By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Catelynn and Tyler were incredibly disappointed when they learned Carly wouldn't be attending the "Teen Mom OG" reunion, and it's easy to see why: It must be difficult for them to be surrounded by the other cast members' children but not be able to see Carly. Still, while the decision to outline an adoption plan for their baby girl was a tremendous sacrifice they'll always feel, the two know in their hearts that it was the best choice for her. And, throughout their journey, they've helped viewers of all ages better understand adoption and done an excellent job of speaking publicly about their decision.
Ever since their "16 and Pregnant" episode, Catelynn and Tyler have been showing what adoption can look like and educating people along the way -- so it's no wonder they're asked to make appearances on shows like "The Doctors." It's important to them to change the tone of the conversation about adoption -- by being good role models, talking honestly about the process, clearing up misconceptions and using positive terms when talking about it. For example, when the host on "The Doctors" talked about "giving a baby up for adoption," Catelynn and Tyler were quick to remind her, and the audience, that birth parents don't just "give up" a child. Birth parents make a conscious choice to have the child placed with a family that is better prepared for parenthood, giving the child a better chance at a good life. It's an extremely difficult decision that shows exactly how much a birth parent cares for a child -- so much so that they recognize they can't give that child what he or she needs.
We hope Catelynn and Tyler continue to speak out and educate others on adoption and unplanned pregnancy. After all, once there's an unplanned pregnancy, all roads ahead are tough. Whether you choose adoption, termination or parenthood, none of it is easy. That's why it's so important to use a reliable form of birth control (or don't have sex at all) if you're not ready to make that kind of decision. For more on birth control, check out Bedsider.org. And for all kinds of resources about adoption, visit ichooseadoption.org.