It would have been hard to miss the story about Nadya Suleman and her octuplets this past week. Suleman is the 33 year-old single mom who gave birth to 8 babies with the help of in vitro fertilization. The kicker is that she already had 6 babies at home — also by in vitro fertilization.
She sat down and talked with Ann Curry of NBC and explained that she was an only child who loves children and always wanted a big family.
Whoa. Well, I guess now she’s got one! I’ve thought about her situation a lot over the past week or so. While I think she’s a little crazy to want 14 kids all under the age of 7, (I can barely keep my sanity with one!) when it comes down to it, I don’t think we have the right to tell anyone how many kids they can have. But there are some questions that haven’t really been answered — Suleman says she implanted the remaining 6 embryos in the hopes of getting one healthy baby, but it’s my understanding that you usually only implant 3 at a time. So I do wonder why the doctors went along with that…do they have to do whatever a patient asks when it comes to fertility procedures? (The Medical Board of California is now looking into the case to see if this was a violation of standard of care in that state. Suleman told the Today Show she used the West Coast IVF Clinic in Beverly Hills.)
This story definitely raises a lot of questions. According to the article on MSNBC, Suleman’s publicist says she is now the “most sought after mother in the world.” (Yes, she has a publicist and is weighing book and TV offers, though she says she hasn’t made any decisions, other than wanting to care for her children.)
Would you watch her reality show? And where do you weigh in on this discussion?
About Elisabeth Wilkins
Elisabeth Wilkins was the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.