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2011 Shows

(Original Air Date: 01/14/11) Is reality television glorifying teen pregnancy? Dr. Phil takes a closer look at the media’s portrayal of young motherhood, and asks -- is it accurate to real life? What message -- if any -- is it sending to teens? Jeanie and Charles say their 16-year-old daughter, Emily's, pregnancy has created havoc at home with the family in constant conflict over what is best for Emily and her unborn child. Emily strongly believes she is ready to be a mom, but a pop quiz on the costs of a baby, and a visit from four teen moms, give this teen a reality check she didn’t expect. Will Emily have a change of heart? Plus, hear what Dr. Phil thinks is best -- and who he says no one is talking about at all.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: rhoppy on Mar 6, 2015, 2:12PM - In reply to paulab12
THANK YOU for posting this!!  I had no idea this episode was over 3 years old! I'm SO glad to hear she kept her baby and is doing well! Dr Phil gave that girl almost no support of any kind! Every comment was directed toward giving her baby away.  He has NO idea the life-long grief some women experience (and adopted children) after giving away their child.  It is NOT a natural act for a woman to give away her baby, although I totally understand those who feel they cannot care for their child and make the difficult decision to give the baby a good home with someone else. I also don't think most women carry a pregnancy to term because they really don't want it, even if they do end up giving their child up for adoption once it's born.  This girl's family - though clearly unsure exactly what they should do - appeared to be willing to help their daughter, so it's not like she was going to be out on the streets.  She sounded like she had more support than any of the other teen moms (some of whom had the support of the father) who came on to tell their stories, so in that respect, she was already ahead of the game. The other thing I think Dr Phil didn't address at all was the fact that Emily clearly could, and most likely would, meet someone else at some point in her life who would be a husband to her and father to her child. It's not like she was going to be alone for the rest of her life living on skid row.  This episode just confirms for me why I only watch Dr Phil about once a year anymore...
Replied By: brittanypaige on Jan 26, 2015, 7:33PM
I am a "Dr. phil fanatic". So I do agree with 98% of your advice. BUT I feel you really dropped the ball here! You should never pressure someone in to giving up their child. I was a teen mom. I got pregnant at 16 and had my daughter a month after my 17th birthday. She is now 8 and I am married and have 2 other children as well. My 8 year old is very respectful and bright. She was referred into the gifted progtam at her school. It was tough but I had a great support system. Adoption was never a consideration or option for me and my parents. It was NEVER discussed. We came together and I do not regret my decision. I felt as though you were adamant throughout the whole show about her having to choose adoption. it can be done. I didnt see you offering her resources that would help aid in her successfully parenting this child.
Replied By: paulab12 on May 6, 2014, 12:12PM
The mother has just posted a picture of a happy healthy three year old little girl.  She has graduated and is getting support financial and other from the father he was wrong again.  If you cant have children its a sadness but   the firtile do not owe the infirtile children.
Replied By: nanshr16 on May 5, 2014, 6:00PM - In reply to johnplusfour
I so agree with this mother and have written separately briefly of my own views.  I have not accepted one dollar of charity.  I married at 16.  Yes I divorced at 21, but keep in mind that the next woman my ex married also divorced him after 13 years.   Most marraiges result in divorce, so the younger age would have a higher percentage.  Of all my friends, those who married their high school or college sweethearts are the ones who are still happily married.  Those of us who have  #done the dating ads  #participated at church  #done charity work  #worked at large companies  #gone dancing and met men at clubs  - those of us have a higher percentage risk of failure as all the men our age that are men worth keeping are usually married already!   I give this girl and her mother credit for being responsible.
Replied By: nanshr16 on May 5, 2014, 5:56PM
I am so tired of hearing Dr. Phil talk young mothers out of keeping their babies. He just about stands on his head as a soap box preaching that it never works and both lives (mother and child) will be ruined. I was 16 expecting my son Raymond. I was accelerated and graduated with honors (actually in Honor Society Soph Junior and Senior years). My mother said up front that my son would be my responsibility. If I went out until 2am in my 20s and my son was up at 5am, it was up to be me to up preparing breakfast. Missing college? I saved money. Every job I have had since age 21 has required a 4 year degree yet my experience and performance helped me land the right jobs. - You say 2/3 of teen moms end up poor, well there are 1/3 that are not. Because of the non performance of the other 2/3, you are saying the other 1/3 should be deprived of raising their own child??? This mother on this show was a teen mom also. She is paying it forward. Dr. Phil, I think you could be doing more to help young mothers KEEP their own children, rather than trying to pry their children out of their loving hands.
Replied By: johnplusfour on Mar 7, 2014, 10:24AM
Dr. Phil; please listen.. Long time listener, first time caller. I was absolutely shocked to watch how you dealt with this situation. Have you thought for a moment how this could potentially affect the moral compass of your impressionable viewers? Allowing them to think that it's ok to abandon your family (the unborn child) when your family has the money, the love, and willingness to care for a child.

Me? Married 17 years. 2/3 of our children are now in high school, Service vet and full time American worker. We had our children at 19, 22, and 25. Life isn't always perfect but we never give up on our family no matter what. God forbid if one of our boys got a girl pregnant; we would all be involved 110%. It would not matter the cost. We would make it work. No parent is completely ready their first time because they don't have that experience. But it does not mean that they won't do everything that they can to prepare for it. Being a parent does not end when your kid turns 18, 28, or 48. You educate your children throughout YOUR lifetime. You give them the mental tools necessary to prepare for whatever journey they choose to embark. If your child says "I do not want to abandon my own child"; then it's done. Your child is now a parent.

Your show portrayed constant barratement of a 16 year old pregnant girl. Showing her in view of the audience how ignorant she was in regard to the financial obligations of parenthood and life in general. You could do the same with any young couple attempting parenthood. As if she didn't have a difficult enough time with all these events plus the chemical changes occuring in her body. I'm sure that did wonders for her self worth. Not once did you target this step father about his unwillingness to support his wife in caring for her own child. What kind of example is that to set for what a husband should feel is his obligations. He chose to marry for life a woman with a child from another marriage. That is all inclusive Dr. Phil. 

Maybe it's just my emotions about the situation. But I feel that telling that girl to consider giving up on her child is equivelant to asking you to give up on one of your children if you were to become bankrupt respectively. The logical direction of that episode is that an obligation of children should be weighted against an association of money and apparent educational success in life. Happiness occurs within and SHOULD be irrelavent to materiel, monetary, or educational constraints. I'm not saying that one should not have goals and educational aspirations in life. I'm saying that they should not take precidence over one's own child; born or unborn.
Replied By: birger on Mar 6, 2014, 8:21PM
I have twin 14 year old daughters, at 12 years old they were given rights of confidentiality and decision making regarding pregnancy.  It is shocking to me that 12 year old girls have the right to make decisions that will affect a tiny baby and parents that support them.  A 12 year old does not have insight enough to make any of these decisions, nor do older teens, in my opinion.  

With that said, my sister became pregnant at 16 and is a complete success story.  My niece is now in her 20's and both mom and daughter have wonderful, full and complete lives.  Both are educated and beautiful, strong women.  It can be done with a lot of love and support from family.  
Replied By: debrisyat on Mar 6, 2014, 12:08PM
This is so sad.  Who would want this kid to be their mother?  Who wants a mother who figures she'll give parenting a "try?  No sane person would hand a baby over to a 16 year old thinking it is an acceptable thing to do. No sane person would step up and say, "Hey, I want that for a mother.  Yeah give me the kid who hasn't got an education, a job, or the ability to think past what makes her happy."  This is sickening.  Dr. Phil has this one right.  No one is thinking of this baby.  If people could sign up for their parents, this kid would not see her name on the top of anyone's list.
Replied By: paulab12 on Aug 28, 2013, 2:34AM
Dr Phil said if she used childcare she wouldn't be a proper mother.  Does this only apply to single mothers or are all mothers that work not proper mothers who should put their children up for adoption?
Replied By: xnightingale17 on Jun 17, 2013, 8:48PM
I'm really upset. WIth what Dr. Phil was saying, does he mean that only rich 16-year old teens have the right to be a mother to her child? I don't understand. If he was in that family's place, i don't think that he'd consider having Avery for an adoption. It isn't only rich people who has the right to try and raise their own baby. Please reconsider your advice Dr. Phil. It's really disturbing.
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