Pregnant at 11
December 27, 2013
At just 11 years old, Hope became pregnant with her then 13-year-old boyfriend, Bailey’s, child — Ashlynn, now 7 months old. Dr. Phil talks to the children’s parents: How did this happen? Plus, hear from Hope and Bailey. Do they want custody of Ashlynn, who is currently being cared for by Hope's aunt? What is their relationship now — and are they at risk for having another baby? Then, Dr. Phil weighs in. What advice does he have for the families moving forward? This program contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.
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The PregnancyHope’s mother, Lisa, says that she was shocked to find out on Christmas Eve of last year that her daughter was pregnant -- when Hope was already six months along. She recalls that, as Hope was getting up off the couch, she noticed that her stomach was protruding out. "Hope had never even gotten her period," Lisa says. She insists that she had no idea that Hope and her boyfriend, Bailey, were having sex.
But Hope’s father, Matt, his fianceé, Kayla, and Bailey’s parents all say that Lisa is largely to blame for Hope's decisions, and claim that she continued to enable her daughter by concealing her pregnancy for months. Bailey's mother, Sharon, explains that Lisa sent Sharon's husband, Rod, a text message in October saying that Hope was pregnant. But, the next day, Sharon says that Lisa sent a second message telling them it was a false alarm. Lisa denies ever sending those text messages to Rod.
Hope gave birth to Ashlynn 11 weeks early — two months shy of her 12th birthday — and the baby weighed just 2 pounds, 11 ounces. Lisa explains that she had to call 911 the night Hope delivered because she started hemorrhaging. She says that Hope had an emergency C-section within 25 minutes of arriving at the hospital. "I opted not to be in the room because I didn't want to see my daughter going through that," she recalls.
Kayla adds, "The mood at the hospital was very sad and gloomy because Hope almost died, and no one was really sure if Ashlynn was going to make it."
Fighting Over CustodyAshlynn is currently being cared for by one of Hope's aunts, but Bailey's parents say they would like to have custody of their grandchild. "Lisa's family has all the rights, and Rod and I can only see Ashlynn for five or 10 minutes here and there," Sharon explains. "We feel like we're being treated as criminals for a mistake that my son made," she adds.
Lisa confesses that she doesn't think she could handle taking care of Ashlynn and parenting Hope. But, she says that she wants her sister to continue to raise the baby. "She can provide a mom and a dad and a stable home for Ashlynn, and I would like to see that," Lisa insists.
Dr. Phil also asks the parents about a rumor that Hope wants to have another baby. Lisa responds that she's shocked to hear that after everything her daughter has been through — but admits that Hope is "out of control with everything." She claims that Hope has issues with anger and will lash out verbally and physically if she doesn't get her way. "That's just the way she's doing things," Lisa says.
Hope and Bailey SpeakHope reveals that she had been dating Bailey for about a year before they slept together for the first time. "I did not think I was old enough to have a baby," she insists. Hope explains that she gets to see Ashlynn about twice a week, but says that she would like to have her daughter full time.
"Being a father feels good," Bailey confides. He explains that the kids at school call him "baby daddy." "Sometimes it's funny, but then there are people who are mean about it," he says.
Moving ForwardDr. Phil points out that the parents have spent a lot of time criticizing and blaming each other, rather than focusing on their children and grandchild. "Not one of you has asked me one damn thing about what you can do to help them cope with what they're into now, what would be in the best interest of the baby — or what you can do to prevent a repeat of this," he says. "It's chaos in these homes," Dr. Phil insists. "You didn't know that your kids were getting together and having sex at this young age."
"I talked to Bailey, and he seems to be pretty laid back about the whole thing," Dr. Phil says to Sharon and Rod. "I don't know what dialog y'all had with him, but I don't think any of it has registered."
Sharon and Rod explain that they believe Bailey has a learning disability, but they have never been able to get him properly diagnosed. Dr. Phil offers to make arrangements for Bailey to be evaluated, and the parents accept.
With regards to Hope, Dr. Phil tells Lisa and Matt that he believes she needs to get some help and support — away from her current situation. He offers to send Hope to the Center for Discovery, which provides residential treatment programs for adolescents and teens dealing with a variety of issues. "It will be your job to stand shoulder to shoulder, stop your bickering and let her know that it is non-optional to go to this program," he tells the parents. He adds, "While she's going, y'all have some serious soul-searching to do." Lisa and Matt accept the offer of help.