By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
It's been six years since Catelynn and Tyler were pregnant with Carly and found Brandon and Teresa to adopt her, and much has changed in their lives. During this week's "Teen Mom OG" episode, we see the then-expecting longtime couple meet with Carly's parents and realize that their past decisions will present uknown challenges with Novalee Reign on the way.
Back when the young couple first decided on an open adoption plan, they weren't really sure what to expect, much like many people who choose adoption. Unlike closed adoptions, open adoption allows the biological parents to have some contact with their child and exchange photos and updates with the adoptive parents. For many biological parents who choose open adoption, this could mean more peace of mind as they're able to see their child grow.
But there are pros and cons to both kinds of adoption, and as Catelynn and Tyler are experiencing, what seems like the best decision early on may make things a bit more difficult in the future. For one, they're dealing with the fact that while Carly is biologically their child, Brandon and Teresa are the ones who get to decide what's best for her. And if that means no exposure on TV or social media, for example, Catelynn and Tyler will need to understand that.
The two couples are certainly on the right track: They have a wonderful, open and honest relationship, and they can all talk about the emotions associated with adoption, like loss, worries, grief and insecurity.
What Catelynn and Tyler's choice has illustrated, along with all of the parents of "Teen Mom OG," is that once there's an unplanned pregnancy, there is no easy decision. Whether you choose to make an adoption plan like they did, raise a child or terminate a pregnancy, every road ahead is difficult. If you're not ready to make a tough choice, it's important to prevent a pregnancy in the first place by either not having sex or using a reliable form of contraception every time you do have sex.
Bedsider.org has great resources for all of the birth control methods available. And for more on adoption, check out childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption. Plus be sure to tune into "Teen Mom OG" every Monday night at 10/9c.