I admit, I watch MTV's 16 and Pregnant. Even though the title suggests that all of the kids are 16, most in the show are actually older than that. I'd sit back and watch and be entertained as these girls are still having sleepovers with their high school buddies AND BABY. Some girls would try to finish high school but in the end, they were too far behind and had to drop out. They got it; babies take a LOT of work! It's not just cute outfits and fun toys!
Last night, the pregnant teen was 15 years old and the dad-to-be was 16 years old! Neither one had a driver's license or a job. The mother of the pregnant teen tried to talk her daughter into adoption. This mother was a single mom and was already struggling to provide for herself and her own teenage daughter. She knew that it wouldn't be in her budget to raise another baby. This mother was also a pregnant teen and she chose adoption. The boy in the situation argued that his dad walked out on him when he was little. He didn't want to do that to his daughter. Ok, I get what he's saying, but he is only 16. If he would have any common sense at all he, well first of all would not have gotten his girlfriend pregnant, but also should realize that he will not be able to provide for his daughter. He should let responsible adults with jobs adopt her and give her the life that he felt was entitled to her.
Ultimately, the girl kept her child. She and her boyfriend arranged that he would sleep over at her house every other night so he could help out. This is where the adult mom should step in and say, "Um, no." I mean, come on! These are kids! Kids don't have boy-girl sleep overs! I don't care if you do have a child together. What do you think got you in this situation in the first place? But, the boy slept over and thankfully MTV was there to capture all of his help. He yelled at the teen mom. He called her lazy. He said she did nothing when in actuality, she was the one that stopped going to school, enrolled in virtual school, and stayed home to raise her child. Again, all mistakes. Yes, the baby is her responsibility but she needs to be in school. It's just all so backwards. I know that day care is expensive, but there are also government funded facilities and assistance for people that can not afford it. If it was my daughter, she would be in school everyday and working every weekend to help provide for her child. Last night, the girl decided that since she was due in a month, she should try to go buy some things for the baby. She went shopping with $25. That won't even buy a can of formula and a box of diapers.
I looked up the cost to raise a child today. According to About.com, it will cost a middle-class U.S. family about $222,360 ($286,050 adjusted for inflation) to raise a child born in 2009 to the age of 17. The costs for food, shelter, and other child-raising necessities total from $11,650 to $13,530 per year, depending on the age of the child.
I think that MTV's intention of this show was to show kids that raising a baby is hard work. They are doing that, but I think that it is also making being a pregnant teen sort of a trend. I also think that it is making it more ok in society's eyes for kids to have babies. Something else needs to be done. These kids think they are in love. They have images of a perfect family in their heads. They think it is always going to work out and be great and that they will have their "happily ever after." Sorry kids... Your happily ever after just took a different path. That baby should've been given up for adoption. It would not have been abandonment, but love that the teen parents showed her.