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Social Services Allow Octuplets in Home?

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It's hard to even visualize 17 people living a two bedroom house, so we called Dr. Charles Sophy, Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), to find out if this is even legal!

kids and house

Dr. Sophy tells us "The Department of Children and Family Services has to look at every family situation keeping a safety and risk perspective -- as long as the kids are safe then it is OK, unless there is a risk for abuse or neglect including physical, emotional, medical and or educational."

Dr. Sophy shared with us "We keep a close eye on multiple births that are in the news, because there is a chance we will be called to go in and assess the situation. Anyone can call the hotline and that's when we go in as a team with standardized tools to assess the safety and risk of the children. We don't go in there to dismantle the family, but we go in there to support the family. We use a strength-based model and set them up to succeed so we aren't back out there in two months."

After talking to Dr. Sophy, we learned there's no set of rules in California regarding the number of children who can sleep in one bed or number of people in a house, BUT they all must be physically and medically safe.

How do you feel about 17 people living in one house?

next: Wake Up! Here's Why You Can't Sleep
63 comments so far | Post a comment now
A January 30, 2009, 10:49 AM

Hey birdsfly, there is a huge differnce bewteen 1 and 14. I never said having children was bad, but if your are too caught up in the cuteness of babies to not realize the implication of man negative effect on this planet that we all share I suggest to you to educate yourself before you open your ignorant mouth. You are probable just mad at my comment because you have a ton a kids living off the system like this young mother/monster soon will be.

glad I'm not from CA January 30, 2009, 11:37 AM

This is America…. don’t worry… the government will print more money to help :) Come one, come all to the land of the free…procreate at will… the government will bail you out too!

Lawdoll January 30, 2009, 11:58 AM

I wonder where the comment I posted earlier went????

Tammy January 30, 2009, 12:26 PM

Do we even know for sure that this woman is single? Or that the “other” children are her biological kids? Maybe she’s a widow and just wanted to have some piece of her dead husband in this world. And when she found out that she was having 7 instead of just one, she made a moral choice to not terminate any precious lives. I read that the family does have money and that the woman was only aware of 7 babies and that the eigth was a suprise.

birdsfly January 30, 2009, 12:51 PM

A- Not that it is anyone’s business, but I have never been on government assistance. I am the married mother of one, soon to be two children. Our budget is tight but we make ends meet and have never taken hand outs. I am also an environmental and animal advocate but refuse to go the extreme of basically calling humanity a virus. I am a big proponent of the green movement, within my budgetary confines, but I don’t think that movement should include limiting the reproductive rights of free citizens. Children should be taught that they are loved and wanted, regardless of the situation, not that they are going to be the destruction of the entire planet. One of those eight could grow up to implement massive environmental reform in this country and help save the planet. You just don’t know.

who pays? January 30, 2009, 1:08 PM

She is a single mother…her father, the grandfather is former Iraqi military, and going to go back to Iraq to make some more money. The family abandoned a home and filed bankruptcy over a year ago. She CHOSE to have 8 embryos implanted. She CHOSE to not reduce the number. Whatever doctor agreed to do this procedure should pay for it all. Why would you have invitro when you have 6 children? There are plenty of people who can’t afford invitro who would love to have one baby. Obviously she will not be able to raise 14 kids without help. But, it was her CHOICE.

Tax payer not tax taker January 30, 2009, 2:12 PM

My choice is to not help pay for this…but, as a taxpayer, I’m sure I will. I hope the best for these innocent babies. I just don’t want to support them. As a taxpayer and a voter I will be outraged!

A January 30, 2009, 3:56 PM

Birdsfly, you call yourself an enviromentalist but it seems to be you are only one as long as it doesn’t inconvience you. I never said humanity was a “virus” but you appear to be ok with the fact that this woman has more children than she can handle (I don’t care who you are- 1 woman cannot raise 14 well adjusted kids. PERIOD!!). If she wanted 14 kids she could have adopted or been a foster mother to kids who are already here and unwanted. She could have told those babies how special and loved and wanted they are. But NO, she chose to reproduce on the level of a dog or cat.Plus, all the love and compassion in the world won’t put food on the table, clothes on their back, or an education in their brains. And O.K. so what if the family is well off?… children need TIME from mothers as well. Some of the most screwed up people are also the wealthiest.How is she gonna spent time with each of her 14 children and make then feel special? In an ideal world, love is all we need but you need to quit dreaming and wake up. By the time one of these 14 grows up and “saves the world” it will be too late. We as a society need to be proactive and do something about this problem now. Quit waiting for other people to fix this problem Bird and start doing something for your, and the 14 in Cali, and all the other children today!

kathy January 30, 2009, 6:23 PM

I just want to comment that I was one of eight siblings and our quality of life was not good. I don’t mind that I grew up poor, it makes me appreciate things, but what was really hard was that my mother went through early menapause and then depression. My siblings and I were always fighting for attention and my mom was sucked dry. She even denied us hugs because “then everyone would need one”. We felt like all we were for was for house work. I always felt like dad resented us because he had to work two jobs and never wanted to talk to any of us when he came home. They couldn’t afford for us to go to college, I was the only one who went (by loans). Even if people can afford this many kids, it doesn’t mean they will each get the individual attention they deserve. Funny, all my sibling only have one or two kids and stop there.

Kara January 30, 2009, 10:06 PM

I have been concerned for some time ove the comments posted on momlogic. I worry that we are turning into a hateful selfish society and 90% of the posts fall into that category. To the person that posted she would not choose to help pay for this but will because of taxes let us look at this differently. If you knew that the options were starving those children or you paying to feed them what would you do? Just take out all of the arguments about how they aren’t yours or she shouldn’t have done this - what would you do?

Martha January 31, 2009, 2:22 PM

If the family was “non-white” I would wager in a heartbeat that CPS would remove the children. They already do it.

Black kids pull more federal funds,white kids pull more private dollars.

In any event, I wish them well.

Kara January 31, 2009, 4:49 PM

Thanks Martha, we needed someone to drag color into it.

BLBrown January 31, 2009, 8:48 PM

Family always has room for more…In our ancestor’s times, “pallets” on the floor were utilized. so, just as long as there is floor space, there’s room for all of the persons who need to inhabit that home….and they will probably be blessed with other accomodations..blessings have a way of coming to the deserving.

tw January 31, 2009, 8:53 PM

Great, let her have 20 more all 40 can live in that 2 room house, more power to em, thats what she wants. Who cares,social services cant Wait to give them whatever they want, but a poor homeless, or old person who have worked all there life a are down on there luck will go hungry or cold and nobody cares. Keep pumping out those kids and maybe you will get a huge house for free to. Its a sick world.

Logan February 1, 2009, 6:52 AM

The grandmother said she is walking out when her daughter returns from the hospital, as her nerves are gone. She is taking care of the other six kids. She also stated her daughter used the same sperm donor as she did for the other six..that her tubes were plugged, whatever that meant. No wonder the grandfather left. This is no young girl, but a 33 year old woman..Too, she worked in a fertility clinic…..and you can buy sperm through the internet.

a child welfare worker February 1, 2009, 7:31 AM

CPS has no reason to get involved unless they are given a reason to get involved. Having a lot of children is not a reason. If the children are safe, clean, mentally and physically healthy and having their needs met, then CPS can’t and won’t get involved. I just wonder if a mental health screening of any kind is performed by the medical professionals to determine if someone is a candidate for fertility treatments. I can’t imagine rational person under the circumstances that have been reported (6 children, single and living with her parents) wanting additional children at this time in their life. Seems like she had her hands full already. Perhaps now, other than a health physical,a sperm donor and the money, the fertility specialists will think about what other kinds factors should make someone an appropriate canditate for fertility treatment.

IceBoxCookie February 1, 2009, 9:23 AM

It would be a better world if people minded their own business unless there is evidence of a real danger to these children.

Joan February 1, 2009, 9:46 AM

Next thing we know, we will see this family on “Extreme Home Makeover” having a big house built for them because they don’t have room in their current one!

David February 1, 2009, 11:09 AM

If this woman were self sufficient, I would say more power (and kids) to her. But from what has been reported about her and her parents and other kids, I would say the woman is a complete fool, and the parents are just as nutty, for allowing this to happen. Tell the daughter to find her own place. Perhaps that TV show, with TY, will build them a Mansion…probably already has the contract signed sealed and delivered!!

David February 1, 2009, 11:16 AM

Oh, and think of how many others would try the same thing to get a free house, by having more chilluns than this woman, Dad has to go back to Iraq where he could be killed, the drawbacks are endless. The parents lost their house cuz of her! getting into the Guiness World Book of Records is one thing…topping the list of the most incredibly stupid stunts, well, this is it. I do hope the children make it safe…I havent seen anything like this since they did an Expose on a Mr. Green in Utah, who had by several wives (simutaneously) an inordinate amount of children…ON WELFARE!

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