OK, I have a little confession to make: I watched every episode of “16 and Pregnant” repeatedly and now I’m obsessed with the spinoff show, “Teen Mom.” I admire these teens for being much stronger than I could be as a 20-something. (Although I can’t say they’re smarter. Condoms? Hello?) Anyway, I really enjoyed Catelynn and Tyler’s segment of “16 and Pregnant” because they were the only couple that chose to give their baby up for adoption. I cried for them when they struggled with the decision and its aftermath, but when I watch “Teen Mom” I wonder why they’re on the show at all. The program has forced them to become obsessed with baby Carly, even though she’s not in their care. Both Tyler and Catelynn have tattoos of her name, and they continue to think of themselves as parents. They’re not parents. They chose other people to play those roles. And while I think this was a good decision, I don’t think dwelling on the fact that Carly isn’t with them is emotionally healthy, especially since her adoptive parents can cut all ties and disappear whenever they want.
Maybe I’m being insensitive here. I’ve never been in this situation and hope that I never will be. But sometimes, while Catelynn and Tyler interact, I get the feeling that their obsession is the only bond holding them together. They continue to struggle with not being able to know their baby, and their parents continue to say they “threw away” their kid. They don’t need a constant in-your-face reminder of the decision! I hope MTV is providing these kids with some counseling (and a college fund) to go along with the exploitation.