end up with (same ole story, but different with gay adoption becasue they feel they have a RIGHT to us.. because they want to push a gay platform..thats my issue with it all. I think gay people as just as good if not better as parents but to if they want children they better think twice how they get them and think of how the child will feel FIRST. Have seen gay couples dislike the mothers terribly and will shut her out if they can

    2. I've seen heterosexual couples cut out the mother too. It's not simply a gay issue.

    3. The public's view of adoption is not a separate issue, it is the issue: if we're at the point where adoption is approaching a civil "right," then surely it follows that adoption is, as Martha Stewart would declare, a "good thing."

      Adoption is part of reality television programming. People such as Tyler Baliterra become minor and temporary celebrities and play out their adoption dramas for consumption. Some consider that entertainment. And the people involved in the production and distribution of such programming consider it good business.

      On the question of civil rights, it is reasonable to offer Florida Rep. David Richardson's words, as well as the anecdote of a young woman's myopic view of abortion. Doing so is not an attack on Democrats, Floridians, Florida legislators, gays, adopters, accountants, the LGBT community, or young women wanting children. This is an examination of desires and how our culture translates them into rights. As a mercantile society, our lives revolve around commercial transactions, and so do our civil rights.

      Richardson's lunch counter analogy was dehumanizing. It's relevant because it reflects a mindset of viewing vulnerable women as manufacturers and their infants as products and commodities.That his comment has gone publicly unchallenged, as far as I am aware, displays general acceptance of this view. It has been suggested here that Florida's adoption industry is particularly corrupt. Maybe legally eliminating avenues of corruption is a task for a state legislator. His profession is accounting. It simply makes more economic sense for Florida to allow more people to adopt. Florida is all about economics; its DOT has signs along the state's highway borders: "Welcome to Florida, the Sunshine State;" beneath it "Governor Rick Scott;" and beneath that, another, telling contribution: "Open for Business."

      My comment revolved around rights and balance, our culture, and where adoption places in that mix. This is a forum, after all. It's a place for reflection and examination of the topics at hand. Real adoption drama and trauma delivered to your living room for your viewing pleasure and another's bank account, a state legislator effectively comparing women to lunch counters and their infants to grilled cheese sandwiches. . . good grief.

    4. Do you even know that the sit-ins at lunch counters in the US in the 60s by very brave Black women and men were about? I'll cut you a break as you are from the UK, but believe me, it was not about the right to buy a cheese sandwich. It was not about consumerism, it was not about buying ANYTHING. It was about people of color being seen as equal human beings in all ways, able to go anywhere in the US that white people could go, lunch counters, restrooms, the front of the bus, hotels, hospitals, churches etc etc.

      Richardson's analogy, whether apt or not, has nothing to do with viewing human beings as commodities nor about using vulnerable women as manufacturers. I find your take on this one comment especially wrong-headed as Black human beings really WERE viewed as commodities under slavery, and as less than human under some laws after slavery was long gone.I do not know a thing about the man, but am reacting solely to this one analogy, which you have got wrong. By the way don't knock accountants, one of my sons and his wife practice that profession:-)

    5. Wasn't talking about the "public's view of adoption." Was talking about whether--no matter if you like the institution or not, think it should be legal or not, think it should be rare or encouraged--qualifying to adopt (as long as there's adoption) should have anything to do with sexual orientation. And it shouldn't. If it does, then it's discrimination, pure and simple. That is not the same thing as adoption approaching a "civil right." There is no right to adopt.

  7. I am proud to have never watched a reality show on any subject for more time than it takes to switch the channel. I'm not a snob, I love murder mysteries and cartoons, the ugliness of reality TV just does not appeal to me. I know the people who appear on those shows get paid well so I do not feel too bad for Caitlin, Tyler, or any of them, but I wonder how they will feel if they ever grow up about letting themselves and their private lives be used that way? Mostly I feel for the child made the center of a media circus for no good reason. The adoptive parents and the agency are equally at fault for participating. I truly hope nobody watching is stupid enough to be influenced by any of it.

  8. Of course they are stupid enough. People actually look up to Tyler and Catelynn. They probably influenced quite a few adoptions.

    The couple who adopted their daughter also adopted a son. The mother is a protegee of Catelynns. Catelyn was present at the delivery.

    1. I agree with you, In touch reader. Celebrities and reality stars such as Catelynn and Tyler do yield undue influence. To use another unrelated example. Look at what happens when Duchess Kate Middleton wears a new outfit. Her fashion choices usually sell out within hours and have been known to crash websites. I'm not saying that copying a famous person's dress is anywhere near in the same ballpark as giving up a child, but it does illustrate the enormous power of celebrity. Tyler and Catelyn were one of the most popular couples to ever appear on the 16 & pregnant and Teen Mom series. That's why they are still able to make a living and a name for themselves off of giving Carly up for adoption.

      Maryanne, I think you are going to have to concede on this point. These reality shows, despite how silly some people think they are, are watched by millions and are influential. I'm glad FMF is keeping T & C's story alive. What Tyler said about cautioning other first parents to be very careful about who they choose as adoptive parents does clearly imply that he regrets his choice.

    2. Catelynn was at the delivery? That is just double-expletive sick. What the fuck are they doing? If their role has been to encourage adoption--just surely as the movie Juno did--they are the tools of the devil, the one who thinks there isn't an adoption he doesn't like. I am actually sick to read that Catelynn was at the delivery because of course she was telling the girl she was "doing the right thing."

      I'm sorry, any sympathy I had for her has now gone out the window. Their adoption and they themselves are doing a great deal of harm in the world. But there is always karmic kickback but it will be too late for the children sacrificed as well as the mothers who bought into their pernicious attitude and deeds.

    3. Double-expletive sick. I agree.

      But then we shouldn't really be surprised. Reality shows are bad, lazy, low-cost T.V, tailored to cater to and exploit the most basic, least sophisticated tastes. Nothing good comes out of them.

    4. Robin, I concede that I am not in touch with anyone who loves reality shows, let alone is influenced by them, so you may be right. They are popular or they would go away. It just seems incredibly sad that something so phony and shallow could influence a young person to make a life-changing choice based on what they see on those shows,

      However, Princess Kate's outfits are another story...if I were young I would love to look like her and wear what she does if I could afford it. I just wish I had had better fashion role models when in high school....I did think Audrey Hepburn was the most gorgeous thing ever, but had not idea how to emulate that sophisticated look when the main place I shopped was Two Guys! (old cheap NJ department store)

      I agree with Lo on Caitlin encouraging another mother to surrender to the same people,disgusting, and with Julia Emily, I only feel sorry for the poor child all these idiot media whore adults have put in the middle of their mess.

    5. Their goal has always been to encourage adoption.
      From Catelynn's Twitter:
      Hi, I'm Catelynn from Teen Mom. My goal is 2 be an advocate for adoption. Contact us on website 4 speaking engagements and join our fan page!

    6. http://starcasm.net/archives/156658

      But that’s not all! Catelynn has been working closely with Bethany Christian Services, the adoption agency that handled Carly’s adoption, to help provide emotional support and advice to expecting moms considering adoption, and one of the women she was working with was Carly’s little brother’s mom!

  9. I watched this episode too and Tyler did seem to me to be beginning to realize what had happened. I actually think if they continue on this TV show it may be a good thing (if they aren't cut off of it when reality really sets in), because thousands of people who might not otherwise recognize what adoption really does will learn. With any luck, Bethany's PR program will backfire.

  10. Anyone who would take part in a reality show wherein a child is going to be relinquished for adoption should be ashamed of themselves. This is not about the young couple, or the adoptive parents, or Bethany Services....all of whom made gobs of money from this and all the subsequent magazine articles and interviews. This is about the adopted-out child. She will be damaged from this three ring circus far more than she would have been from just being adopted. This is a disgrace, and it is the child that will have to deal with it as she grows into adulthood. She is the only one anybody should feel sorry for.

    1. I couldn't agree more, J.E.

    2. I second what Julia Emily says too. It was cruel and inhumane to make Carly the poster child for adoption without her knowledge or consent.

  11. Dpen, I simply did not take the lunch counter sit-in comparison as demeaning or commodifying of the adoptee as you and Muggery and others did. The sit-ins were not about buying a cheese sandwich or anything else; they were about the right for people of color to occupy the same space as white people in a time when the lie "separate but equal" prevailed in much of the USA. They were asking to be treated like all other citizens, not looking for the right to buy anything. "Colored only" lunch counters already sold those cheese sandwiches if that were what the civil rights struggle was about.

    As for LGBT people adopting, I took it as just asking for a level playing field, that they have the same consideration as heterosexual couples to adopt those children already available for adoption, not that they have preferential treatment, nor that anyone has an intrinsic right to adopt. I find it quite a leap to go from what was actually said by Rep Richardson to comparing adoptees to a cheese sandwich! That was Muggery Pope's take on it, not anything that was implied or stated by Rep Richardson.Plus his comment has nothing to do with the distasteful anecdote that women should not have abortions in order to supply babies for adoption. Ugly and selfish, but not particularly relevant to gays being able to adopt. Abortion is a whole other topic. Muggery's comment was all over the place, and not too clear what she is really for or against.

  12. I was contacted when this show was in the planning stage and they were looking for contestants. I can see why they would reach out to me, but I told them--twice--that I thought the idea for the show as sick, and was not interested in helping them find vulnerable young teens whose idea of stardom would be to exploit their most horrible moments of their lives....but of course, they found the girls in poor communities--am I right? Now sure since I really haven't watched the show more than once. I found it too disgusting, but they do have their fans and they do influence young malleable minds.

  13. Catelynn has said multiple times that girls have explicitly told her that she is the reason they considered/followed through with adoption.

    As previously mentioned, one of those girls relinquished her son to the same couple raising Catelynn and Tyler's daughter. Catelynn was in the delivery room with her and helped her make her ~adoption plan~.

    Here's a photo of them all: http://starcasm.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Brandon-and-Teresa1.jpg

    I can think of some more examples where Catelynn and Tyler influenced others towards adoption, one of them being with a girl who also appeared on 16 & Pregnant. Her name is Ashley Salazar and she's been written about here on FMF as well. She's spoken many times about how watching Catelynn and Tyler on TV gave her the idea to relinquish too.

    Another example also tied to a reality show is with a girl who appeared on "I'm Having Their Baby". I forget her name, but she also relinquished through Bethany Christian Services and she told them that she heard about adoption from Catelynn and Tyler and that she watched them on TV. She also lived in Michigan, not too far away from Catelynn, so Bethany arranged to have her meet Catelynn in person.

    Catelynn does that sort of thing a LOT. Meets up with pregnant girls in her area to promote adoption one on one. There are many scenes of her on Teen Mom over the years at Bethany speaking engagements or "expectant parent support groups". I remember one scene where a young pregnant girl went up to Catelynn at one of those meetings. You could tell she was maybe a little starstruck by her. She asked Catelynn for her number and Catelynn graciously said "yes of course you can! Call me any time. I'd so love to help you with adoption". And this girl was so giddy that Catelynn was happy to give her number out like that.

    Oh yes and let's not forget Paige who also gave up her son because of Catelynn's influence (she has also been written about on FMF). Paige didn't only just get to meet adoption rockstar Catelynn, but she has been featured on many episodes of Teen Mom alongside her!

    Pretty sick how Bethany blatantly uses Catelynn's fame to reel local girls in like that. Even more sick how Catelynn is happy go along with it.

    As someone above mentioned though, at least on the other side of the coin, it's helping to get people to see the negative things about adoption too. Especially with the way things are going on the current season of Teen Mom. I can tell you that Catelynn is absolutely the reason I learned about this blog and am now extremely passionate about adoption reform and family preservation. I found this site back in 2012 when I was doing a Google search about Catelynn and Tyler since I was (and still am lol) a huge fan of Teen Mom. I saw an article about them on here and was very shocked and confused to see the "other side" of the glossy picture that the adoption industry paints to the general public. But now I know the full picture, so thanks Catelynn for indirectly leading me here!

    1. Wow! That is really depressing. The blind leading the gullible over a cliff.

  14. Amber: thank you for your cluing us in here! I did not realize that they had become such shills! for adoption and Bethany, and I wonder when if ever they are going to realize what they are doing. Tyler did find our blog sometime ago, and left us a nasty comment, which we published. But we will go right on criticizing anyone who tells young, vulnerable girls they should give up their babies. I watched one or two episodes of the Couples Therapy show they were on (not sure of name) last summer, and when one of the other participants said outright (Flavor Flave, a rapper) that giving up a baby was not a good thing, Catelynn got teary, but apparently that was a momentary realization.

    At this point it appears that they are so invested in convincing themselves they did the right thing...and getting other girls to give up their babies validates your action. It's pathetic, and though some of our readers wonder why we give them ink, it is precisely to counteract the damage they are doing. Thank you for commenting, and I hope you are not the only one who found FIRST MOTHER FORUM because of them.

    1. Does anyone know if C & T are paid by Bethany. Do they get a commission if the mother-to-be "places" through Bethany? How much do C & T get paid my MTV?

      In one of the last episodes I watched, Tyler's mother tell him to go to college and get a real job. "This MTV ain't it" she said. They seem to be doing well by it, though.

  15. Lorraine:

    I remember the whole fiasco with Tyler and his comment on FMF. He wasn't as honest about his pain with adoption then as he is now. I remember the comment was just full of all the buzz words and adoption propaganda that Bethany has instilled in them.

    And you are correct, the show was called "Couples Therapy". They didn't discuss adoption much on that program, but they do discuss it heavily on Teen Mom. Catelynn has actually shared her pain about adoption many times on the show over the years. But it always seems to be in a politically correct Bethany-approved manner. But she's cried about it more than once on camera, same with Tyler. They do often explain that the pain of not having their daughter is overwhelming, but then they turn around and say "it was for the best, we made a selfless decision" etc etc.

    I agree that they are trying to convince themselves they did the right thing and I think it's a coping mechanism heavily influenced by Bethany, but seems to be losing its effect on Tyler who is becoming more candid and blunt about what he thinks and feels. Meanwhile Catelynn is too terrified to rock the boat at risk of losing access to her daughter. Not that Tyler doesn't share this fear too, he does, it just seems he's come to the point where that fear isn't enough for him to keep his mouth shut anymore.

    I'm also glad Catelynn and Tyler inadvertently led me to your site! I too hope I'm not the only one.


    Bethany pays them for the public speaking events they do. Catelynn and Tyler have said this, but they haven't said the amount.

    Whether they get paid for attending the support groups at Bethany offices, or doing meet & greets and hospital visits with expectant parents, I'm not sure. Those seem pretty abstract and it kind of seems like something Catelynn volunteers to do unpaid. In terms of a commission for any "referrals" that successfully "place", I have no clue

    Catelynn and Tyler have also appeared in an ad campaign for Bethany. They were featured in ad's on TV, radio, bus stops, and magazines. I imagine they were paid for this in some way.

    MTV is their biggest paycheck though. As per their contracts with the network, they can't talk about compensation. But a few years ago their co-star Amber Portwood had to submit documents to the courts outlining her financial circumstances (back when she was having legal troubles). The papers revealed that she was paid $140,000 for filming each season of Teen Mom. The first run of the show was from December 2009 to August 2012 and included four seasons. So that's about $560,000 each just for filming. Tyler would likely have a lower salary as he was not one of the "moms", but still making something substantial as he's a regular part of the show. Their salary for the current Teen Mom re-boot is probably even more than the first run. It's also been reported that they get paid bonuses when ratings do well and are paid for any promotional work for the show. They also received something in the 5 digit range each for appearing on Couple's Therapy. They also probably got a nice pay check for their new book that just came out.

    The episode you're referring to is new, it aired a few weeks ago. I think his mom meant that they can't keep not working and avoiding going to college just because the money is good now. Yes it's a lot and has kept them comfortable in small town Michigan, but they can't bet on reality TV to carry them for the rest of their lives.

    1. Most informative! The money rolls in. I remember the good old days when MTV was all music videos,Cyndi Lauper, Peter Gabriel, Blondie etc etc. much better use of airtime than reality drivel. Amber, do you have a personal connection to adoption, or just took an interest in the subject? Most people not personally affected just move on because it it a pretty depressing subject with no real resolution.

  16. California DreaminApril 15, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    Is Tyler welcome to post here? It seems you're being really aggressive towards him. When he is a victim. Werent many of you guys exactly where Tyler once was? Regurgiating adoption agency approved BS?

    If almost all of you were once where he is today, why would you be so harsh towards him? Don't you think he is going to need the support of this page? And very soon, if not yesterday?

    I think what Catelynn has done will be her eternal shame. She lead girls into the depths of hell, with a smile and a promise of a better life. I can tell in the photo of Brandon, Teresa, Catelynn, Tyler, Carly & the young woman who gave her son to them, that she did so with the hopes & dreams that she, too would be famous. I am excellent at reading people. She had practiced that pose in the mirror. She is probably suicidal that it didn't work out for her as she had planned.

    I am fully supportive of this web site. I link it online all the time and have for at least a year now. So, please don't take my comment about Tyler the wrong way. It is a genuine question.

    I am glad Teen Mom is on TV depicting adoption. I used to not be. But now viewers can see the minute the REAL parents stop playing the role of the sacrificial lambs, who are ever so grateful for any crumbs they've been thrown by the heroic adoptive saviors (sarcasm alert), they will be swiftly cut out of their child's life.

    The good news is Carly will be 18 in about 12 short years!! Then she can see her real mommy and daddy and her real sister whenever she wants. She might even move in with them. I know I would be elated to be free from Teresa and Brandon's grip.

    1. Tyler is most certainly welcome to post here. We'd love to read his comment.

    2. It's true that little Carly will be 18 some day. Knowing that your own parents willingly gave you away, and then kept your sister will be a bitter pill for Carly to swallow. it's not that easy to forgive.

      Not growing up with your family takes a toll on a person. there is so much loss, sometimes it cannot be fixed.

      Infant adoption plays games with children's minds. We have to find a way to survive, and have to do things in our heads in order to cope with what was done to us. Sometimes we become very loyal to our adoptive parents.

      There is no guarantee that there will be a happy outcome to the Catelynn and Carly story.

    3. I don't think it ever can be fixed or will be happy. Adoption=trauma.

    4. Thats good to hear, Jane. I think he could really use the support.

      I see Catelynn as holding back utter RAGE in the most recent visit she had with Brandon & Teresa. I see Tyler are releasing a tiny bit of it. I'd love for them to be honest. But that would cause the adoption to close.

  17. California Dreamin:

    I completely agree with everything you have said. I'm not sure if your comment was directed at me (partially or wholly), but I don't mean to criticize Catelynn or Tyler for what they are doing. When I say things like "Bethany approved adoption propaganda", that's a dig at Bethany. They are the puppet masters and Catelynn and Tyler are the puppets/victims.


    A bit of both. My mom's parents died when she was very young and she was in foster care and "adopted" by a couple she was placed with. And by "adopted" I mean they did not formally adopt her (not sure why not), but she came to call these foster parents "mom" and "dad" and I was raised to call them "grandma" and "grandpa" and my mother referred to them as her "adoptive family". So because of this I have had an interest in adoption and foster care since I was a child.

    I started watching Teen Mom just out of interest. Catelynn's story was my first glimpse of private infant adoption in action. I bawled watching her give up her child, and I bought into the whole "she's so selfless! adoption is a win/win/win situation! wow open adoption is so new and so great!" mindset. I didn't see anything wrong with her adoption situation. I thought it was beautiful. I was moved.

    Then as I mentioned earlier, I stumbled across this website and learned that there was FAR more going on than the glossy front that I saw on TV. I realized that Catelynn was a victim to exactly the adoption industry tactics that are outlined on this site. I was shocked. Disgusted. Outraged. That was about three years ago, and my passion and interest in adoption has only grown.

    Though I have not experienced adoption trauma first hand through either the private or public system, it's something I care a lot about. It all comes back to the issue of family preservation and I have seen my mom be deeply affected by being taken away from her family and culture. She's going to counselling for it to this day. And to a much much less of a degree, I feel my own frustration and sadness about not knowing anyone from my moms side of the family and having that part of my life be a mystery.

    So since I've been exposed to the world of adoption reform and family preservation, the interest I've always had in adoption has grown into a passion. I want to help keep families together. I want to stop the glorified human trafficking called the "adoption industry". I have goals now. I want to be a foster parent and I hope to accomplish this in about three years. I want to support parents and children and do whatever I can to help them stay together. And for the families this unfortunately can not happen for, I hope to adopt through the foster care system (further down the road for this, 5-10 years). I want to set an example for ETHICAL and NECESSARY adoptions. I want to be one less Capobianco exploiting the private adoption system. I want to be one less Hodgin playing legal games with the foster care system. And until then, I'm going to talk. Talk about these issues as much as I can. Educate and inform. I can't thank this website enough for the world it opened me up to, and to Catelynn and Tyler for leading me here!


    1. It was a comment to the page in general.

      I totally know what you mean when you say that! I detest Bethany!!! They are evil.

  18. I have not read all these replies, just popped in to see the latest posts and short on time. But I thank you Julia Emily for bringing up the fact that Carly is being exploited by this whole mess. She is 5 years old and I can remember how it was at that age and on and on with the crap that your peers will throw at you regarding being adopted. Now she will have to contend with having her pictures and story all over the media growing up. What a nightmare.

    I don't watch this show or any reality show except Survivor. Survivor may be scripted to a degree and contestants will be obligated to do interviews and have rules they have to follow but they know what they are getting into when they sign up and are more than willing to do what is required, unlike this poor child who will be haunted by the media more than likely throughout her entire childhood.

  19. I just watched the newest Teen Mom. Teresa said to Catelynn & Tyler, "Biologically she is yours. In every other way SHE IS OURS."

    That screams to me, "SHE IS A POSSESSION AND SHE IS MINE!"

    They even said they dont want Carly to want to have a relationship with her parents when she is an adult. That is scares them. WTF!!!!!




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