Who Is Lawson Bates, Jana Duggar's Rumored Suitor?

Who is Jana Duggar's rumored beau Jason Bates — aside from the man who Counting On fans are convinced is courting the eldest Duggar sister? Like Duggar, Lawson comes from a big family with a background in reality TV; he's one of 19 kids in a fundamentalist Christian family who stars on UP TV's Bringing Up Bates.

Bates, who turned 27 in July, has released several solo albums and toured around the country as a musician, and has said he wants to make it on his own as an artist independent of his family. His solid fanbase makes up most of his Instagram and Facebook followings.

"With [my] music [career], it has been different," Bates told Fox News in 2017. "It's not me with the Bates family. It's make it or break it based off of my music strictly. That is a little scary especially when you're writing country music, you share a lot of your heart."

Fans started theorizing about a possible relationship between Bates and Duggar, 29, earlier this year when Duggar joined Instagram in January. Not only did Bates make a friendly comment on her first post ("so tech savvy"), but typically, Duggars don't make their social media debut until they start courting or they get married.

Going even further back to last summer, Bates posted — then quickly deleted — a photo of Duggar on Instagram, causing some fans to speculate that they were an item but not yet ready to make a public announcement. Even in 2017, Lawson's mom Kelly Jo Bates addressed rumors that the two were courting, saying nothing was going on and citing the longtime friendship between the families.

But Bates' sister, Erin, told Entertainment Tonight that a marriage between the two families is destined to happen. “I personally think, hey you have 19 kids on each side, I think it’s almost inevitable somewhere down the line,” she said in 2015. “As much as we see each other, I think there’s going to be an attraction somewhere. I don’t know where yet, but I think it’s gonna happen.”

More recently, fans dissected a comment Duggar made on Instagram after a commenter wrote that they "would love to see you finding your handsome prince."

"Maybe he's riding in on a green turtle instead of a white horse," Duggar replied. "Still searching for Mr. Right. In the words of Michael Bublé, 'Just haven't met [him] yet!'"

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"[Laughing out loud], didn't Lawson just post a pic with a turtle?" one fan asked, referencing Bates' recent social media activity, which also prompted romance rumors with Duggar last month.

On July 15, Bates took to Twitter to document his recent trip to Arkansas, sharing a photo of himself holding a green turtle. As Counting On fans know, Arkansas is where the Duggar family, including Jana Duggar, lives, leading many fans to speculate that the upTV star had actually embarked to The Natural State to meet up with Duggar.