Credit: MTV

Image Credit: MTVI’ve come to know 16 and Pregnant as the show that can do a few things like no other: anger me, outrage me, and make me dislike rude teenage fathers. I didn’t think there was much else to it until last night, when the show turned me a sad, weepy mess. Let me explain.

Lori was given up for an adoption as a baby by her teen mother. In cruel irony, Lori too finds herself as a pregnant teen with an extremely difficult decision before her. Lori’s parents lobby for her to give her child up for adoption, but Lori and her boyfriend/baby daddy Cory aren’t so sure. Lori wants to experience the blood relationship she never had and Cory wants to take responsibility.

This is usually where I would talk about the awful things that the teen father says to his girlfriend or the scarily naïve questions the soon-to-be mom has about childbirth. But this episode didn’t have either of those factors, both of which are usually standard for 16 and Pregnant. There was no villainous teen dad or clueless mom. They were simply a seemingly well-adjusted (for teens anyway) couple trying to decide what was best for their child.

Lori fought the adoption option as much as she could, as did Cory. He even offered to let her and the baby move in with him, but failed to move his plans forward, which worried Lori’s parents. With the baby’s due date approaching, Lori’s mom amped up her campaign for adoption by inviting over Liz, a family friend who also gave her baby up as a teenager. The scene was a poignant look into the thought process of a teen parent. Liz called her decision to enter into an open adoption agreement her ”first parental decision” and ”the best of both worlds.” As serious as the scene was, a small piece of comedic relief came when Lori pointed out that ”Best of Both Worlds” is a Hannah Montana song, to which her mother replied: ”Just the fact that she knew it was a Hannah Montana song should make her ineligible to be a parent at this age.” I couldn’t agree more, if for no other reason than that I believe no infant should be subjected to that music.

Eventually, Lori’s dad called Cory himself (one of two parent-to-boyfriend calls we saw this episode, which was weird, yet refreshing to watch). In the conversation, Cory confideed to Lori’s dad that adoption was the only option. He later told Lori in a tearful confession that as much as he was against adoption, he couldn’t see himself properly caring for the child financially. The fact that Cory – unlike most of the teen dads on this show – wanted more than anything to be there for his son was touching. So to watch a willing teen father admit that he couldn’t provide for his child was heartbreaking.

After the first couple they chose backed out of the adoption arrangement, Lori found another home for her baby just in time for his arrival. The following scenes were the most sob-inducing ones I’d ever seen on the show. Shortly after the birth, Cory angrily demanded to hold his son one last time so he could say goodbye. Lori took it hard, crying and sobbing as she watched Cory say his farewell. Watching the repercussions of their decision unfold in such a raw way was honestly hard to watch.

The episode ended on a happier note, with Lori saying that she found comfort in the fact that open adoption doesn’t mean goodbye forever. She also likes the fact that Aiden (her son) will grow up knowing her reasons for giving him up for adoption, a courtesy she was never given by her own birth mother. She says of her and Cory’s decision, ”We both agree on one thing: This was the best thing for Aiden.”

I’ve just stopped wiping my tears, PopWatchers. Am I alone in my extreme distress over this episode? Did you enjoy the different pace of this episode? Did Lori’s parents push her into her decision too much? Sound off below, please!

Episode Recaps

16 and Pregnant
An unflinching docu-series following the trials and tribulations of pregnant high-school girls
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