The Teen Mom Effect

A friend at work got me hooked on Teen Mom, the tv show on MTV that follows the challenges and rewards of being a young mother. A.K.A. the spin-off of 16 and Pregnant. Even though there are tons of reasons to be cynical about people who go on reality shows, I am impressed with the women who share their stories on this show.

The two I followed the closest this past season were Catelynn and Tyler who gave up their daughter for adoption. In Season 2, we watched the young couple form a very close relationship with the adoptive parents. All four play with their daughter on the playground and pose for pictures together as a family. Watching it, I felt both emotional and a bit confused. I wondered at the strength of both couples. The separation between my parents and my birth family is all I know, but it’s also the only way I’m most comfortable. When I finally made contact with my birth family I was extremely protective of my parents. I really wasn’t concerned with myself. I was more concerned about my mom and dad. I still am.

While I was watching Catelynn and Tyler from one perspective, a friend of mine watched them from an entirely different one. She watched the couple with interest as a woman waiting to be a grandmother. She shared the story of her daughter and son-in-law with me, and theirs is a story of patience and faith. I also learned how different adoption laws are in each state, and how every adoption agency is not the same. I have a lot to learn…

Getting back to teen moms… before I contacted my birth family, I did wonder how my birth mother turned out. She was 16 when she had me. I wondered if she had moved on. I wondered how she had moved on. And now, I wonder if she had watched 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, would things be different?


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