Wednesday, February 4, 2009

14 Fatherless Children

Far be it from me to comment on someone else's reproductive decisions (ha ha, who am I kidding?), but the recent birth of octuplets to Nadya Suleman, already a single mother to six children, was a story I couldn't ignore, though I wish I could.

It took a few days for the Suleman family to admit that Nadya had sought fertility treatment (as if that wasn't glaringly obvious). And then it came to light that she had actually been through IVF, and had eight embryos implanted. If that is truly the case, who was the fertility specialist who performed the procedure? They should be stripped of their medical license and no longer allowed to practice. No self-respecting doctor with even the slightest concern for a patient's well-being would ever implant eight embryos. Ever. Especially not in a woman who is already the mother of six children's worth of successful IVF attempts. What this doctor did is simply inexcusable.

But if we want to talk inexcusable, let's talk about the mother. Ms. Suleman is an unemployed, single woman who, according to reports, broke up with her boyfriend before the birth of her first child. She describes herself as a "professional student", which is another way of saying that she doesn't have any way of caring for her children. Nadya's mother, who currently cares for the first six children (all of whom were conceived by IVF), says her daughter is obsessed with having babies.

Well, that's great. She likes having babies. Perhaps she should ditch the birthing and start becoming obsessed with how's she's going to care for the children she already has. Which I suppose, in a way, she is. Now that she has produced octuplets, she is looking to media deals with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer to pay the bills.

I hope they ignore her completely. This woman does not deserve the time of day. (If you think I'm cruel for ignoring the welfare of the children, don't get your knickers in a twist. I'm sure they will be plenty well cared for by our tax dollars).

But the question is, how in the world does a single mother of six children she can't provide for walk into a fertility clinic and convince a doctor to implant eight embryos? And how in the world is she paying for these procedures in the first place? At $14,000 a pop, how can she possibly afford this?

It is disgusting that anyone could be so selfish. And disgusting that a doctor was willing to assist her in her quest to produce a coachless football team.

Stories like this make me furious because they give fertility treatment a bad name. As someone whose life has been profoundly blessed by fertility treatment, it angers me even more. I truly believe that procedures like IVF are gifts from God - if they didn't exist, I would not be a mother. So to see women like Nadya Suleman making a mockery of them is maddening.

This is the ultimate trashing of a divine gift. To seek fertility treatment as a single woman, deliberately depriving any resulting children of a father, is selfish and deplorable. To do it over and over again, resulting in 14 fatherless babies you can't support, is, well, evil.

What is the world coming to?


MyDonkey Five said...

It is disgusting and wrong. The doctor should lose his license and the mom needs some serious mental help. ugh. I read that companies like Proctor & Gamble and Gerber are avoiding her like the plague. Normally they give all sorts of hand-outs to people who have a large number of kids from one birth. However, since everyone is appalled at this woman, they do not want to be associated with her in any way.

fiona said...

The irresponsibility of so many people involved in this is just appalling. I'm glad the babies are healthy and doing reasonably well, at least.

And, Bonnie, every time I read a report about this, I roll my eyes when it's mentioned that "8 embryos were implanted" or they "implanted 8 embryos". You, of all people, should know that the doc can only TRANSFER embryos, it's up to someone else if they actually implant! Sheesh. ;)

Bonnie said...

Oh for crying out loud, Fiona. You really want to make this an argument over semantics?

Fine. TRANSFER. Happy?

Anonymous said...

Being just utterly unpolitically correct and snarky here; really... what's the difference between this nut job and the creep who keeps 300dogs in her double-wide?

The number of uteruses (uteri?) involved.

And sadly, in these cases (i.e. those of 'animal' hoarders) the rate of recidivism is basically 100%.

Megan B said...

Um. I didn't know all of the details before today. I thought it was irresponsible of the doctor to put in 8 embryos. But now with all the other information? I'm speechless.

fiona said...

Oops, didn't mean to come across as argumentative (darn those miscommunicating smiley faces!). I was going for "lightheartedly informative" me, it sounds better when I say it... ;)

Either way, the situation is still...just, wow. Bigtime irresponsible.

Haven said...

She's on Dateline tonight. She says she's not on welfare, but DOES take food stamps every month. Isn't that welfare? I always thought it was.

From the sound of it, the same guy is the father of all 14 and he's just freaked out, which is very understandable. "You did WHAT?! with my sperm?!!?!?"

She seems to think that once she's done with school in a year or two she'll be able to provide for all of these children. But who's going to take care of them while she's providing? Of course she'll be able to provide...You become tax exempt when you reach 13 exemptions. PLUS, with 14 children, she'll be banking in on the child tax credits, single-parent-dom, etc, etc, etc. She'll be better off than the rest of us, maybe she won't HAVE to work after all!

Anyway...I've rambled. 'Night!