I imagine that all of you have heard the story about Nadya Suleman, the woman in southern CA who had octuplets a few weeks ago. That’s EIGHT babies. In one uterus. They initally thought there were “only” seven. Ha ha.
The controversy surrounding this story is that the mother is a single mother. Single by choice. With 6 other children. Ages 2-7. All are IVF babies. The 3 year old has autism. Another child has ADHD, and another has speech delays. The youngest two are twins. The same sperm donor is the “father” of all of them, but that’s the extent of his role in their lives.
She has no job. She’s been living off student loans. And she now has 8 more kids. Kids who are all small, at risk for health problems in the future, and she is on her own.
She lives in a small home owned by her parents, but her parents do not live with her. She is an only child. Click here to read more about her story.
I watched Ann Curry interview Nadya Suleman on NBC’s “Dateline” last night (2-10-09). I was very disturbed by Suleman’s answers. Ann Curry asked reasonable, logical questions, and the mother seemed to have her head in the clouds and not be in touch with reality. She kept repeating how she loves the “unconditional love” she gets from her children, that “children are a blessing from God,” and that she was a responsible parent who would be able to take care of all her children.
Now, I’m a mother. I dearly cherish the unconditional love I receive from my children, and I absolutely believe that children are a blessing from God. However, I always try to put the welfare of my children before myself, and I don’t see this woman doing that.
I just finished reading “Multiple Blessings” by Kate & Jon Gosselin this weekend. Kate and Jon (of “Jon & Kate Plus 8” fame on TLC) have twin daughters and sextuplets. (They did not use IVF to achieve their pregnancies.) I read their book, reading how much Kate struggled in her pregnancy, and how incredible hard they worked during the babies’ first year. Kate and Jon had each other; they weren’t single parents. But it was HARD for them. It still is hard. And with their story fresh in my mind, I don’t think Nadja Suleman is living in reality. She has no idea what she’s in for.
When I first heard her story, I really struggled with what the best option was. Should she have selectively reduced her pregnancies? Morally, I couldn’t approve of that. I don’t think she should have had IVF in the first place, as I think that’s playing God, but that’s already done. Should she keep all the children? They ARE her kids. But what kind of home is she able to provide for them? Love is not exactly all you need; you need food on the table, too. So, where to go from here?
I have decided that what Nadja Suleman should do, for the sake of her octuplets AND for the sake of her 6 older children, is to put the octuplets up for adoption. If she wants, she can do open adoptions in the L.A. area where she lives, so that she can still keep in contact with the children. With all the publicity she has had, she would have no problem finding 6-8 families of people willing to adopt those babies. (JJ and I would!) But there is just NO WAY that this woman can provide adaquately for those children without being on welfare and without becoming a TV freak show. And no one wants a repeat of what happened to Andrea Yates’s children…
I’m at the point now where I’m just praying for these babies, praying for this family, praying that someone steps in to do the right thing for these children, because this mother certainly doesn’t have her act together.
It’s a very disturbing story. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
JJ and I were talking about this last night as we got ready for bed. He said something to the effect that there will always be crazy situations like this where there will be children needing to be adopted, and that someday perhaps we would adopt a child from such a situation. I immediately started to cry. I have wanted to do something like that for a LONG time, and I was glad to hear JJ say, without any prompting from me, that he would like to do that, too. We both agreed that it’s not the right time now. But, someday. I doubt that we’ll be able to help any of the Suleman octuplets, but perhaps we can help another child in the future to have a normal life in a home with two loving parents and loving big sisters. That’s a nice dream to have.