Recently friends and family have called me up asking for my opinion on the Octuplets born this past week in California. If you haven’t heard this story (it’s a doosey) here’s what we know:
The Mother appears to be single and unmarried.
She already has 6 children making the total number of children 14.
The family has financial problems to the tune of a bankruptcy, tax liens and a foreclosure, according to court records.
Unknown and and unnamed physicians implanted eight embryos in order to play the odds, making sure that at least one took and a 6th pregnancy (2 of the original six are twins) was achieved; all eight embryos produced a child.
The mother lives with her parents and her father works as a contractor in Iraq to support the 1550 square foot home.
The grandmother reports that her daughter was obsessed with having babies.
The younger of the original six are two and the oldest is 7-years-old.
The latest on this story is that this single mother is seeking $2m from media interviews and commercial sponsorship to help pay the cost of raising the children. She intends to go on Oprah and Diane Sawyer, billing herself as a childcare expert. She’s also been deluged with book deals.
This woman’s name is Nadya Suleman, and she describes herself as a â€œprofessional studentâ€ living off education grants and parental money. She broke up with her boyfriend before the birth of her first child seven years ago.
The identity of the octupletsâ€™ father remains unknown, but local reports suggest they were conceived with frozen sperm donated by a friend she met while working at a fertility clinic. He is the father of her twins, born two years ago. That’s at least three different fathers for the first 7 children that we know of. It would also appear that despite being insolvent and unable to support herself or her family, she elected to have more children (albeit not eight more, just one more making eight).
Now people want to know what I think, well, as a mandated reporter frankly I’m mortified.
Plenty of doctor’s, ethicist’s and other talking heads of the medical profession have weighed on this subject pretty much coming to the same conclusion; although nobody in their right mind would ethically promote this sort of behavior, there isn’t much we can do stop it. This country tried eugenics many years ago and generally speaking we agreed that sterilizing poor people was a bad thing. As a social worker in Brooklyn, I saw women have up to 14 children while living in government housing, receiving food stamps and collecting welfare fairly regularly. In fact, many of these not only had 14 or so children with multiple men while living in poor conditions but did so while in the throes of crack and heroin addiction. The mother of 14 crack babies was all too common during my formative years as a New York City social worker. There was nothing we could do but remove the children those parents and free them for adoption elsewhere. Often times doctors recommended sterilization but it was still the patients choice whether or not to go through just as it was Suleman’s choice to keep the children whether to murder them via adoption.
So what do I think? I think they are here and if people want to shower this circus freak with money, all the better for her children. However, I also think that despite this nuts good intentions with regards to “loving babies” many of them will be neglected, feel unloved and hurt themselves in an attempt to find love and stability elsewhere. This too I see all of the time. We are not a rural society anymore and the need for big families has passed. In the modern age time is fleeting and there just isn’t enough to spread around for the children that demand your parental attention and guidance. In short, she will be a terrible mother because one person can’t properly attend to all 14 kids at once. It’s impossible. I’ve seen families struggle with just children, let alone 14.
Suleman is clearly a very selfish, crazy woman and clearly needs psychiatric treatment. Unfortunately she is not alone. Plenty of women think that since nobody loved them growing up they can fill that void with having a child that will love them unconditionally. If that were not problematic enough, the tendency is to replace said child once they are out of infancy with another
drug baby. The image of the mommy hooked on baby love while her other children go on being neglected and becoming feral is all too common in my industry and in this society. Suleman is clearly the champion of mommies selfishly looking after their own needs, damning the very real needs of their children.
Unfortunately, because Child Protective Services is reactive and not proactive, one or more of those children will have to be sacrificed to the gods of tragedy before the whole lot of them is removed and placed in foster/adoptive homes. If she gets the millions she’s asking for then like other rich, crazy, Hollywood-type sociopaths, she’ll avoid the natural consequences that come with making poor decisions such as having 14 children out of wedlock with no father present and no actual income. Celebrities can generally put off natural consequences of their decisions until it’s far too late and it catches up to them and this is the future that is in store for Suleman and her brood.
The truly horrifying thing is that if she is successful in making money off of this endeavor, how long will it be before other insane women attempt to use their bodies for homegrown circuses as well? If this creates a trend of lazy nutters cranking out babies for an opportunity to yack it up on Oprah, that’s when I’ll start seriously reconsidering bringing back eugenics.
Either that or they’ll all just apply for an Obama bail out.