Jon & Kate Plus 8 first aired all the way back in 2007. Over the decade since the premiere, a lot has changed for the family. When the show started it centered around a married couple, Jon and Kate, and their eight kids (a set of twins and a set of sextuplets). Today, Jon and Kate have divorced and it hasn’t exactly been a clean split.
But the drama didn’t end with the divorce, in fact, more has come to light since the couple broke up. This is especially true when you look at one of the sextuplets, Collin. About two years ago, both Jon and Kate stopped mentioning Collin altogether. Why? Their estranged son received a lot of attention from fans who wondered why he had disappeared. Kate finally admitted that she had her son committed to a facility because of his, “special needs.”
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Now, Collin has finally returned home to his father who has custody. The journey home wasn’t easy for Collin and there were a lot of roadblocks along the way. There’s a lot of gossip and speculation about the Gosselin family, so we thought it would be a good idea to put all the pieces together and create a timeline of events that lead to Collin’s return.
August 2016: Kate Sends Collin Away for ‘Treatment’
Back in August of 2016, Kate told People that she’d sent her 12-year-old son away for treatment. She claimed he had special needs and had him, “enrolled in a program that is helping him learn the skills he needs to be the best him he can be.”
She also said, “We miss him so much, so it’s been hard because there is a huge hole in our family without him here. But it comforts us to know he’s where he needs to be right now, and I can feel good about that.”
November 2016: Jon Doesn’t Know Where Collin Is
Fast forward to November of the same year, Jon did an interview with Entertainment Tonight. In the interview, he admitted that he did not know where Collin was, “I have an idea where he is but I don’t really know where he is.”
What’s even more troubling is that Kate had stopped responding to Jon’s calls and texts about their son. Jon had an idea of where Collin was but did not know definitively.
January 2017: Collin Appears on Kate Plus 8 for the Last Time
The next year, 2017 Collin appeared for the last time on Kate Plus 8. The appearance did little to address where he’d been or why. The episode left fans with more questions than answers.
October 2017: Kate Says Collin is Thriving, He Says Not So Much
We get a “she said, he said” sort of situation by the fall of 2017. A close friend of Kate’s told Hollywood Life that Collin was “thriving” in the facility. The source said, “Now it seems that Collin is flourishing, and he’s responding very well to one-on-one instruction. He definitely finds it easier to function and cope better without all the chaos that his home life entails.”
This certainly conflicts with what Jon was saying publicly at the time. The plot thickens…
Halloween 2017: The Fans Want Answers
After Kate posted the above Halloween photo to her Instagram account, fans noticed an absence. Where is Collin? The comments blew up as fans tried to get answers about Collin’s whereabouts and why he wasn’t allowed to trick-or-treat with his siblings.
November 2017: Jon Shares His Heartbreak Over Collin
After the Halloween photo blew up, a source close to Jon told Hollywood Life that Jon was extremely upset about the situation and how Collin was being treated.
“She controls everything, it’s her way or the highway when it comes to the kids, including Collin,” the source elaborated.
“Jon broke down and cried. He hates that she’s doing this to Collin and feels so helpless to stop her. He’s praying that the judge will side with him at their next custody hearing,” the source said.
December 2017: The Fans Go After Kate Again
Kate posted a throwback photo of her son, Aaden, the next month. It did not sit well with fans, however. They still demanded to know where Collin was and when she’d provide updates on his treatment. One person left a comment harshly criticizing Kate, even calling her a “loser parent.”
May 2018: The Sextuplets Celebrate Their Birthday Without Collin
Kate posts to Instagram in April about her sextuplets’ birthday. If you look closely, Collin isn’t there nor is he mentioned in the caption of the post. Look at the caption here, Kate says, “#LoveThemAll (even the ones who refused to be in the pic).” This made fans furious.
Did she just imply her institutionalized son refused to be in the picture?
Jon Celebrates Hannah’s Birthday Without Collin
Jon posted birthday wishes for the sextuplets but only took a picture with his daughter, Hannah. He did mention Collin in the post about their birthday. Curiously he only celebrated with Hannah.
August 2018: Kate Still Refuses to Comment on Collin
Deep into 2018, it’s been two years since Collin was put in care. Kate still refused to mention him in the post with the other children. Fans continue to demand answers and want desperately to find out when Collin will return home.
Finally, We Get to See Collin!
Jon and Hannah celebrate Collin’s 14th birthday! Fans thought the lone photo of Jon with Hannah was the only celebrating he’d be doing for his children’s birthday. Turns out, Jon and Hannah were planning on celebrating with Collin too! They brought cake and pizza for the mini birthday party.
There’s no evidence that Kate or her other children made an effort to see or celebrate with Collin.
Collin Shows Up Again on Social Media!
In a now-deleted post, Hannah shared images of her and Collin along with their dad. It was a rare, yet welcome, appearance by Collin.
“So good to see Collin again,” Hannah captioned the post. “I had so much fun shopping with him.”
Fans Want Jon to Get Custody of Collin
After it became clear that Hannah was thriving under her father’s care, fans wanted Jon to get custody of Collin too. Little did supporters know, Jon was already gearing up for a battle to get custody of Collin.
November 2018: Collin Returns to Treatment
After Jon posted this photo, fans were hopeful Collin would get to stay at home with Jon and Hannah. Unfortunately, the barber in this photo revealed to Radar Online that Collin would be returning to the facility.
“He was bummed about going back,” he told the publication. “He just said to me, ‘I can’t wait for Thanksgiving break! And to come home.'”
Home for the Holidays: Collin’s Back
Collin got to come back home and spend Thanksgiving with his family which included dad, Hannah, and Jon’s girlfriend, Colleen. As you can see from the photo, Collin seems so happy to be out of the facility and with loved ones.
The Battle for Custody of Collin Begins
Jon files for custody of Collin which starts the face-off in court between Jon and Kate. According to reporting from US Weekly, “Jon believes Collin should move in with him and Hannah, who has been living with her dad full-time for nearly a year, after he completes his program.”
For fans, this seemed like a huge step in the right direction.
December 2018: Jon is Awarded Full Custody of Collin
In December, Jon had won a huge court victory. He was given full custody of Collin. Kate tried to have the judge postpone the hearing, but the judge denied her request. Jon’s custody of Collin is temporary, but considering Kate didn’t end up attending the hearing, we like his chances.
Christmas 2018: Jon Admits Collin Didn’t Need Special Treatment
After winning custody of Collin and spending the Holidays with his son, Jon admitted in a post that Collin didn’t have ‘special needs.’
“He is not on any spectrum [and doesn’t have] special needs,” Jon told a follower.
Then why did Kate insist that he did and have him put in the facility?
February 2019: Collin’s Happy at Home
Look at this happy father and son! Jon posted photos of the two together enjoying an auto show. As you can see, Collin looks overjoyed to be home.
Jon Says Kate Hasn’t Visited Her Son Since He’s Been Home
After Jon posted the photos with Collin, fans commented wondering if Kate had visited her since he’d returned home. One person asked, “How many times has she visited?”
Jon’s reply left little to the imagination, “ZERO,” he responded.
Kate disputes Jon’s claim, but if you take a look at her active Instagram account, you won’t find a recent photo with Collin.
August 2019: Hannah & Collin’s First Day of High School
Months after returning to his Jon, Collin celebrated his first day of high school with his sister, Hannah.
“FRESHMAN!!! 9th Grade Wow!!! I can’t believe it!!! Good luck to Hannah and Collin this year!!! Today is their first day of high school!!!!” Jon aid in the caption. “I hope all my kids have a wonderful year in high school this year and have great experiences!!! Love all of you!!!”
September 2019: Jon Says Colling Begged for Help
According to Jon, his son wrote him letters from the facility, begging for his help. Collin wanted, desperately for his father to come get him.
“I told Mom [Kate Gosselin] I want to live with you, she said no,” Collin’s letter said. “She can’t choose for me. I’m old enough now, I’m YOUR son, not hers,” the letter, written in crayon, continued. “She was abusive to me after I left your house. I’m sorry. Take this to court because … you’re my dad, my savior. I’m counting on you to get me out of here. Daddy, I love you. save me. Please come FAST. I love you. Help me. BYE.”
Jon Still Worries for His Other Kids
Jon recently did an interview where he told, Daily Mail TV that he fears for the children that are still with Kate. He has Collin and Hannah with him, but what about the other four children?
“I have two kids in my house who left a whole pile of money behind. They left fame and money and came to my house. They left it all behind,” Jon told the outlet. “They have all said they have to film because they feel they need to provide a lifestyle for their mother. They don’t want to film. They said they have to film. That’s heartbreaking. Why do my kids need to provide for themselves? They’re kids.”
Collin’s Living His Best Life with Dad
It’s amazing the wounds that time can heal. Jon likes updating fans with posts on Instagram. In the post, he shares pictures of the fun-filled Summer he had with Collin and Hannah. It looks like they’re all thriving and living life to the fullest.
We’re so happy for Collin and for Jon, stepping up as a parent and doing the right thing by his kid.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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