How will Octomom do it?

Editor’s Note: This post was written by a student in the Spring 2009 Feminist Theory class in The University of Akron’s Women’s Studies Program. To read more student posts, click here.

tdy_curry_octupletsmom_090206_300wThe way our economy is running today, most families may view it as impossible to raise one child, let alone 14.

Yes, we view these entertaining multi-child families on TLC like “Jon and Kate Plus Eight,” where their hectic lives seem to somehow come together and work. But what the viewers need to put into perspective is that the parents of these many children are stable financially and mentally. In these cases, the parents are married couples who are having children for the right reasons, not because they “need love” and are trying to fill voids from a dysfunctional childhood.

Nadya Suleman, the Californian who gave birth to octuplets on Jan. 26 and who happens to have six other children under the age of 8 at home, had no right to have all of those babies. I think what makes me so mad about the situation is that when all of these women’s rights activist stand up and defend her and say “Good for Nadya for being anti-abortion.”

I am a firm believer that women have the right to choose, but this is entirely out of context when we are dealing with an unstable mother who was implanted with six embryos and wasn’t financially stable to care for the children she already had.

It is not moral that Nadya had these babies knowing that neither she nor her family would have enough arms or cash to care for these innocent little babies. No matter the site I visited, it seemed everyone jumped to conclusions, dug up past events and labeled this “octomom” as unstable, and unable to take care of her 14 children.

But were they just conclusions because as Nadya’s past was looked into it is unfortunate that a woman of her stature is mothering so many children single handedly?

Suleman admits that more than half of her income is government-funded, and she has hopes that she can get a television show like other multi-child mothers or through donations Suleman may be able to properly raise the children financially. Rumors of TLC offering her a show have been cleared up; Suleman and her 14 kids will not be appearing on TLC.

And in all honesty, I don’t blame the channel for turning her down. She just doesn’t have her priorities in order, and America may have predispositions, but it’s certain that Nadya is not the most stable mother. Take into consideration that she is unemployed, poor, living with her mother, admits to having mental issues, and has six other children.

For a single parent it is difficult to juggle two children let alone fourteen. I just can’t configure any possible way this mother is going to be able to care for all of her children.

From my perspective, Nadya is to blame for this, and she should be shunned. Nadya was fully aware that six embryos were being implanted into her. Strict guidelines are set by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, and they require that no more than five embryos be transferred to women 40 years and older and only one or two embryos be transferred to women 35 years old and younger.

So why was Suleman, a 33-year-old, given six embryos? Who are we to blame for this event, Nadya or the doctor who implanted her? I’m sure the mother of fourteen will have her mothering skills closely watched.

And with help coming from every angle, let’s all just pray that these children are cared for properly and Suleman gets her act together.


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