First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage! Or…maybe not in that order! If you’re a reality television junkie who lives for new seasons of shows like Big Brother, Duck Dynasty and The Bachelor, chances are you’ve been sucked into the drama of teen pregnancy as it unfolded first on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and later on spinoff series like Teen Mom and Teen Mom OG. It’s ok, admit it! Your secret is safe with us!
Making its debut in 2009 and documenting the lives of pregnant teens as they prepared to give birth, 16 and Pregnant enjoyed a successful four-year run until 2012 when fans demanded follow ups with their favorite stars. As a result, MTV jumped on the bandwagon and saw a franchise opportunity with the release of the first season of Teen Mom right on the heels of the original series. As luck would have it, the new show was the network’s biggest success all year!
With a total of three Teen Mom seasons as well as 16 and Pregnant, dozens of teenagers have made their reality television debut with some obviously becoming more memorable than others. But which teen moms were lucky enough to join the hit MTV series and what do they look like now? Aren’t you just a little curious? Join us as we take a look at the cast of Teen Mom to see just how teen pregnancy, heartache and the spotlight has changed their lives. Let’s get started!
#24 – Farrah Abraham (Then)
Meet Farrah! Born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1991 and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Farah Lynn Abraham was a star cheerleader in high school but that didn’t mask the fact that she was being abused by her parents at home. At 15 years old, Farrah started dating Derek Underwood and, two years later in 2008, learned that she was pregnant. Eight months into her pregnancy, Derek died tragically in a car accident leaving the 17-year-old Farrah to quit cheerleading and drop out of high school to prepare for life as a single mother.
Giving birth to her daughter Sophia Laurent in 2009, Farrah made her television debut in June 2009 on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant where her pregnancy and first months of motherhood made her an instant reality television star. Toward the end of the series, MTV offered Farrah a regular spot on the new spinoff series Teen Mom, which she happily accepted. Within weeks of the show’s debut in December 2009, Farrah made even bigger headlines in what she described as a “turning point” in her life after her mother was arrested for attacking her.
#23 – Farrah Abraham (Now)
Culinary school, music releases and sex tapes…oh my! Things have certainly not been easy for Abraham since her Teen Mom debut in 2009. Graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale with a degree in culinary arts, Farrah launched the “Mom & Me” pasta sauce line before making her music debut with the release of My Teenage Dream Ended in 2012. With the album considered a huge flop among music critics, Farrah took what star power she had left straight to the adult film industry where she turned heads after making a sex tape for $1.5 million.
Somehow managing to stay in the spotlight since 2009, the 25-year-old appeared on Couples Therapy and Celebrity Big Brother 16 with her most recent stint on MTV’s Teen Mom OG since 2015. Often criticized for her parenting style especially after admitting to waxing Sophia’s eyebrows while she sleeps and for forcing her to take provocative photos, Farrah isn’t shy about sharing her story of motherhood in her New York Times bestselling memoir My Teenage Dream Ended. As for her time in the adult film industry, the single mom claims it ruined her life but she’s certainly enjoying spending her fortune on plastic surgery and designer clothes.
#22 – Catelynn Lowell (Then)
All in the family! Michigan native Catelynn Lowell and her husband Tyler Battiera have an incredibly unique love story. Meeting in middle school and instantly becoming best friends, the youngsters began dating just as Catelynn’s mother met and fell in love with Tyler’s father. Within months, their parents were married making Catelynn and Tyler stepsiblings. But, not even their blended family was enough to put a damper on their feelings as the childhood sweethearts saw their love blossom in their junior year of high school just as Catelynn found out she was pregnant.
Described by her friends as smart and funny, Catelynn knew that neither she nor Tyler were ready to raise a child and ultimately decided to place their daughter—Carolynn “Carly” Elizabeth—up for adoption in the first season of Teen Mom. Facing her own struggles with Tyler as well as the stress of choosing adoptive parents for Carly, Catelynn eventually moved back home where her mom and stepfather did little to support her and Tyler’s decision. Add in Catelynn’s struggle in coming to terms with adoption and a primetime reality television series was born.
#21 – Catelynn Lowell (Now)
Since putting Carly up for adoption and moving in together, Catelynn and Tyler got matching tattoos in their daughter’s honor and get to visit her once a year. At the time, their parents were facing relationship troubles of their own, which led Catelynn to gain custody of her younger sister just as she entered her senior year in high school. Eventually graduating and enrolling at Baker College in her native Michigan to study social work, Catelynn and Tyler made their grand return to reality television on the series Couples Therapy.
Co-writing a book together about their journey of teen pregnancy and adoption, Catelynn and Tyler announced their engagement but delayed their wedding plans when they found out that they were pregnant again. After giving birth to Novalee “Nova” Reign on New Year’s Day 2015, Catelynn voiced her battle with postpartum depression as she planned her grand walk down the aisle on August 22, 2015. Still with Tyler and starring on Teen Mom OG, the 24-year-old recently entered an Arizona facility for mental health treatment saying “I can’t wait to be back to my normal self…this is for me and my family.” We wish her a world of healing!
#20 – Maci Bookout (Then)
A star athlete and a bright student from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Maci Bookout had high hopes of following her high school friends out of state for college before everything changed when she was 16 years old. Learning that she and her high school boyfriend Ryan Edwards would soon welcome a child, Maci’s dreams were put on hold as she gave birth to her son Bentley in October 2008 and quickly struggled to balance life as a new mom, school and her relationship with Ryan while watching her aspirations of leaving Tennessee move further and further away in the rearview mirror.
Following the birth of their son, Maci and Ryan got engaged and soon made their reality television debut on Teen Mom where more of their arguments instead of their love story was actually shared. Stating that she went on the show to “show girls how hard it was to be a teen parent,” Maci graduated early from high school and enrolled in online classes at the local state college where her stress level skyrocketed as Ryan did little to help her raise Bentley. Eventually, Maci dropped out of college to focus on raising her son.
#19 – Maci Bookout (Now)
Calling off their engagement in 2010 after years of fighting and trying to force a relationship that even viewers knew was never going to work, the entire breakup unfolded on Teen Mom just as Maci began dating fellow series star Kyle King. It wasn’t long, however, before the two split up and the fiery redhead found true love with Taylor McKinney. By then, her personal life was back on track and she found the confidence to return to college to finish up her degree in journalism while joining the public speaking circuit to discuss the challenges of teen pregnancy with high schoolers across her native Tennessee.
As for her life as a mom, Maci has settled in quite nicely with Taylor as the couple welcomed their daughter Jayde Carter in May 2015 on the heels of their engagement announcement. Although wedding plans are still in the works, Maci delivered even bigger news in May 2016 when she showed off pictures of her third child, a bouncing baby boy named Maverick Reed. Needless to say, this teen mom of three is still as gorgeous as ever and enjoys posting pictures of her kids as well as her post-baby body all over social media!
#18 – Amber Portwood (Then)
The final member of the original Teen Mom cast, Amber Portwood grew up in Anderson, Indiana as a self-proclaimed party girl who dropped out of high school when she and her boyfriend Gary Shirley found out she was pregnant in 2008. Welcoming their daughter Leah in November, Amber struggled as a new mother and was under a lot of stress on the show while trying to raise Leah and manage her daughter’s health problems in addition to keeping her relationship with Gary intact and welcoming her brother back from a tour of duty in Iraq. Talk about having a lot on her plate!
If you can believe it, Amber was perhaps the most controversial of the original cast thanks to her actions in 2010 when Child Protective Services of Indiana investigated her after she beat Gary so severely in front of their daughter that he was left with permanent scars. As a result, she was sent to therapy on the show and was required to do community service before she was charged on three counts of domestic violence a few weeks later.
#17 – Amber Portwood (Now)
Only one month after being charged with domestic violence, Amber found herself back in jail for the same problems and attempted suicide in June 2011 before she was sent to a rehab clinic in California. With her boyfriend being given full custody of Leah at the time, Amber’s life continued to spiral out of control as she failed multiple drug tests and dropped out of the GED program, both of which were direct violations of her probation.
Hitting rock bottom in 2012, Amber was given an ultimatum to either complete a court-ordered rehab program or face five years in prison. Failing to complete rehab and arrested for drug possession, she was sentenced to five years at Indiana’s Rockville Correctional Facility where she was released four years early in November 2013. Now back with the rest of the world and engaged to Matt Baier, Amber shares joint custody of seven-year-old Leah with her ex-fiancé Gary and supposedly owes over $125,000 to the IRS in back taxes.
#16 – Jenelle Evans (Then)
Of course they made a sequel! Now shifting our attention to Teen Mom 2, next on our list brings us to the most recognizable cast member—Jenelle Evans. Like Amber Portland, Jenelle is a self-described party girl whose wild lifestyle was shaken up in August 2009 when she and then-boyfriend Andrew Lewis welcomed their son Jace Vahn. Openly admitting she had no interest in being a mom and leaving her own mother Barbara to care for Jace, viewers couldn’t help but watch the drama unfold as Jenelle’s relationship with her newborn and Barbara became strained.
With multiple arrests and severe substance abuse problems, Jenelle lost custody of Jace after being given multiple chances to get her life back on track and her addiction under control. However, the damage was already beyond repair for her relationship with Andrew, who broke things off with Jenelle after her arrest in 2009 in a well-documented and turbulent time on Teen Mom 2. She then started dating Kieffer Delp whose troublemaking tendencies did little to help her situation as a mother and, instead, led to even more arrests.
#15 – Jenelle Evans (Now)
“She’s out of control!” Jenelle’s life was on the verge of bottoming out as she risked losing Jace forever if she couldn’t sober up, a fact that became crystal clear when she and Kieffer were arrested in 2010 for breaking and entering and drug possession. Given an ultimatum and sentenced to 12 months of supervised probation, Jenelle seemed to be moving in the right direction until she was arrested again in 2011. Already on her fourth arrest by 2012, she had a whirlwind engagement to Gary Head before making it down the aisle with Courtland Rogers.
Shortly after her divorce from Rogers, Jenelle met Nathan Griffith and gave birth to a son named Kaiser in June 2014. Calling it quits with Nathan the following year (do you see a pattern?), the California native started dating her most recent boyfriend, David Eason. As for her arrest records, Jenelle has been to jail multiple times over the years with her most recent arrest occurring in August 2015 when she was taken into custody for assaulting Nathan Griffith’s girlfriend. Will she ever settle down long enough to get Jace back? At this rate, it doesn’t look promising.
#14 – Chelsea Houska (Then)
Do you love high tension and lots of drama? If so, South Dakota native Chelsea Houska was most likely your least favorite of the entire Teen Mom 2 cast. An avid high school softball player, Chelsea and her then-boyfriend Adam Lind received the shock of their young lives when they learned she was pregnant. With her due date scheduled for the fall of her senior year, Chelsea had an incredibly difficult pregnancy with Braxton Hicks contractions that created even more stress and fear for the young mom to be.
Going into labor five weeks before her due date and, coincidentally, on the first day of her senior year, she gave birth to daughter Aubree Skye who weighed five pounds, six ounces and was met with incredible joy by Chelsea’s supporting family. Eventually moving in with her best friend Megan, Chelsea struggled with her relationship with Adam who showed little interest in helping to raise or provide for Aubree while she desperately worked to finish her GED and enroll in beauty school to ensure her daughter’s future.
#13 – Chelsea Houska (Now)
“It’s over!” Despite their on-again and off-again relationship throughout Teen Mom 2, Chelsea made one of the hardest decisions of her life when she called it quits with Adam to focus on Aubree and her own career. Finishing up her GED and enrolling in beauty school while working part-time at a salon, Chelsea obviously made the right decision as she met and fell in love with Cole DeBoer who moved into her South Dakota home to help raise Aubree. But that’s not all!
Announcing their engagement on November 17, 2015, the incredibly mature Chelsea has more than just wedding plans on her plate these days as she and Cole will welcome their first baby together in February 2017. Needless to say, when it comes to drama, Chelsea has a low tolerance with her only real headlines occurring in a recent Twitter beef with a fan who said she was being far too “negative.” If that’s the worst thing that’s come out of her young career, then she’s obviously doing just fine.
#12 – Kailyn Lowry (Then)
“It’s a boy!” Pennsylvania native Kailyn Lowry was only 16 years old when she found out that she and her boyfriend, Jo Rivera, would soon become parents. Cast on the MTV series 16 and Pregnant where the couple constantly disagreed as Kailyn anxiously prepared for the baby while Joe showed very little interest in fatherhood, they eventually welcomed their son—Isaac Elliott—on January 18, 2010. Months later, Kailyn was invited to join the spinoff show Teen Mom 2 where her dramatic breakup with Jo took center stage and left her heartbroken.
Spending the majority of the first season battling financial troubles and dating while attempting to keep Jo’s supportive parents happy (since she lived with them), Kailyn juggled college courses, raising Isaac and a second job with the hopes of saving up for a place of her own. Eventually moving back in with her mom, Kailyn was in the midst of a nasty custody battle with Jo when a romance with her coworker blossomed as she leaned on him for emotional support while doing her best to provide for her son.
#11 – Kailyn Marroquin (Now)
She’s moving on! Settling the custody battle with Jo, Kailyn started dating Javi Marroquin in the fourth season of Teen Mom 2 during which time they quickly took their relationship to the next level and even discussed eloping in Las Vegas. By the end of the season and after a brief engagement, the two were married and already expecting their first child together. On November 16, 2013, Kailyn gave birth to her second son, Lincoln Marshall Marroquin.
With their whirlwind romance and brand new family occurring simultaneously, things haven’t been as bright for the couple lately as they announced in August 2016 that their “happily ever after” was ending with a trial separation. Having recently returned from military deployment, Javi received widespread criticism on social media when he told his fans he was moving out of their family home in Pennsylvania. Now a single mother of two young boys, it looks like Kailyn is back on the market to find love once again.
#10 – Leah Calvert (Then)
“Twins make life twice as nice!” The last of the Teen Mom 2 cast members on our list is West Virginia native Leah Calvert. A former high school cheerleader, Leah started dating Corey Simms in 2009 when she found out only a few months later that she was pregnant with twins. With three months before her due date, Leah went into early labor and was put on strict bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. Two months later on December 16, 2009, she gave birth to twin girls Aliannah and Aleeah.
As teenagers attempting to raise newborn twin girls, Leah and Corey started having relationship problems of their own from trust issues and the stress of school to facing health problems and doctor visits with Aliannah. Splitting up briefly in 2010 as Leah turned to her ex-boyfriend Robbie Kidd for comfort, the drama continued to play out on MTV as Leah and Corey finally reunited, got engaged and tied the knot months before the twins’ first birthday in October 2010.
#9 – Leah Calvert (Now)
Despite their best intentions to make things work for their daughters, Leah and Corey divorced in June 2011 after she admitted to being unfaithful. Attempting to put their differences aside, the couple did their best to work together as they noticed that Aliannah was developing much slower than her sister. After extensive testing and ongoing doctor visits documented on the series, Ali was eventually diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy that’s only been found in adults.
With Ali’s diagnosis and treatment plan in place, Leah began dating Jeremy Calvert in August 2011 and, by December, had a ring on her left hand and a bun in the oven. Unfortunately, Leah lost the baby in January months before walking down the aisle in April 2012. By February 2013, Leah gave birth to another daughter, Adalynn, just as her marriage hit a rough patch. Struggling to keep things together and facing an ongoing custody battle with Corey while suffering from severe anxiety, Leah was served with divorce papers from Jeremy in 2015 on the final season of Teen Mom 2.
#8 – Briana DeJesus (Then)
What’s better than a sequel? A trilogy! The final piece of the Teen Mom saga debuted in 2013 as Teen Mom 3, but didn’t have the same staying power as the other seasons leaving the network to run only 13 episodes. Of the four cast members to appear on the show was Briana DeJesus of Orlando, Florida. Despite big dreams of going to college, Briana’s life took a detour in 2010 when she found out that she and her ex-boyfriend Devoin were pregnant. Giving birth to her daughter Nova in September 2011, Briana watched as Devoin left the hospital moments later in what became a trend for the young father on the show.
Teen Mom 3 kicked off when Briana took Devoin to court for not providing for their daughter and for slandering her name across social media. As a result, Briana received an order of protection against Devoin only to drop it weeks later with the hopes that he would soon shape up and become the father she knew he could be. Needless to say, Devoin continued to stand Briana and Nova up, which ignited a rollercoaster of disappointments for the young mom obviously left to raise her daughter alone.
#7 – Briana DeJesus (Now)
Taking Devoin back to court for child support and slander only to see their relationship completely fizzle out by the final episode of the series, Briana has managed to stay incredibly active on social media since the show wrapped up in 2013. Hoping to find love once again in 2014 when she started dating a guy named Shoc, few Teen Mom fans were surprised when the reality star got into a heated online feud with Jenelle Evans of season two. After all, who hasn’t had words with Jenelle?
As of 2016, Briana has taken a cue from other reality stars and has gone under the knife for dozens of plastic surgeries including a labiaplasty, breast implants and a butt lift with the hopes of enhancing her look enough to attract the man of her dreams (or so she says). When asked about the kind of example she is setting for her four-year-old daughter, the Florida native says she wouldn’t blame Nova for following in her footsteps, surgeries and all. Whatever makes her happy, right?
#6 – Mackenzie McKee (Then)
Playing up the former cheerleader trope after finding early success on the series, MTV was at it again when they invited Mackenzie Douthit to join the cast of Teen Mom 3. Hailing from Miami, Oklahoma and featured on one episode of the fourth season of 16 and Pregnant, Mackenzie made a huge impact on viewers as an aspiring professional tumbler who wanted to lead a normal life as a teen mom while her boyfriend, Josh McKee, followed his passion of becoming a rodeo rider.
Diagnosed with diabetes and faced with a complicated pregnancy just as she received news that Josh had been injured in an accident, Mackenzie realized it was time to take parenting seriously as she prepared for the birth of her son Gannon on September 12, 2011. When Teen Mom 3 picked up their story, Mackenzie and Josh’s romance wasn’t what it once was thanks to the added stress of two teenagers faced with raising a newborn.
#5 – Mackenzie McKee (Now)
Throughout Teen Mom 3, Mackenzie was supportive of Josh’s aspirations of joining the rodeo but was devastated when she learned that he had been lying to her about going to practice. Discovering that he quit the rodeo and was close to giving up on their family, Mackenzie fought for her marriage throughout the season as they attended couple’s therapy to work through their problems. Luckily enough, the Oklahoma couple managed to recover and rekindled their romance with a pair of “I Do’s” on August 17, 2013.
Since then, the McKees have added to their brood with daughter Jaxie Taylor born on February 7, 2014 with their most recent pregnancy announcement coming in April 2016 after Mackenzie competed in a bodybuilding show. That’s right! The former reality television star is one of the few teen moms on our list who has managed to stay in even better shape over the years and will likely return to the bodybuilding circuit after her third child is born. As for her marriage, many thought it was Splits-Ville for the young couple but they’ve proven that young love can survive even the stress of teen pregnancy!
#4 – Alex Sekella (Then)
Making her reality television debut on 16 and Pregnant, Alex Sekella was exceptionally memorable among viewers as she painfully struggled with the decision of whether to keep her baby or put it up for adoption. Pressured by her mother to choose adoption or be forced to move out of the family home and raise her daughter alone, Alex had little support from even her boyfriend Matt McCann and set off to find a place for herself before her daughter was scheduled to arrive.
It was only a matter of time before Alex faced financial trouble in her new place since she didn’t have any money for rent and was left with no other option but to search for adoptive parents for her unborn daughter. Ultimately turning back to her mother for support, Alex gave birth to her daughter Arabella on July 18, 2011 and moved back into her childhood home despite it not being the most ideal situation.
#3 – Alex Sekella (Now)
Still struggling financially and working three jobs when she debuted on Teen Mom 3, Alex was trying to finish school as she juggled caring for her newborn while Matt entered rehab for his heroin addiction. Despite her efforts to keep them together as a family, Matt made a dramatic exit on the show and left Alex to raise their daughter alone. Doing exactly that, Alex made an incredible transformation on the series from a young and naïve mother to a dance instructor excited to bring Arabella to class.
Since leaving Teen Mom 3 in 2013, Alex has been fairly quiet over the last three years and spends the majority of her time caring for her three-year-old daughter and working as a dance teacher. After Matt made headlines in 2016 for being back on drugs after his girlfriend Lekota gave birth to their son, it’s safe to say that the Pennsylvania native is happy with her decision to move forward with her life and give the best possible future to her daughter.
#2 – Katie Yeager (Then)
Born and raised in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Katie Yeager was dating Joey Maes in late 2010 when she learned she was pregnant with a baby girl. On June 24, 2011, Katie gave birth to her daughter, Molli J., as she and Joey made plans to buy a house and settle down as a family. However, between her appearance on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Moms 3, tension rose between the couple as money was tight and life with a newborn proved to be incredibly stressful for the teens.
Amid violent outbursts and irreconcilable differences, Katie and Joey never managed to make amends as Joey quickly moved on with other relationships that led to two more children with two different women. What a chump! The first of Joey’s long list of fiancés and girlfriends, Katie soon learned that life for her and Molli was far better without Joey in it even if she struggled to financially provide for her daughter at times.
#1 – Katie Yeager (Now)
Now living in Salt Lake City, Utah with Molli and avoiding the spotlight as much as possible in comparison to her fellow Teen Mom alums, Katie recently revealed that she’s spent the last few years taking online courses and even earned a perfect grade point average for the summer 2016 semester. Way to go! And, while she doesn’t have a massive online following like so many others on our list, she has nearly 160,000 followers on Twitter who are quick to praise her for her outspoken stance on LGBT and mothers’ rights.
When it comes to her daughter and their brief stint on Teen Mom 3, Katie says, “I like my privacy. Once the show ended, it was a bittersweet feeling, but I was relieved to have an out to go back to a somewhat normal life.” Compared to some of the track records we’ve seen from the rest of the stars on the series, it sounds like Katie has the right idea for protecting herself and her daughter from what can be an incredibly critical life in the spotlight.