Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra, who were featured on MTV’s "Teen Mom," spoke Thursday night in hopes to educate students on alternatives to abortion. The group was brought to MU by the organization Mizzou Students for Life.
Dawn Baker, the couple’s adoption agent, introduced them after a brief presentation about adoption.
“We are attempting to educate young people about the language of adoption,” Baker said. “When someone says they gave their baby up for adoption or they put their baby up for adoption, it sends the message that children are property, and it comes from the orphanage days. We want to get rid of that idea.”
The crowd burst into applause when the couple took their seats at the front of Conservation Auditorium. Lowell and Baltierra answered questions about their personal experience with the adoption process with their daughter, Carly.
“Have we ever regretted our decision?” Baltierra said. “No, never. Of course there are sad days where we just wish she was here with us, but we still get to see her grow and thrive in a lifestyle and home that we never had, and could never have given to her. That in itself is so rewarding and helps us heal everyday.”
The presentation was highlighted with a short video clip of Lowell and Baltierra’s time on "Teen Mom," also showcasing how the adoption process worked.
The couple decided on their own accord to proceed with Bethany Christian Services adoption agency to find a home for their daughter. After filling out the adoption application and profile, the couple began searching through profiles of couples in the area.
“There were so many great couples and opportunities,” Lowell said. “But when you know, you know. And we did.”
Baltierra agreed with Lowell's sentiment.
“When you first see or meet the adoptive family for your child you just get this incredible feeling,” Baltierra said. “ You just know. And it’s this huge relief, knowing that someone out there will give your baby what you can’t, and what they deserve.”
Throughout their journey with adoption, the couple said it only benefitted their relationship, despite the hardships they faced.
“People throw around the word ‘love’ a lot,” Baltierra said. “And yeah, Catelynn and I have been together going on eight years now - since that fateful day in seventh grade music class – but the moment I knew it was real was when she handed Carly over with tears in her eyes because she knew that it was what we had to do.”
At the conclusion of the event, Lowell and Baltierra agreed that everyone needed to find what decision worked for their situation.
“Every individual situation is different,” Lowell said. “It’s just really important that you decide what’s best for you and your baby. If that’s keeping the baby or going through the adoption process, or whatever, the choice is yours.”