The Learning Channel is receiving a public scrutiny after debuting its new reality show called Birth Moms, which features a cast member who is overweight, drinks, smokes and is pregnant. The TLC episode also revealed that she is considers giving up the child after it is born.
The documentary follows three different pregnant mothers who are living at a Utah adoption center and struggle with the decision of whether or not to put their soon-to-be born children up for adoption.
Kandice, who already has two other children, became pregnant again after a one-night stand has sparked outrage because the Birth Moms segment revealed how she smokes and drinks during her pregnancy. She doesn’t care if others fear it is dangerous for her unborn child.
In one segment, she becomes upset after being caught shoplifting and a police officer takes her license that she needs to be able to prove she is of legal drinking age at a restaurant after ordering a strawberry-banana daiquiri.
She then calls the officer who took her license and somehow convinces him to bring it to her at the restaurant, so she can have the drink. She explains while waiting, wine won’t do after a day like this — she needs tequila! Then she proceeds to smoke a cigarette. It’s all in a stunning revelation that there are people in the world who don’t care about the birth of their baby.
“I’ve been wanting to drink for how long? I came here to have a drink. Not for the food-I wanted liquor!” she exclaimed.
Several other segments of the show see Kandice smoking, which combined with the drinking and her obese weight put the unborn child at risk for several different complications such as physical deformities, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision difficulties and behavioral problems.
One viewer, Ann Hughes described her disgust over Kandice’s actions on a Huffington Post blog by saying, “My mother and I were watching this a few hours ago, and I admit I was almost yelling at this woman on TV. If she expressed any remorse for smoking and drinking before having her child, I didn’t see it.”
“As an adoptive mother, I am horrified at this portrayal of expectant mothers-but even worse is the fact that an agency participated in it and thereby exploited everyone involved,” noted another commenter.
TLC has yet to respond to the negative reaction.