'The Baby Borrowers' Scorned by APA, Welcomes a Visit From Dr. Drew
'The Baby Borrowers' Scorned by APA, Welcomes a Visit From Dr. Drew
While reality TV has turned to more outrageous social experiments to bring something new to the table and subsequently raise TV ratings, some may find reality programs to be crying out loud desperate.  Social experiments such as Ashton Kutcher’s Beauty and the Geek brought audiences a good number of laughs, while CBS’ Kid Nation received a lot of negative comments from viewers and concerned parents alike.  Most recently, another reality series was seen in the negative light, and this time, NBC has yet to comment on the issue.

The Baby Borrowers, which focuses on teaching young adults the lessons of raising and taking care of a child, is a social experiment which takes children and keeps them in the care of teenagers, technically strangers, for three days.  Earlier this month, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) expressed their concerns for the welfare of the children in this reality series.  More recently, the American Psychiatric Association is asking NBC to reevaluate this social experiment and see its effects on the toddlers.

APA released a statement saying, “The American Psychiatric Association deplores the use of babies and toddlers as props or experimental subjects for a television program.  It is inappropriate and sometimes harmful to remove very young children from their families and familiar environments, and the level of harm may not be apparent on simple observation.”

Similarly, AACAP President Robert Hendren said that “A child's sense of security should not be gambled with,” especially in this case that the program actually promotes baby borrowing as an acceptable custom in the community.

He added, “A more constructive approach would have had the teenagers shadow a family of a toddler or baby, keeping parents close.”

Moreover, the APA press release continued to say that “Since the program is meant to reveal whether or not the 'borrowers' are competent to care for these children, at least some of the children will have been exposed to incompetent and confused caregivers, and to whatever problematic situations arose as the caregivers struggled with each other.”

APA strongly calls on NBC to reevaluate the concluding reality series and “never to repeat this misuse of children; not to allow reruns to air; and to use every means to discourage the use of episodes in parenting classes or other venues where they might well be shown.”

As of now, NBC has yet to comment on these statements. Meanwhile, in other news, Dr. Drew Pinsky is set to co-host The Baby Borrowers: Lessons Learned interactive event alongside Hoda Kotb. The season finale is set to air on Wednesday, August 6 at 9pm.

-Valerie Anne del Castillo, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Medical News Today, The Futon Critic
(Photo courtesy of NBC)