A Family Divided: Meet the Family
Dr. Phil partners with a family in crisis.
Erin was planning on filing for divorce from Martin on the day she found out that their 15-year-old daughter was pregnant. Now they need to shift their focus. "We have to get over it," she says. "We have to get over ourselves."


Erin blames Martin for Alexandra's pregnancy, saying he wasn't enough of a father. Martin recognizes that he should have been more involved with his two girls. "It's hard for me to show my affection and my love toward my daughters," he says.


Erin wants to put the baby up for adoption arguing, "We are too messed up, and we are too unhealthy emotionally to raise a third child." Martin is fighting to keep the baby.

 

Dr. Phil has tough questions for Martin, who has had two affairs. "Are you plugged into this family?" he asks, "Because your wife and both your daughters say you're not."


Martin promises that his infidelities have come to an end, and that he's committed to saving his family, but admits that he's not as involved as he should be. "I wasn't a father, and I should have been there more for her," he says about Alexandra.


Erin also accepts blame for Alexandra's pregnancy after Dr. Phil tells her that her daughters say she's more interested in appearances and her career than in what's happening in the family. "I feel like I wasn't there for my daughter," she says. "I never thought she would get pregnant."

Both Erin and Martin feel that they let Alexandra down, ignoring their responsibilities as parents. Erin says, "We didn't take care of her well enough."

 

Martin admits that he never talked to his daughter about sex because he thought, "This can't happen to me. This can't happen to my daughter."


Dr. Phil tells Erin and Martin that blame needs to be put aside in order to save their family. "You're in a burning house," Dr. Phil says. "You don't want to discuss who lit the fire. What you have to do is get out of the fire."

 

Alexandra had sex for the first time with her boyfriend when she was 14. "He was the first boy who told me he loved me," she says.


She hasn't yet made up her mind about whether to keep the baby, despite being only weeks away from her due date. Alexandra wants to be a teenager, free of the responsibilities of motherhood. She is also worried about letting down her dad.


"When my dad found out, he told me that he was really disappointed and he told me that I was really slutty," says Alexandra. "He told me that I was really stupid and that I made a really big mistake."

 

Erin is pushing for Alexandra to give her baby up for adoption. Erin asks Dr. Phil: "How's that going to impact her when she goes to prom with a little baby standing there pulling on her prom dress at three years of age?"


Alexandra says she's leaning toward adoption because she wants to go to college and get a job, without having to worry about a child. Dr. Phil is concerned that Alexandra is allowing her mother to make the decision for her, and urges Alexandra to "wear" the decision " either to keep the baby or give it up for adoption " for a week and see how it feels.

 

Thirteen-year-old Katherine is angry with her sister for getting pregnant. "Every time I see her, I just kind of look at her like she's scum," says Katherine. "Everyone looks up to their older sisters. And I think I should be able to enjoy my childhood and not have to worry about when my sister is going to have her baby."


Katherine also feels that she's become the scapegoat for all the family's frustrations. She says, "When my dad first found out about my sister being pregnant, he treated her the way I should have been treated " with sympathy. But he yelled at me a lot. I think he's taking his anger out on me over what my sister did."

 

Katherine blames both of her parents for Alexandra's pregnancy, but her father receives the brunt of her anger.


"He didn't pay attention in the beginning and he was just along for the ride," she says. "Now, it's kind of reality and he doesn't know what to do."


Martin admits that he favors his pregnant daughter: "Alexandra is my first child. For my younger child to beat her up like she does is unacceptable for me."


Dr. Phil admonishes Martin for ignoring Katherine and playing favorites with Alexandra. "What are you thinking?" he asks. "You have two children here and this child is in dire need of love, support and attention."