For months now, the Internet has been buzzing with the news that someone was going to get pregnant on Switched at Birth. As the summer premiere got closer, no one gave any real clues as to which character it would be, but one thing was made very clear: The pregnancy storyline was going to come with a controversy.
In a TV show, pregnancy plus controversy usually equals abortion. But the ABC series took this storyline in a different direction when, in the last moments of the summer premiere, it was revealed that Lily and Toby's baby has Down syndrome.
Lily listed all of the reasons she wasn't ready to be a mother when she told Daphne about the unexpected pregnancy. She's just 24, she has no family nearby and she's just getting started with her career. The fact that the baby now has Down syndrome means that the show could still be gearing up to introduce the idea of abortion. It's a topic that is already heated with debate and adding in the baby's genetic disorder will make it even more so. Will they decide to keep the baby or not? That will be the big question for the next episode.
If they do decide to keep the baby, I'm going to toss out a controversial topic of my own and say that I think Toby could make an excellent single father. If Lily decides that she's not ready to be a mom and wants to go off and do her own thing, I hope that Toby steps in and raises the baby himself. Sure, his life isn't in the best place right now, but who says life has to be perfect in order to bring a baby into the world? If people waited until everything was "just right" before having a baby, there'd probably be no kids ever again.
It seems like Toby's been struggling to find a direction for his life since his marriage fell apart. DJing is great and all and it's nice to see him finally happy again, but he needs to find a deeper meaning and, boy, wouldn't a baby do just that? Toby is an extremely supportive guy and has always been there when his sisters and the rest of the family has needed him. He's got all the qualities that make someone a caring father, he just needs the chance to do it.
Will it be a challenge? Heck, yeah, but he's up to it. Just look how he handled everything when he discovered his sister was switched at birth. He embraced Daphne with open arms and learned to sign like a champ. There's no doubt that he will open his heart to his child and offer him or her the support they need to take on anything life throws their way. Let's not forget how his family comes together to help whenever one of them needs it. That baby would be surrounded by love.
People will undoubtedly argue that Toby is in no condition to raise a baby, but the only reasons they'll have will be material ones. They'll talk about his lack of finances (especially now that his parents are facing trouble in that area). They'll talk about his job as a DJ and how that will keep him out all night. They'll talk about how he doesn't have a college education. But when you look at the most important aspects of being a good father — love, strength of character, encouragement — these are what he has in plentiful amounts.
Purely from a storyline viewpoint, Toby becoming a single dad will take the series into places no one could have guessed it would go. The pilot was about two girls switched at birth, one of whom was deaf and one of whom wasn't. The series has grown beyond their story to include all of the people around them. A series is made richer by having more characters and beefing up Toby's storyline will only do great things for the show.
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