The Suleman octuplets and encouraging responsible parenting

We really need to take a look at how this society encourages irresopnsible parenting.

Nadya Suleman (b. 1975) (also known as Natalie Suleman; Nadya or Natalie Suleman-Gutierrez while married; and Nadya or Natalie Doud) was born in Fullerton, California. She was raised in La Puente, Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights, all cities in Los Angeles County. She is the only child of Ed and Angela Suleman, who married in Las Vegas in 1974 and divorced in 1999. Nadya Suleman mentioned that she is a half Arabic, half Lithuanian Protestant.[1][2][3][4][5][6][6][7][8]

Suleman graduated from Nogales High School in La Puente, California in 1993[8] and studied to be a psychiatric technician at Mt. San Antonio College. She held a mental health technician license and worked as a psychiatric technician at Metropolitan State Hospital[9] where her back was injured while at work.[10] She filed a worker’s compensation claim in 1999 against the hospital, later filing another claim in 2001 against the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.[9] She received more than $165,000 in disability payments.[11][12] She attended Cal State Fullerton and received a Bachelor of Science degree in child and adolescent development in 2006[13]. Suleman returned to Cal State to pursue a master’s degree in counseling, leaving the program in 2008.[13]

Suleman married Marcos Gutierrez, a produce manager, in 1996. The couple separated in 2000 and divorced in 2008.[14] Suleman moved back in with her parents started out on her effort to become a mother in 2001. Initially, she had three miscarriages. She told a psychiatrist that she suffered deep depression and had suicidal thoughts while starting a family. Suleman used an in vitro procedure, using a single sperm donor named David Solomon to father her first six children (as well as the octuplets) using the services of West Coast IVF Clinic run by Dr. Michael Kamrava.[15]In 2001, Suleman attempted to change her legal name to Nadya Solomon.[14][16] Several embryos had been implanted during each of her previous IVF procedures, resulting in four single births and one twin birth. As of 2009, her other six children are Elijah, age 7; Amerah, age 6; Joshua, age 5; Aidan, age 3; and 2-year-old twins Calyssa and Caleb. One of Suleman’s sons, Aidan, has autism. Suleman is receiving $490 a month in food stamps along with disability payments for three of her six previous children.[17][18] (Wiki)

It is not humanly possible to take care of 14 children under the age of 7 — including 8 infants (even healthy ones) all the same age — at the same time and give them the individual attention they deserve. If you have to have an army of nurses and daycare workers to parent for you, then you are not being a real parent, are you? Likewise, it is an avoiable and unnecessary health risk, both for the mother and the children, to implant 8 embryos at the same time.

In an interview on the Today Show today, that she was receiving monthly workers’ comp check and that four of her six existing children (prior to the birth of the octuplets) receive over $2800/month from SSI (Social Security disability for indigents) or $700/month each, which also entitles them to Medicaid. I don’t know if the other three existing children were on Medicaid, but if she herself is disabled on workers’ comp for her back injury and unemployed, it would seem likely that they are also on Medicaid and that she is as well (for all other than her back injury treatment). She also admitted to receiving almost $500/month in food stamps for her six existing children and herself. She also admitted in an earlier interview that she was and planned to continue living off of federally insured student loans.

So, to recap: an indigent single mother on disability herself (supposedly she injured her back, so how is it that she cannot work but can carry 8 babies?) who has six children under the age of 7, four of whom are disabled, receiving government assistance in the form of SSI, Medicaid and food stamps, who has a history of mental instability (depression and suicidal thoughts – great criteria for motherhood), and is living and planning to live on government assistance through federally insured student loans, decides that she can have not just ONE more baby, but has implanted SIX embryos (I assume two of the embryos split and became twins….) using a supposedly experimental procedure. And now, because the number of fetuses caused the babies to be so small and born so early, the taxpayers will be footing the ENORMOUS bill for their healthcare, which is already over $1M and is likely to be considerably more before they leave the hospital as infants, not to mention whatever disabilities they may have because of being born too early and which will entitle them to SSI, Medicaid, food stamps or other government assistance, etc.

But she maintains she is not on “welfare  She is, however, very much on public assistance.”, since SSI is basically a welfare program for the disabled who are indigent, which also brings Medicaid healthcare benefits with it (hospitalization, major medical and prescription assistance). And she is on food stamps, which she does not believe is welfare because she doesn’t get a check every month. And she is on Medicaid, which is also not welfare in her eyes because she does not get a check every month.  But all these benefits are forms of public assistance funded by the taxpayers.

Suleman should be forced to undergo a full hysterectomy and prevented from future adoption of any more children. I personally would like to see all her children removed from the home until she undergoes a mental health examination to determine if she is mentally ill and incompetent to raise these children.  My initial response is that she should have all her children taken from her and put up for adoption, especially the last 8, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and allow an independent professional to review her case. If we were talking about cats or dogs instead of children, the SPCA would have labelled her a “hoarder,” charged her with animal cruelty and immediately removed the animals from her home pending trial  She appears to be obsessed with bearing children and possessing human property called children, not being a real parent.  She needs psychiatric care, as do her crazy parents for supporting this obsession by not requiring her to support at least herself. I read that her mother has spoken out, saying that her daughter is not capable of raising this many children by herself. Who is? The sad part is that Suleman is a selfish woman who is dumping the real responsibility of raising all these kids on her parents — in fact, she planned it that way by her own admission, never considering the tremendous financial, physical and emotional burden and sacrifice she was asking of her parents, not to mention her own children, in order to fulfill her obsession.

And the doctor didn’t think that it would be unethical to do this operation?  The doctor should have his license to practice jerked. If it is not considered so already, implanting that many embryos knowing that it dramatically increased the risk of an early birth and potential damage to the fetuses should be considered an unacceptable standard of care and deemed medical malpractice. Certainly, if the babies end up being damaged due to the early birth or the number of fetuses implanted in the womb at one time, they will have standing to sue the doctor, or should. At any rate, any woman who undergoes this procedure should be required to undergo an mental health exam first. Likewise, since this mother has a history of mental illness and displays OCD tendencies, it is possible that based on her mental health history she could be considered as incapable of giving INFORMED CONSENT to this procedure, especially the number of fetuses implanted. The number of fetuses implanted should be limited to two, since this is the largest number of infants that can be delivered without a Caesarian section (naturally, in other words).

And, finally, I’m not against the CHILDREN, I’m against the irresponsibility of the parent and the doctor. These children will experience a lifetime of AVOIDABLE and UNNECESSARY deformities and chronic impairments, including possibly mental retardation, because, by necessity, they were born early and there were too many fetuses. Many of them may never experience a full life with a normal education, job, independent living, a spouse and a family of their own because of their mother’s selfishness and irresponsibility. To me this is a crime against humanity. Had there only been two fetuses, they might have been born perfectly healthy. Even three. But any responsible doctor would tell you that implanting 8 fetuses at a time was an unnecessary and avoidable risk for the mother and the children.

And now the children are the ones who suffer a lifetime for their mother’s selfishness and irresponsibility and a doctor’s greed and unethical professional behavior.

Further proof that requiring parents to undergo parenting classes (much as many states require a gun ownership course or a drivers test) and obtain a license before attempting conception is a good, responsible way of preventing irresponsible idiots from producing offspring. In order to get the license, there should be a committed couple (two parents of either gender) with a civil union or marriage license, means testing (including the future ability to maintain a current standard of living that exceeds the poverty level or better), academic testing (for literacy and competency), and mental health screening (including testing for genetic/autochemical deficiency illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, etc.).

Mentally retarded and mentally ill individuals should not be allowed to procreate. Nor should anyone under the age of 21. Nor should anyone who does not have the ability to provide financial support above the poverty level and understand that their financial commitment could reasonably extend for at least 21 years at the time of conception (which is the length of commitment based on the usual age for a young person graduating from college, which is now required if you are to maintain a standard of living anywhere near what your middle class parents had). 

And, most certainly, anyone currently on ANY FORM OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE — welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, SSI (which is social security disability for indigents), federally insured student loans or grants or ANY OTHER government provided or insured program — should not be allowed to make more children if they can’t take care of the ones they already have — BY THEMSELVES. 

Any parent who becomes pregnant or impregnates his partner while on welfare or while behind on child support payments should be denied a procreation license and even required to undergo mandatory sterilization. If you can’t take care of the ones who have, you have not earned the PRIVILEGE to make more.

People with genetic illnesses or who carry genetic illnesses in their genes should not be allowed to procreate. And, yes, I believe is a form of NEGATIVE EUGENICS based on preventing genetic illnesses and deformities. If they are not ill and the doctor projects they can physically perform their duties as a parent and a provider, then they can adopt.

And, as for genetic engineering, we already engage in that by legally preventing closely related family members from breeding — we call it incest.  If you know you have a genetic deformity or serious (meaning chronic or fatal) genetic illness, is it really responsible to pass that same burden on to generation upon generation of children? Why not become a parent by adoption? If parenting is what is important, not procreating, then HOW you become a parent should not matter. Procreating is an event. Parenting is a lifestyle choice.

I’m not talking about instituting a Hitleresque breeding program to produce a “perfect” human being (POSITIVE EUGENICS), I’m talking about common sense rules that would prevent genetic illnesses from continuing from generation to generation that create individuals that can never be competent enough to enjoy a full life and which could easily be avoided. We already do something like this with RH factor and by preventing close relatives from marrying, and therefore inbreeding.  And we have genetic testing for Downs Syndrome babies. Are we really so egotistical that we believe we must pass our genes on, even if they are seriously flawed, causing untold harm and anguish to our children?  Becoming a parent has nothing to do with procreating. You can become a parent through adoption.

Notice that I agree that anyone can experience temporary setbacks or illnesses. I was NOT saying that parents should lose their children if they become disabled or ill.  I was saying that parents should not be allowed to conceive and bring children into the world KNOWING they are unable to properly care for them — that is the distinction with a difference here.  

I also believe we must be more responsible regarding the overpopulation of the earth. We are already seeing problems arise from fights over resources like water and not just in China and India, but here in the U.S. as well. After two children, ALL individuals should be required to undergo mandatory sterilization.  The choice of two children replaces the two parents and results in, at best, no population growth.  This world is overpopulated already.  If a couple wants more children and can afford them and pass the criteria for legal adoption, let them adopt. With all the children in foster homes and orphanages that have no parents and need them, this should be a “non-brainer.”

I reiterate: I did NOT say that parents were restricted to PARENT only two children, just PROCREATE no more than two. If they want more children, there are millions of children of virtually any age group, sex, racial background, disability, etc., that desperately need homes that can be adopted.

It is time that our society take responsibility for its children and the conditions under which they are brought into this world and continue to live in this world.  It is not merely enough to guarantee their survival until birth, we must be able to reasonably ensure that they thrive

It is a moral imperative to examine how our society, through whatever legislation and enforcement means necessary, can support and encourage better parenting and prevent irresponsible parenting, which is, after all, a form of child abuse that is also causing the taxpayers to assume a terrific financial burden that is avoidable — not only in public assistance, but in the resulting crime, conviction and imprisonment of many kids born into poverty and neglect.

Having a child is not a RIGHT, it is a PRIVILEGE.  It is a sacred gift from God that requires parents to fulfill that sacred trust. And there is a huge difference between being able to give birth to a child and being a parent. Our society must relearn this lesson.


About Laura Schneider

Retired IT consultant (disabled), musician and animal lover. I support the constitutional concept of Right of Privacy and no discrimination against any person based on race, religion, ideology, gender, sexual preference or disability. I am very concerned about the erosion of our constitutional rights and protections under GWB (and even this administration). I strongly oppose torture, rendition or illegal search and/or seizure (without a warrant) and warrantless wiretapping. I believe that education is our best hope of a bright future for our children. Knowledge is power, and that's the kind of authority (Biblically speaking) that our children must have in order to be successful in a 21st century world.
This entry was posted in Dr. Michael Kamrava, eugenics, irresponsible parenting, parenting, responsible parenting, Suleman octuplets, West Coast IVF Clinic and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Suleman octuplets and encouraging responsible parenting

  1. lauraschneider says:

    Let me make some things clear:

    First, I never said that anyone who is sick should not procreate *unless it renders them physically incapable of safely bearing and raising a child), I said that anyone who has a genetic illness or deformity that would likely pass it on to their children should not procreate. And I only suggested that mentally ill parents with chemical imbalances, such as bilpolar disorder, schizophrenia and some forms of psychosis, which required daily medications consistently taken in order for the parent to be sane and competent and safe, should not procreate.

    The financial standard that I would suggest would be based on the parent’s reasonable probability to provide income ABOVE THE POVERTY LEVEL for the life of the child through age 21-25. Ensuring that parents would not deliberately conceive a child while on public assistance is a responsible thing to do.

    No one can predict the future, and there is NO suggestion that a parent who becomes ill or loses their job should have their children taken away. Nor is there any suggestion of guaranteeing the “quality” of parenting a child will receive beyond the parent’s reasonable ability to provide food, shelter, clothing, education and medical care without public assistance.

    Hitler’s attempt at POSITIVE EUGENICS was a form of ethnic cleansing, which is not anything like what is proposed here. NEGATIVE EUGENCIS is designed to prevent AVOIDABLE harm to children prior to conception.

    And there is no articulated right of procreation in the Constitution, although many state courts and the U.S.S.C. have decided there is AT THIS TIME (interestingly enough, basing it on the “assumed” right to privacy that they dispute when guaranteeing a woman’s right to choose….). However, because of the avoidable, irresponsible nature of our society and how we treat children as property rather than human beings with rights, it seems reasonable to me that we should rethink our view of parenting.

    (a) Procreating is not a right, it is a privilege that must be earned, just like a driver’s license, a hunting license, a medical license, etc.

    (b) Children’s rights should take precedence over parents’ rights, and, because children are powerless to protect themselves and their rights, it is the government’s job to do so in the event that the parent is the problem.

    (c) The right to PARENT and the right to PROCREATE are not the same. And, likewise, one can be a parent without procreating a child through adtopion.

    (d) We have an obligation to this Earth (and to God, if you so believe) to be good stewards of this planet. This Earth is already overpopulated. We already have fights between countries and even in our own country between states for clean water. This will only get worse as our population grows. We are destroying rain forests to replace them with farm land. This is quickly limiting our Earth’s ability to convert CO2 to oxygen in out atmosphere, causing the buildup of CO2, which increases global warming. We already are unable to provide enough food and medicine to care for our existing human beings.

    (e) Unrestricted procreation is one of the greatest factors in trying to address poverty.

    (f) A child has the right to be born with at least a chance of survival and the hope of a healty life, and this is far less possible if it is born into poverty (on public assistance), inherits a genetic illness or deformity, etc.

    When do we intend to start taking our responsibility to our planet and to our children seriously?

  2. Shannon says:

    So you are basically saying that it is ok for a crazy woman to have 2 or 3 fetuses emplanted into her and is not capable of even taking care of the 6 that she already has, but if she has 6 then it is just off the wall crazy. No she shouldn’t even have been able to have 6 knowing in what kind of state of mind she is in.

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