Do the Kids on ‘Teen Mom’ Get Paid? How Much?
We remember when the stars of Teen Mom were attempting to navigate school, friendships, relationships, and pregnancy in MTV’s hit breakout series, 16 and Pregnant. Now that they’re older, wiser, and making a living for themselves and their children, we get to see their lives as chronicled on Teen Mom. It’s amazing how far some of the young women have come. And the show certainly allows them to live well above their means, too.
It’s no secret that the stars of the show are paid per episode, but what about their kids? For years, we’ve watched the children grow from babies to toddlers to school-aged children — but are they getting as much money as their famous parents? Here’s how it all works.
There’s a legal gray area regarding kids, money, and reality TV
As far as MTV is concerned, they actually haven’t released any statements regarding financial matters, E! News notes. But there are a few laws in place that protect a child’s finances if they’re in show business. According to the Screen Actors Guild, employers who hire children in states such as California, New York, Louisiana, and New Mexico have to follow the Coogan Law.
The law varies by state, but in California, it requires parents to open a Coogan Account where 15% of the kid’s pay is put into a special trust. In New York, parents are also required to open a trust account similar to a Coogan Account, and Louisiana parents must open a Blocked Trust Account as well. As for New Mexico, parents must open a trust account too, but only if their child earns more than $1,000 per contract.
While child labor laws exist in all states, many states have no such laws protecting a child’s money. And the money issue gets even murkier when it comes to reality TV. E! News notes laws covering child actors don’t necessarily extend into the reality TV realm. And USA Today notes many lawmakers are working on improving laws to protect child performers since the Coogan Law still has a long way to go.
As for how much the kids make on Teen Mom — or if they get paid at all — there’s no guarantee they’re making any sort of paycheck.
How much do the adult Teen Mom stars get paid?
While the kids aren’t guaranteed money of their own, their moms (who are really the stars of the show) certainly make a living. It’s been reported that reoccurring stars Maci Bookout, Amber Portwood, and Catelynn Lowell all made around $25,000 per episode. And the men in the lives also made money, too. Maci’s ex, Ryan Edwards, also reportedly made around $25,000 per episode. Tyler Baltierra, Catelynn’s husband who was featured just as often as she was, was also making the same amount.
Farrah Abraham, the show’s most controversial figure, may have been making a bit more than the other moms, however. Prior to MTV firing her, it’s been reported she was making around $30,000 per episode. While she was certainly polarizing, there’s no doubt her wild personality drove ratings upward. Since she’s been fired, Bristol Palin was signed on to take her place for a payment of $250,000 for her first season.
There was one child on Teen Mom who’s likely making her own money
We can’t vouch for the other kids — but we remember Farrah pushing her daughter, Sophia, into having her own businesses at just 8 years old. While fans were divided on whether Sophia should be co-owning and managing Farrah’s businesses, we’re willing to bet Sophia already has a hefty trust fund. Farrah made a lot of money on Teen Mom, but since her firing, she continues to do well for herself thanks to her branding, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
As far as Sophia’s business ventures are concerned (or, at least, the businesses Farrah has created and added Sophia’s name on to), she has the Mommy and Me Spa Kit and the Sophia Laurent children’s boutique, In Touch Weekly reports. While they were maintained by Farrah, the Teen Mom star still called her child the boss and announced Sophia’s involvement to the world.
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