OctoMom, Responsible vs Reasonable vs Removal

Monday, March 23, 2009 5:00
Posted in category Parenting
<div class=\"postavatar\">OctoMom, Responsible vs Reasonable vs Removal</div>

Post written by Tanya and Rick Doyle

OctoMom – Responsible vs Reasonable vs Removal

As you read this some of you will nod your heads while some of you will shake your heads but everyone that has seen Octomom, Nadya Suleman, in interviews or read about her and the enormous litter of children she has birthed has formed some opinion.  I am going to give you my view and I’m sure that at least some of you are not going to like it.

First, I’ll define what a Permanency Planning Consultant (or PPC) does, which is what I used to do.  A while back, when the Welfare Department was called Family and Children’s Services, case workers were sent to investigate claims of abuse, neglect or dependency.  After an initial investigation into the claim, if the situation was determined to be negligible, Protective Services might be ordered.  A host of services was also available such as assistance with parenting, financial needs, job, home needs and minor, but frequent, case supervision.  There is also the PPU-Permanency Planning Unit.  A PPC is assigned to the parents to give them concentrated one-on-one help to get them turned around in the hopes of a reunification with the children and is usually limited to 6 months by court assessment/agreement.  There was however another possible outcome.  Children need a permanent, stable home and at least one parent.  Letting a child linger in Foster Care indefinitely or dealing with a non-compliant or a severely dysfunctional parent who doesn’t want or care to change, can lead to a decision by the court or state for Termination of Parental Rights.  If this happens in their allotted 6 month time frame to get their lives in order it’s then clear that they either can’t deal with their children or they don’t want them back.  You can offer all the help in the world but it won’t happen unless they are willing to help themselves.  The children don’t deserve to have consistent chaos for years hoping a parent(s) will get it together so the outcome is inevitable.

Which all leads me back to Octomom, Nadya Suleman, single, unemployed, 33 year old mother of 14.  I think when the octuplets story first broke most people, like myself, automatically assumed that this poor woman couldn’t have children or get pregnant naturally.  Then I learned that she already had 6 kids at home, she was unemployed, lived with her bankrupt parents in a small 3 bedroom house and that she quit school and has been on workers comp since 1999.  She admitted in her first interview for the UK, The Sun, that she does have a nanny she pays $500.00 a week to help with the 6 kids at home.  Nadya says, “The nanny is very, very helpful. She works overtime and doesn’t ask for more money. She does 12-hour days.”

 I can’t imagine where she gets the money to pay the nanny, because with her $1900 in disability per month and $490 in food stamps, she doesn’t have the money to spare.  This also begs the question, if she has to have a 12 hour a day nanny to help raise the 6 children at home, who is going to raise the other 8 children?

Yet she insisted that the Reproductive Endocrinologist implant ALL the remaining embryos and then against medical advice, refused selective reduction.  Ann Curry, in a recent interview, said to Suleman, “People feel, you know, this woman is being completely irresponsible and selfish to bring these children in the world without a clear source of income and enough help to raise them.  The world outside is saying, ‘What are you doing?'”

Sulemans reply was, I know I’ll be able to afford them when I’m done with my schooling.  If I was just sitting down watching TV and not being as determined as I am to succeed and provide a better future for my children, I believe that would be considered, to a certain degree, selfish.”

 I’m sure she’ll get that degree in record time with 14 children to raise.  My wife and I only had twins and there were some days when they were infants that my wife was lucky to get a shower, let alone finish her degree.

“All I wanted was children. I wanted to be a mom. That’s all I ever wanted in my life. I love my children.  I’m providing myself to my children.  I’m loving them unconditionally, accepting them unconditionally.  Everything I do, I’ll stop my life for them and be present with them. And hold them. And be with them. And how many parents do that? I’m sure there are many that do, but many don’t. And that’s unfortunate. That is selfish.”

Nadya said she holds each of her 8 premature babies 45 minutes a day, and that she’s a good mom.  Okay, so for 6 hours a day she’s holding 8 of her brood but when does she have time for the other 6 children?  According to NBC contributor and psychiatrist, Dr. Gail Saltz, Suleman will face serious emotional issues as well.  “Undoubtedly these eight children are going to have issues:  at the minimum, the issue of neglect.  Obviously, she’s saying she’s going to love them, but there are 14 children and [only] one of her.  There’s going to be an absence of some emotional needs. There will probably be developmental delays at best in these children; maybe learning disabilities. There are going to be major issues that they’re going to need various therapies for.”

My wife and I went through IVF and we really did our research before undergoing such an expensive and emotional process.  We learned everything we could about fertility and the IVF process as well as things we probably didn’t want to know. Including the fact, particularly since my wife is very petite, that carrying more than one baby is risky and can severely affect their long term health and even endanger their lives.

Even our ‘simple’ twin pregnancy was fraught with complications but they were thankfully delivered at 37 weeks, healthy and with no NICU time required.  Suleman appears to have zero regard for these tiny infants and any fertility doctor will tell you with HOMs (High Order Multiples) you drastically increase the likelihood of serious health issues that could either jeopardize the babies’ lives or greatly diminish the quality of life per child. 

When she was asked if she wanted just one or two embryos implanted, she replied, “Of course not. I wanted them all transferred. Those are my children, and that’s what was available and I used them. So, I took a risk. It’s a gamble. It always is.  It turned out perfectly,” Suleman added.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, was quoted that the risk goes beyond the babies and that such an extreme pregnancy can result in severe complications or prove fatal to the mother.

“That risk is not only to mom, her uterus can rupture and she can die, there’s a phenomenal risk to eight babies. Eight babies, by definition, cannot be born normal weight and robust,” Snyderman said.  “They’re going to watch these kids very carefully for eating problems, growing [problems], and then seizures, jaundice, heart problems, lung problems, blindness, developmental delays, there’s a laundry list of things. Long term, because some of these children will be physically or mentally challenged, there’s a looming price tag out here. The hospital bill alone will run $1.5 to $3 million. Forget about getting to college; just to get through special-needs stuff; it’s going to have to come from somewhere, either the taxpayers of California or her family or her church or the hospital. But she can’t do it alone.”

Reportedly Suleman has spent enough money on plastic surgery and received enough public funding thus far to buy a mansion.  She has collected about $165,000 on her workers comp claim.  Suleman was injured in 1999 while working the graveyard shift as a psychiatric technician at the Metropolitan State Hospital in California.  She claimed to love her job, but her employer was either unwilling or unable to bring her back to work.  Sounds to me as if they should have admitted her.  Regardless, I’m sure a pregnancy with the mindboggling job of supporting eight babies was beneficial for her back.

The underlying question is simply this; Does she have or meet ANY of the following standards that justify investigation? Abuse, neglect or dependency?  Should she be investigated or even have her children?  Can one person with no visible means of support and no reasonable housing be allowed to keep her kids?  Should society keep paying millions to enable her go on interview after interview and hiring and firing one publicist after another?  I’m sorry, but all I see is a sick woman with a horde of children that the hard-working taxpayers are going to have to pay to raise.  When states, Medical Boards and medical doctrine nationwide are being called into question and laws are being considered for change to PREVENT another Octomom situation from occurring, maybe she needs her responsibilities lifted for her.  Is it too much to expect a reasonable home and attentive parent for these fourteen precious children?  I just can’t see why her children have to pay the price for her extreme efforts at fame.  Having a narcissistic personality disorder doesn’t mean she thinks a lot about herself; it means she thinks ONLY of herself. 

I think the state should insist that Suleman get to the point that she has a job, a home and a stable environment before they let her take her 8 new babies home.  If she can manage that task, then more power to her.   If not, then allow a number of deserving and qualified childless couples to adopt so that we, as a society, can insure a better childhood and full attention that each of those extra 8 children deserve and can’t get as 1 of 14.  Family and Children’s Services should then continue to monitor Suleman and if the first six children don’t receive a better quality of life than they have to date, then they should do what is necessary to insure their happiness and security as well.  Three of the six are receiving disability.  Still, she doesn’t think she’s living off of any taxpayer money.” Of the six children, four have special needs.  Elijah, 7, has ADHD; Amerah, 6; JJ, 5; Aidan, 3, is autistic; 2-year-old twins, Caleb & Calyissa, who have speech delays and “maybe tiny characteristics of autism,” according to Suleman.  She also admits her octuplet premature newborns are at risk for cerebral palsy. 

Her mother, Angela Suleman, stated, The truth is Nadya’s not capable of raising 14 children.”   Octogranny says her daughter’s compulsion for more children is a burden on her and called her actions “unconscionable.”  She really, really has no idea what she’s doing to her children and to me.  She already has six beautiful children. Why would she do this?  I’m struggling to look after her six.  We had to put in bunk beds, feed them in shifts and there’s children’s clothing piled all over the house.” Nadya Suleman told Ann Curry that she hoped that volunteers and her mother will help once she brings the octuplets home.

In her interview with Ann Curry, Suleman called money “superfluous” and stated that she doesn’t receive government assistance, I’m not receiving help from the government. I’m not trying to expect anything from anybody.” 

“Do you have any income at all?” Curry asked. 

At the moment, no,” Suleman replied, adding that she intended to “temporarily” use student loans to pay for her family’s care.
“Right now, you don’t have an income to provide for your children?” Curry repeated.
“Probably just with the student loans,” Suleman said. “I am providing for my children. I am. And that will probably run out by the time I go back to school. So I have my own way. It’s an alternative way, but it works.”

Apparently quite a bit of Suleman’s plastic surgery has been in an attempt to mimic Angelina Jolie, who also has quite a gaggle of children.  However, Jolie can afford to house, clothe, feed and care for her children.  She was also responsible enough to not endanger herself as well as her babies by having them all in one fell swoop and had the compassion and consideration to adopt children with hopeless futures from very poor countries.  Octomom more closely resembles the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, except for the whole shoe part.  Nadya Suleman doesn’t even have a shoe to live in.  She lives with her parents, who filed bankruptcy last year and just had their home foreclosed on and repossessed because they hadn’t made a mortgage payment in over a year.  But not to worry.  I’m sure Suleman has her very own page on the stimulus plan.












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One Response to “OctoMom, Responsible vs Reasonable vs Removal”

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