Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Katie Schmitz Staff Writer
Reality television stars Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra visited Western Michigan University last Tuesday to discuss unplanned pregnancy, adoption and other issues facing young adults.
Lowell and Baltierra are best known for their participation in MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, which follows young teens who are expecting, and Teen Mom, a show about teenagers raising children. They are the only couple participating in the shows that chose to give their child up for adoption.
Lowell and Baltierra chose adoption because they felt like they would not be able to properly care for their child in the environment they were living in, which included Lowell’s alcoholic mother and Baltierra’s cocaine-addicted father.
Although they gave away their daughter, Carly, to a loving family, the couple still gets to see her quite often because of their choice to have an open adoption. Open adoption means that the birthparents can have continuous visits and a relationship with their child.
The couple is happy with their choice to pursue open adoption. When asked if they ever regret the decision, Baltierra replied, “Absolutely not. We know for a fact that we were doing the right thing.”
Because of their decision to put their child up for adoption, Lowell and Baltierra were able to graduate from high school and enroll in college.
Raising a child while balancing an education can be a very difficult task. There are steps that students can take to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Lisa Ailstock, Director of Student Health Services, would like K students to know that the Health Center “administers pregnancy tests, provides options and won’t judge any situation.”
Under the new health care laws, young women who renewed their Kalamazoo College insurance after August 1 can acquire birth control pills for free without a required Pap smear. For students without insurance, birth control can be purchased for around $9-$15 per month by going to the Health Center, located on the second floor of Hicks, and meeting with a consultant.
If an unwanted pregnancy does occur, the Health Center can help provide sources for termination or, as Lowell and Baltierra chose, adoption.