Teen Mom‘s Tyler Baltierra Has No Shame About Being a Birth Parent

The decision to place a child for adoption is a difficult and serious one that is unique to every parent and situation. And while no one should ever be judged for making a choice that is best for their family, sadly, the stigma around adoption is still all too prevalent. Case in point: Teen Mom star Tyler Baltierra is (still?!) defending his choice to place his daughter for adoption — you know, responding to hateful criticism about a decision he made 10 years ago.

According to Us Weeklyone Twitter user (who has now been suspended) called Baltierra “trash” for “giving up” his daughter Carly for adoption in 2009, when he and his wife Catelynn Lowell were on 16 & Pregnant. Baltierra chose to respond publicly, tweeting on July 15 that he was proud of his choice and that he continues to stand by it today. “If PLACING my innocent daughter into an adoption plan at 16 with a couple who can not have biological children makes me trash, then you might as well send me to the damn dump so I can put a throne on top & call it home!” he wrote.

Baltierra has been vocal about this subject in the past. In May, he posted a photo of Carly on Instagram to commemorate her 10th birthday, and he shared more details about the day she was born. “10 years ago, we had to make the hardest decision of our lives & give you everything your innocent life deserved that we just couldn’t provide at the time,” he captioned the image. “10 years ago, we held each other & wept as we watched you drive away in the back of the car with the only parents that were worthy to be yours.” He and Lowell have an open adoption, meaning they can continue to have a relationship with their daughter.

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10 years ago yesterday, we were only 17. 10 years ago, we brought you into the world. 10 years ago, we only got to hold you by ourselves for a half hour in the hospital as we just cried & stared at you, remembering every little detail of how absolutely perfect you were, since we knew that even though we just met, we had to say goodbye. 10 years ago, we had to make the hardest decision of our lives & give you everything your innocent life deserved that we just couldn’t provide at the time. 10 years ago, we held each other & wept as we watched you drive away in the back of the car with the only parents that were worthy to be yours. 10 years ago…your life changed so many others for the better & has blessed more lives than I can count. We love you so much & hopefully get to see you soon baby girl. Happy Birthday Carly! #Adoption #BirthparentStrong

A post shared by Tyler Baltierra (@tylerbaltierramtv) on

For families who are unable to have biological children, adoption allows them to become parents of a child who needs them. And as Baltierra pointed out, it can benefit everyone involved — the child, the adoptive parents, and the birth parents. Yet sadly, there is still shame around discussing adoption for many birth parents, who fear they will be criticized for being unwilling (or simply unable) to care for a child themselves.

But criticizing birth parents oversimplifies a situation that is far more complex than the media often portrays. While adoptive parents are often praised as selfless heroes, birth parents get ignored, or worse, shamed for their choices. This isn’t to say that adopting a child isn’t a compassionate act. It is! But placing a child into a loving home when you are unable to provide them with stability is also a selfless choice. And as many birth parents know, it’s not always an easy decision to make.

When celebrities like Baltierra talk shamelessly about their experience with adoption, it helps remind others that these situations are nuanced and personal. Adoptive parents and birth parents both play critical roles in a child’s life, and often, everyone is doing their best to ensure a healthy and happy life for their new baby.

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