The Truth About TLC's Unexpected

Let's talk babies! The TLC reality show "Unexpected" takes us into the lives of three pregnant teenagers as they prepare to have their first baby. We watch as they take on many struggles that come with raising a child at a young age, such as deciding where to live with the baby, graduating high school, relationship issues with the baby's father, and debating marriage. As each teen begins the journey of motherhood, tensions rise as each couple learns how to raise their child and navigate parenthood. If you loved MTV's "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" growing up, then this show is an absolute must-watch. The show originally aired in 2017 (via IMDb) and after four successful seasons, was renewed for a fifth

"Unexpected" is known for its binge-worthy drama in front of the camera, but did you know what's happened behind the camera? Between public breakups, arrests, and issues with the television program, many cast members have faced some serious struggles with producers of the TLC series. Read on for the truth about "Unexpected."

The show partners with a non-profit

Shows like "Unexpected" and "Teen Mom" typically receive a lot of harsh backlash from their audience. Although many enjoy getting a sneak peek inside the lives of troubled couples, many also feel that these types of shows glamorize and promote teen pregnancy and the struggles that come along with it. Teen moms are typically shamed for choosing to have a baby at such a young age and get a bad reputation amongst their peers. As seen on the show, teen parenthood is not all rainbows and butterflies. Whether it is dealing with financial tension, difficulty maintaining relationships and schoolwork, or learning how to raise a baby on their own, these teen moms have been through it all. 

During all four seasons of the show, TLC partnered with the non-profit Power to Decide to provide information for young people to allow them to discuss their options and decide if and when they are ready to have kids. The goal of this organization is to "spark meaningful conversations about unplanned pregnancy" (via Power to Decide) related to themes shown on "Unexpected" while providing resources to women. By supplying facts about pregnancy in correlation to issues some cast members face on the show, Power to Decide encourages young people to think about "how they might handle similar situations in their own lives."

Cast members don't make as much money as you'd think

Many would think that once you are on a popular reality television show, you immediately start ranking in the big bucks — especially on a show where its stars are visibly shown struggling to budget and afford the costs of raising a child. While some families on certain TLC series collect major coin, like the Busbys on "OutDaughtered," that is unfortunately not the case for all shows. Although we don't know exactly how much the cast makes since salaries are not publicly available, The Cheat Sheet's run-through of what previous TLC stars have made shows that it can range anywhere from $1,000 per episode to tens of thousands. According to Starcasm, "first-year moms are paid well under $1,000 per episode" and later get a small bonus each time they come back for future seasons. Additionally, since the series is somewhat new, it is overall difficult to make a true estimate, but its stars can probably expect an increase over time. 

McKayla Adkins, one of the original moms on the series, was the only teen who was able to break through that $1,000 limit per episode. In a YouTube video, Adkins revealed that the show doesn't necessarily pay as much money as you'd think, and that she needs to find another form of income. "I need a job, whether it's YouTube, whether it's actually going out and getting a job," she admitted. 

TLC producers were called out for being "evil"

McKayla Adkins was one of the OG moms on "Unexpected" and is the only teen to be featured in the first three seasons of the show. However, her time on the program was cut short when she and her family made the decision to not be part of Season 4. Chloe Mendoza, another original teen mom on the show, also revealed in a YouTube video that she would no longer be returning to the series. Many cast members have stated that working on this show has left them feeling extremely uncomfortable with what was asked of them. 

In September 2021, Starcasm reported that Adkins called out the producers of the TLC reality show in a string of Instagram Stories, claiming they put her in uncomfortable situations as a minor and made her answer inappropriate questions. "They pushed my f***ing boundaries to the limit," McKayla said in the video. "And when they didn't get their way they took my money or threatened to sue" (via Starcasm). Adkins' complaints included how the crew pushed her to film naked while giving birth and breastfeeding, and to discuss private and intimate details about her sex life in front of her family. Many other cast members stepped forward in response to Adkins' video and responded with similar claims of feeling uncomfortable around the show's producers. "We were sexualized. Our kids were probably sexualized. Honestly, I don't even know how this show is still going," she continued. 

Reanna Cline and Taron Ward were kicked off halfway through Season 4

Reanna Cline joined the "Unexpected" crew during Season 4 with her boyfriend, Taron Ward, and their baby girl, Danica. Halfway through the season, the show took a sudden pause from filming, which ended up lasting over a month and leaving their viewers with a lot of confusion. Why did the show stop airing, you may ask? According to Distractify, although TLC never released an official statement explaining why, dedicated fans of the show realized it was because Cline and her boyfriend were cut from the series. After being removed from the season's trailer and future episodes, Cline's mother Jarea later confirmed in a Twitter post that the couple wouldn't be returning "for personal reasons." McKayla Adkins responded to an Instagram post (which has now been deleted) about the teens' removal from the show, saying, "Lol honestly not surprised if you don't suck their d***s they hate you." 

The exact reason why the couple left the show is still unclear to this day. However, since her time on the show, the teen mom has graduated high school and continued raising her daughter (via Starcasm). 

Are Chloe Mendoza and Max Schenzel still together?

Fans who have followed along with Chloe Mendoza and Max Schenzel's relationship on "Unexpected" know that the couple has faced plenty of rough ups and downs. Between breaking up and getting back together, lawsuits and jail sentences, new viewers of the show are in for a wild ride with these two. According to a February 2021 Distractify article, things were seemingly going well for the two teen love birds. The article reported that Schenzel had responded to a viewer's comment confirming that he and Mendoza were still together. Although there were rumors that they did rekindle their romance, Schenzel's more recent 2021 Instagram posts suggest that he has been posting with a new girlfriend named Morgan. The majority of the photos of him and Mendoza have already been removed from his profile, so things just didn't work out. As sad as it may be, it honestly might be for the better! 

In June 2021, Schenzel uploaded a video to his YouTube channel, Max Vlogs, titled "Dear Chloe's new Boyfriend..." where he goes into detail on his thoughts about Mendoza's new relationship with her boyfriend, Ian, and whether he would step in as a father to their daughter. He continues to discuss that a major issue for him is how he has "no communication with Chloe or anyone in her family in particular," leaving Schenzel ultimately worried for the well-being of his daughter around Mendoza's new boyfriend.

Max Schenzel struggled with drug addiction

During the Season 3 trailer of "Unexpected," Max Schenzel revealed that he was addicted to painkillers and addressed his issue with substance abuse on the show. According to Distractify, the teen dad began receiving "intensive outpatient treatment" after testing positive for Fentanyl usage on three different events, ultimately violating his probation. Aside from battling drug addiction at the time, Schenzel was also running into trouble with the law. In June 2018, he was arrested for burglary and credit card theft after stealing from his 77-year-old grandmother. However, Starcasm reported that his jail sentence continued to get delayed in order for Schenzel to get his drug addiction under control. To do that, the teen attended Alcoholics Anonymous retreats and lived in a sober home (via Starcsam), although there are rumors that he did not finish all of his work to completion and dropped out early. The teen dad ended up in jail until January 2021, where he remained for six months after pleading guilty to the felony (via Starcasm). 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Anthony Vanelli, Rilah Ferrer's ex-boyfriend, has faced several legal troubles

Anthony Vanelli, Rilah Ferrer's ex-boyfriend, has run into quite some trouble with the law since appearing on "Unexpected." It all started in October 2019, when he was first charged with domestic violence after an altercation with his ex-girlfriend. According to Starcasm, he was arrested after multiple social media posts by Ferrer and her mother Rosa accused him of being abusive towards the mother of his child, showcasing photos of bruises and videos of him talking about taking their daughter, Malayah, away from Ferrer. A few weeks later, he was charged with misdemeanor battery domestic violence, but his mother Rebecca paid the $500 bond and he was released the next day (via Starcasm). Later in April 2021, Starcasm further reported that Vanelli was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and was held in jail on a $5,000 bond. 

Lexus Scheller sought out birth control too late

In an attempt to take the necessary precautions to avoid teen pregnancy, Lexus Scheller, along with her mother Kelsey, decided it was time for her to take a visit to the doctor and be put on birth control. However, when she arrived at her appointment, she quickly found out that she was already 12 days late on her menstrual cycle and pregnant with her first child. Looking back on the moment Scheller found out she was about to be a teen mom in an "Unexpected" Video Diary interview on YouTube, her mother revealed how completely shocked she was when she found out. "I didn't think it was real, I didn't believe it. I was shocked, I don't think I've ever experienced shock like that," she said. 

The mother-daughter duo continued to discuss the big moment, and how Scheller's mom didn't even know her daughter was dating anybody at the time that she got pregnant. "I had no idea you even had an interest in a single person let alone was having sex ... there hasn't even been a guy over here," she said. 

Some cast members had more babies!

Since their time on "Unexpected," many cast members have welcomed more babies into their growing families. Although some of these couples are no longer together and have each gone on to new relationships, their kiddies are still as cute as ever and are now big brothers and sisters! First up, we have McKayla Adkins. After welcoming her first baby boy, Timothy, at 16 years old with her ex-boyfriend Calean Morrison (via TLC) she later introduced a baby girl into the family. According to Starcasm, since leaving the show and after her public breakup, Adkins is now married to her husband Ethan Tenney, and the couple are expecting a baby boy in May 2022. 

Additionally, cast member Tiarra Boisseau welcomed her second baby in July 2021 (via Starcasm) with her boyfriend Dee Ragland. The couple now has two beautiful girls together, and Boisseau never fails to bless our Instagram timelines with the most adorable photos. Lexus Scheller revealed in February 2021 that she was pregnant with her second child, another baby girl and her first child with her current boyfriend, Isaiah Norwood (via Starcasm). You can find pregnancy updates on her TikTok profile, where she discusses how she is feeling and how excited she is for the baby to arrive. And lastly, Lily Bennet announced the birth of her son, Lawrence Bishop IV, on Instagram in November 2020 (via Starcasm).