Collin Gosselin’s birthday weekend included a visit from his dad.
On Sunday, Jon Gosselin shared a rare photo of his and Kate Gosselin‘s son who doesn’t live with the rest of the sextuplet siblings, instead residing full-time at a facility for children with special needs. They were celebrating Collin’s 14th birthday along with sibling Hannah.
Collin looks like the Jon & Kate Plus 8 dad’s mini-me in the photo, which showed Jon with his arms resting on his son’s shoulders. They were beaming, clearly happy to be together. They were probably also excited to dig into the birthday spread, which included pizza and cake. Jon, who is now a DJ, noted he was “glad” to celebrate with Collin and Hannah.
Jon previously posted two other photos of birthday fun with Hannah. When a fan asked about the rest of the sextuplets (Aaden, Alexis, Leah, and Joel), whom he shared a throwback of, he snapped that he didn’t post the photos to begin a conversation about the family’s custody arrangements. (His older daughters, Mady and Cara, have said they no longer speak to Jon, who finalized his bitter divorce with Kate in 2009. And in 2016, Jon told Yahoo Celebrity that he spends time with whichever kids want to come to his house.)
After Collin dropped out of sight on Kate Plus 8, Kate, who the children live with primarily, went public with the news in August 2016 that he “has special needs” and a diagnosis that was “fairly fluid,” and that he had been enrolled in a full-time program away from home to help “him learn the skills he needs to be the best him he can be,” she told People magazine.
She said she struggled a long time before deciding to enroll him in the program — and that it was a decision she made herself. “I’ve dealt with [it] on my own,” she said. “I’ve felt very alone in this.” She said that the entire family had been affected.
In November of that year, Kate, who will soon be starring in a new TLC dating series, told People that she was “very happy” with the care he was getting and that she was “comforted by the fact that he is so clearly exactly where he needs to be.”
Around that time, Jon, through a lawyer, told In Touch magazine that he didn’t know where his son Collin was living. Also proving that custody arrangements remain strained between the exes is that Jon’s longtime girlfriend, Colleen Conrad, started a GoFundMe page last September to help with his “legal battle ahead” to secure “his rightful place in the lives of his family.” The fundraiser ended soon after, $27,000 shy of the goal.
This marks Collin’s second birthday away from home. Last July on Kate Plus 8, footage of the sextuplets celebrating their 13th birthday aired, and Collin wasn’t there. He was mentioned in the show with Kate again saying she was “comforted” knowing that each of her kids “is receiving exactly what they need and that hasn’t changed.” Though she added it was “bittersweet. … You can’t do anything without realizing he’s missing.”
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