On Tuesday October 9, the third floor of the Bernhard Center was packed with hundreds of people ranging from typical Western students to middle-aged mothers with their high school daughters. Visitors had come from all over the Kalamazoo metro area to see the MTV hot topic reality-star couple speak. The event exceeded capacity and hundreds of potential spectators were turned away.
Students for Life, an RSO that strives to “promote and defend the dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception until natural death”, brought the couple to WMU’s campus to answer questions and raise awareness on adoption and adoption myths. Theresa, Students for Life’s president, states, “Students for Life decided to host this event because Catelynn and Tyler are two young adults who have an amazing story to tell and can be an inspiration and support to other young women who are experiencing an unintended pregnancy. We wanted to provide the opportunity for female and male students at WMU to learn more about life affirming options and resources available in the event they become pregnant.”
Caitlyn and Tyler stepped into the public eye when they appeared on MTV’s documentary series 16 and Pregnant. The two Michigan residents were showcased as they decided what to do about an unplanned pregnancy. Since both were still in high school with drug-addicted parents, they decided that adoption would be the best course of action to take for their unborn daughter. Caitlyn and Tyler also were featured on 16 and Pregnant’s spin-off series, Teen Mom, to show America what life was like after adopting out a child.
The event started out with sentiments from Bethany Christian Services, the adoption agency that assisted Caitlyn and Tyler, as well as videos about what adoption was like in the early 20th century. Afterwards, Caitlyn and Tyler came onto the stage with their adoption counselor, Dawn, to tell their story and answer questions.
The couple recalled their struggles and happiest moments with adopting out their biological daughter, Carly. They also answered questions from the audience, which were collected beforehand. Several eager young ladies wrote their phone numbers down for Tyler, but Caitlyn assured the audience that she had discarded them. The audience was updated about the lives of Caitlyn and Tyler and about the lives of their families. Baby Carly has turned three and loves to talk on the phone. Tyler’s felon father, Butch, has been incarcerated for an assault on his wife, April, who is also Caitlyn’s mother. April has found sobriety and has come to terms with the adoption of her granddaughter.
Caitlyn and Tyler also shared that they are taking the next step with their 9 year relationship and are engaged to be married next year. They plan on having a Renaissance themed wedding. Caitlyn wants to have a handful of children, despite Tyler’s playful threat to get a vasectomy after the first.
Students for Life conducts weekly meetings on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge of the Bernhard Center. To learn more about the group, upcoming events, and crisis pregnancy resources, go to GORSO Students for Life WMU or sites.google.com/site/studentsforlifewmu.