Friday, July 9, 2010

Teen Sex Crisis: Dr. Oz Show and Adoption

So this morning I was told by a dear friend that Dr. Oz was going to cover the Teen Sex Crisis and the show was going to contain the adoption angle in the form of a birth mother who speaks out about the positives of open adoption. I watched the segment in anticipation and learned a few things along the way. I have never really watched Dr. Oz because I am not religious about watching Oprah and, well, I had seen trailers for his straight forward show about anything pertaining to the body but never watched. I was intrigued by his interest in adoption when it came to teen sex, it was pleasantly surprising.

First, let me run off some statistics about teen sex. Based on a study Dr. Oz found he stated:

8 year old having sex.

1 in 14 Junior High aged kids are having sex.

1 in 3 High School aged kids having sex.

1 in 4 kids age 15-19 have a STD.

3 in 10 women will be pregnant before the age of 20 ... I am in this category.

And now the kickers...

8% of parents polled thought their kids were having sex.

41% of parents polled know what their kids are doing on the web.

50% of teens polled are having oral sex.

75% of teens polled learn about sex from their peers.

Pretty alarming if you ask me. Aaaand, teen sex is at all time high in the summer months. More teens loose their virginity in that season than any other. So, I think the real key here is that last statistic. Parents need to talk to their teens about pregnancy, STD's, emotional tolls, physical tolls ... all that comes from stepping into adulthood through physical attraction. The Good Dr. then moved into the adoption discussion with information about the highest watched television show on MTV last season with over 26 million viewers, 16 & Pregnant. He introduced Catelynn and Tyler from the show and then a montage of footage from when they realized they were pregnant, to choosing the parents, to delivery day, and finally the moment they had to say goodbye to their daughter. I admit, I cried. I always do when someone is telling a baby story. ANY baby story. ESPECIALLY an adoption story. Dr. Oz asked the usual were you feeling...what was the hardest do you feel now kinds of questions. Then he asked "What do you think it has taught you?" I was happy to hear that question because although it is simple, it is powerful.

Too often, as I always say, the birth mother voice is not often heard on main stream television and if it is shown, it is never shown in a good light...okay, almost never. Catelynn smiled through her rubber bands and braces..."It has taught me so much about love. I know what I did was right and I want her to be proud of us. We are doing better in school, we are going to college, we are working on our relationship. We just want to be the best we can be so she can be proud of us." Well I was proud of her for telling it like it is. She did say how hard some days are for both of them, how sad it is to miss her. She stated that not one day goes by when she does not wake up and think about her daughter. She also said that it was never a regret. She and Tyler get pictures, letters and updates, they were even going to have a visit soon with their daughter and her family. That was when I paid attention because Dr. Oz said, "Oh. You are going to see her? You get to spend time with her?" They replied yes and he seemed genuinely unaware that there were such open relationships in adoption. It was great, and then he wish them luck after such a selfless act. There was no drama. There was no fan fair. It was a good lead for the media because for once I saw someone ask a positive mother, who is doing her best to be a good example, what HER thoughts were about the adoption, not the adoptive parents. (I am not knocking them at all, let's just face it usually these stories are told through their eyes for obvious reasons.) That opinion is so important and really needs to be shown in order to understand the complexities of adoption, to understand the heart that breaks. It is an important factor and not one to be ignored.

Perhaps I should watch his show more often, because anyone who is willing to open their eyes to something they are not aware of, well that's just cool in my book.


Rebecca Vahle said...

Hooray! I am so glad that the story was shared and that drama-free education was offered! I love that! I am amazed at the learning curve and what is NOT known about the changes in adoption! Here's to a TV show that will share such valuable information!!!

Rebecca Vahle
Adoption Liaison
Parker Adventist Hospital BirthPlace

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Here,Here Rebecca! It was wonderful to see this on television. Thanks for reading and commenting here, you might be interested to know that there is a Bloggers Unite page dedicated to raising awareness in adoption. Since you are a professional, perhaps you would like to check it out and spread the word. I am sure you know many who have something to say about adoption and I am determined to make sure that when November rolls around there is more than one day dedicated to the subject.

Michelle said...

Love this story! Thanks for sharing.

The Smith's said...

I, like you, don't watch Dr. Oz, but this show did catch my attention, mainly because of the adoption story. I am hoping to be an adoptive mother, and I honestly have to say, I can hear stories from adoptive mothers all day long, but the stories that move me most are the ones from birth families. It was great to see that she never regretted her decision.

LeMira said...

These numbers are really sickening to me, but I'm so happy that there was a positive adoption story!

Angie said...

Thanks for posting this! Those statistics are eye opening to read! HATS OFF to Dr Ozz!!!

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