The Baby Borrowers, the NBC reality series that gives teens a round-the-clock taste of parenthood, has caught the attention of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a medical professional membership association representing the majority of child and adolescent psychiatrists in the United States. Believing that it has no place on television, the advocacy group now calls for the network to cancel the show.
On The Baby Borrowers, five couples aged between 16 and 19 start off attempting to look after a baby for three days, before moving onto toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers and finally an elderly person. This premise, according to child health experts, is an unsafe social experiment.
“Separating babies and toddlers from their parents for extended periods of time can lead children to feel distress and anxiety. After prolonged separation, a child can feel distrust for his or her primary caregiver. Separation can damage a healthy attachment and a child’s sense of safety,” the organization wrote in the statement.
Apart from health and safety issues, the AACAP is also concerned that The Baby Borrowers promotes “baby borrowing” as an “acceptable parenting practice” that “will prompt imitation.”
“Should this practice be emulated without the benefit of the observing camera, it is important to note that teenagers may be more likely than adult strangers to abuse or neglect infants and toddlers,” AACAP member Anne Glowinski explained.
Despite the negative buzz, it appears that NBC is standing by its show, emphasizing the safety its youngest participants received during filming.
“The producers of The Baby Borrowers took all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and welfare of the children participating in the series,” NBC said in a statement. “The environment was carefully controlled, and the children were properly care for at all times.
The Baby Borrowers airs every Wednesday at 8pm ET/PT on NBC.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of NBC)