Though there are technically only 19 kids on the Duggar family tree, parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also have a 20th child, their adopted son, Tyler. Though he’s been living with the family for a few years now, he’s recently also started showing up in Counting On episodes. And though the Duggars introduced Tyler to their fans on Facebook, casual viewers of the TLC show might not know who he is. So how does Tyler fit into the family? Keep reading below to find out.
Tyler was already part of the Duggar family before his adoption.
In Touch exclusively revealed back in November 2016 that Jim Bob and Michelle were granted permanent guardianship over Tyler — after originally obtaining temporary guardianship two months prior. “Jim Bob and Michelle couldn’t be happier right now,” a source told In Touch exclusively at the time. “Jim Bob and Michelle have made the child feel right at home. They treat him like their own and he looks up to them as parents.” Though Tyler is now legally one of Jim Bob and Michelle’s kids, he’s also the mom-of-19’s great-nephew. The extended family tree shows that Michelle’s older sister, Carolyn Hutchins, is Tyler’s grandmother.
Tyler’s biological mom is Rachel Hutchins.
Carolyn’s daughter, Rachel, welcomed her son when she was a teenager and not married. Though she originally “gave up custody of her son [in August 2015] to her mother,” they had to find a new arrangement for Tyler after Carolyn suffered a stroke. Rachel went through a string of financial and legal woes that left her struggling to care for her child — that’s when her aunt and uncle stepped in.
But even though Jim Bob and Michelle are Tyler’s legal guardians, Rachel and Carolyn are still in his life. His mom was granted supervised visits with her son after her aunt and uncle obtained permanent guardianship. When Tyler celebrated his 9th birthday, his grandma joined the rest of the family to help celebrate.
Happy 9th Birthday Tyler! We are so glad to have you in our home and a part of our family! Your bright smile and sweet…
The Duggars treat Tyler as if he were their own.
Just like with their biological children, Michelle and Jim Bob make sure to spoil Tyler with some extra attention on his birthday. They shared a sweet birthday message to him on their official Facebook page one year, writing, “We are so glad to have you in our home and a part of our family! Your bright smile and sweet spirit brings much joy to us all! Jackson loves having a ‘little brother/cousin’ to ride bikes and play with and read your bibles together [sic]. Our prayer is that each day you will seek God’s will for your life and that God will use your life in a great way.”
He also appears in family photos, cheers at sports games, visits Fort Rock Family Camp, and goes on mission trips with the rest of the crew. And in addition to the annual birthday message, the Duggars have also just posted his own silly moments on Facebook and Instagram like they do for their other kids.
Got milk? Tyler is getting to finish off the jug!😉
You can see him on Counting On.
Though you may have already spotted him in the background of a few scenes, Tyler is taking on a more prominent role on season 9 of the show. In addition to filming interviews with the cast and crew the way that the other stars do, he’s also been involved in some major plot lines. While the family split off into teams to help come up with groom’s cake ideas for John David Duggar‘s wedding, Tyler paired off with his buddy Jackson Duggar to help make fondant planes to decorate Jana Duggar‘s baked goods entry. He also helped celebrate the groom-to-be at his bachelor party where they had a “flour bombing” competition. Now that he’s been part of the family for a few years, it seems he’s become just as much a part of the cast as the other kids.