'Teen Mom' Stars Under Fire After Welcoming Second Daughter


Photo by Tyler Baltierra/Instagram

The decision to place a child in an adoptive home is one that no parent takes lightly. In 2009, MTV reality stars Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra made their very personal adoption journey public when they let the network document their open adoption process on the shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. At the time, Lowell and Baltierra decided they weren’t equipped to raise a child, so they coordinated with an agency to place their daughter, Carly, in an adoptive family.

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On January 1, Lowell and Baltierra, now both 22, welcomed a second daughter, Nova Reign, whom they have decided to raise on their own. “Having her here feels unreal but actually taking her home feels even more unreal. I actually get to be happy about leaving the hospital,” Baltierra tweeted. “Crying happy tears instead of sad ones feels AMAZING! I don’t have to be heartbroken this time #EmotionalDaddy #DontMindMe.”

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But despite what should be a heartwarming story, it seems some people are questioning the couple’s decision. On January 3, Baltierra addressed those naysayers: “So sick of the ignorance in the world. Just because you place a child for adoption doesn’t mean your not allowed to have another #GetReal,” he tweeted.

Messages of support flooded in. @rcjhAdGrad wrote: “Amen! I’m adopted. My [birth mother] had 3 other daughters she kept. I’m not mad. I’m happy for them. I love them. It’s ok to be happy!” Another wrote: “my [birth mother] had 11 kids with my birth father. I was the 3rd and only one she gave up. Happy to have my adopted and birth family.”

Adam Pertman, President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and author of Adoption Nation, says no one should weigh in on another couple’s decision regarding whether or not to raise a child. “Absent some reason to believe the child would be in danger in some way, how dare anyone question whether this couple is able to parent their child,” he tells Yahoo Parenting. “Adoption is an excruciating decision people make under extraordinary circumstances.”

And while those circumstances can change, which might have made Lowell and Baltierra feel more equipped to raise a child all these years later, that’s not even the point, Pertman says. “Even if their circumstances didn’t change, people’s minds change, their understanding of their decisions change, and that’s something no one can feel but them,”  he says. “If we think they made a decision on their own that was positive for their first child, then they are probably capable of making good new decisions, too.”

Pertman says it is not uncommon for families who put one child up for adoption to choose to raise future children. “People sometimes place children for adoption and then have other children,” he says. “People sometimes have a child then place another one later for adoption. It’s very difficult — and that’s putting it mildly — for the people involved, and it’s not fodder for outsiders to weigh in and judge their behavior.”

For now, Lowell and Baltierra are simply enjoying their new addition. As Lowell tweeted to her newborn on January 2: “You are already my world… I love you so much you have already changed me in so many ways.”