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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
sara February 1, 2009, 11:27 AM

Obviously this woman is nuts,as a single mother i struggle to support two kids with no help from the dead beat dad… Most women are forced to be single mothers and are subjected to scorn from society. I guess since the morals of society are so screwed up today, that some women and men think it’s ok to have broken homes… no one thinks about the kids… I grew up in a 3 bedroom house with my 5 brothers grandmother my aunt her husband and her 3 kids plus my mother and it was hell … privacy is a was constant stress… I hated the experience so much that as soon as i was able to move out i did… I believe this woman had this kids for attention… and I feel sorry for them

V-Ky February 1, 2009, 12:00 PM

Hmmmmmmmm…I am thinking the same as Birdsfly’s comment to -A!!
Okay, consider this: EVEN IF the lady does have a thing about ‘having lots of babies’, at least she’s not out there having unprotected sex with strangers to get pregnant. AND, another thing that has been overlooked is that I hardly think she planned to have 8 babies at the same time!!
Also, Lilathe hit the nail on the head about the Yuppie’s and their kids!!
Besides all that, most multiple birth mothers/families that I have ever gotten news of, have different KIND-hearted folks, who are in the position to help, step in and give all kinds of help. I’m wondering ‘Where are they NOW?’
Some of you whose replies I read, need to get a grip, get a life, and get the he** out of other people’s personal lives. Get out there and DO some GOOD, not sit there and be ‘Do Goodies’ behind your ever-seeing windows and closed doors.

Monika Ward February 1, 2009, 12:51 PM

Please call President Obama and have him cut another Stimulus Check.. I believe this anonamous Mother is going to need it

If it works for them.. February 1, 2009, 1:34 PM

I wish them all the best… I just hope the kids are happy, healthy and taken care of. Don’t take on responsibility if you can’t handle it. We- as a country- can’t keep bailing people out of bad decisions.

Gayle February 1, 2009, 1:36 PM

When you find out that taxpayer money and California money will be used to support these 14 kids, then you will say its time to get her fixed. She will have more kids in the years to come if she isn’t stopped now.

d green February 1, 2009, 1:46 PM

This woman already had 6 children with no father in the home. To continue in vitro again was so totally irresponsible it is hard to comprehend. If she wanted more kids she could have taken foster children or adopted. She must be getting a lot of aid from we taxpayers to do this. Her parents are victims as well as the children. It would seem there is a mental and/or moral problem when you go to these extremes when you cannot support the children you already have and they will have no father in the home. There has to be another motive that is not known yet.

Susan February 1, 2009, 2:03 PM

This woman is disgusting and selfish! How dare she put such a burden on her parents. If she wanted to have all those children, then SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SUPPORT them. There is no way one woman can care for these many children especially 8 infants. How does she plan to feed them? Clothe them? Her parents should not have to care for them. She is one selfish b***ch!

Anonymous February 1, 2009, 2:04 PM

I realize that in the past, people had lots of kids, but they also had the help of their extended families. From what I have read in the news, the grandma is moving out, and the grandfather is going to Iraq in order to support his daughter and her lifestyle. So, this woman is supposed to be taking care of 14 kids after having a C-section? How is this logistically possible? She will be relying on the kindness of others to bail her out. I just feel bad for those children—even if she had a husband that would help.

Susan805 February 1, 2009, 6:17 PM

I have been reading and watching this on TV for days now. The lastest being the mother has asked Oprah and ABC good morning show to put her on tv and give her support. Yes she wants her own tv show!!! I really doubt that she has been going full time to school to get that college degree and working to support the original 6 children. I hope to heck the media does keep track of her and what she does. I dont want to pay for her children to be raised. There are many more needy than her without educations. Who paid for that College degree. Pell grants (must be poor for eligibility) and college loans? (that must be paid back) This is an outrage!! I read that the invitro was done in Mexico where she once worked?? And IS she a legal citizen. Mom is Mexican, Dad from Iraq. Parents are divorced but still living together years later. Why?? Tax reasons or welfare eligibility?? Hoping the answers come soon.

Anonymous February 1, 2009, 10:39 PM

Not knowing the truth about this womans merital status or financial status i can not make judgments, all i have to say is that if indeed she is single and is not working that fertility clinic should never have inseminated her with that many fertilized eggs. That being said most fertilization clinics highly screen people to make sure they are able to afford to have children and take care of them so im sure she is capable-but eight is still a rediculous amount of eggs to implant anyone with.

Chrissy February 2, 2009, 6:39 PM

According to ABC News - tghe women is divocred, unemployed.
We already know that she was living with her parents with her six kids.
Now her mother is moving out and her fahter is going back to Iraq - a dangerous sitution.
It was been reported but nor confirmed that her other six kids do not share the same father.
even if she did want “just one more” that’s one more that she’s able to support on her own.
This women has made spectacular bad decisions - for whatever reasons.
And certainly hasn’t thought about her children first. Nor has she thought about her parents,
Sorry no one would want seven people invade their home indefintely. Then did so most likely because they didn’t want to see their six grandkids homeless or in foster homes.
So let’s talk abouit the fathers to her six kids. Where are they? Are they supporting their kids?
It seems if they wanted to be in their kids lives - now is a good time to seek custody.
They may be able to support their kids in a beeter manner and demostrate better judgement this the mother.

Susan February 3, 2009, 7:46 PM

These poor, poor children. Can you imagine growing up in this environment! Can you imagine the comments they will hear when they reach school age. Life is hard enough for kids without exposing them to “crazy” whims of a single mom. Let’s get real, this lady is not of sound mind to do such a thing. She cannot say how she will support them. How irresponsible and cruel can one be.

Obvious February 4, 2009, 2:54 PM

Ok here’s the deal. They didn’t call SS on the family they called a guy at SS to ask him a question. This same question that a lot of not so worldly Americans would be asking themselves.
The questions of 17 people in a house isn’t a problem to me. I do have to argue that some children will not get enough attention in a family that large Due to the adult-child ratio. Does that mean Mom’s not doing her best? No. But Mom needs a little help. Think about it. 2 adults 14 children 8 of which are infants…. Even if you add gramps (whos going away mind you)thats 4 children to each adult… Yeah some of those kids are gonna have issues. Kids from family’s with less children have issues. No one can handle that many children ALONE… NO ONE!!! Think about it! If you have a kid or even two multiply accordingly and tell me you could handle that ALONE. And that’s just mentally money wise… My husband makes 80,000 a year and we have a hard time with our 3 kids and mortgage. 14 kids… THAT’S CRAZY the amount of money you’d need for diapers, wipes, formula (Which is expensive as hell) Clothes, detergent, food for the older kids… I don’t think people are considering the reality of her situation.

Tammie February 6, 2009, 3:50 AM

Some may not know decades ago combined families lived in homes togheter. I will not read anything on this site again since have nothing else to do but become involved in others lives. With the economy the way it is…may be MANY families moving in togheter just to make things work

katy February 7, 2009, 5:26 AM

It IS for us to judge. She wants to be a ‘childcare expert’. She wants a TV career. We are actually paying for her children right now, and have been paying for her IVF. This is too much. It needs to stop. I can’t believe anyone would condone selling children to the media like this. I don’t care if you are a religious nutcase or not. (This was a great sin if you are one). She put her children’s lives in great danger. They aren’t finished yet…just because they are born. The damage won’t be totally assessed here for a few years. Probably most will have lost interest by them. But the children will still be suffering. This is what concerns me.

Kim February 7, 2009, 2:55 PM

I can’t believe any of you would defend this woman who clearly has some severe mental problems. ONE woman caring for 8 newborns and 6 other very small children? Yeah, that’s intelligent. DHFS thinks there MIGHT be a “risk” of neglect?? Duh, ya think??

Glad you all are so on board with your tax money supporting this woman’s “RIGHT” to her insanity.

Pat February 7, 2009, 11:55 PM

Year ago it was considered normal to have large families. No one thought twice about having 7, 9 even 12 kids. Kids had to go to work to help out. Even begging on the streets.
Child labor was common. They did not have the social service to help.(definition of social service is Tax payers) The kids will be taken care of one way or another.
I feel that the Mom is being very selfish and spoiled. She want lots of kids and does not care how she gets them & who will be hurt by having them. She already put her father life in danger and Mom is moving out . What kind of life is she going to have now without her husband. ( Very Lonely)
She is a selfish spoiled brat that has never been told no. She should of been happy with what God has given her already. There has to a reason behind her madness. It will come out eventually.
In the mean time the DR who did this should not be practicing medicine. He is incompetent. He is the one that the burden should be put on to pay to raise these children. I do not mind helping out another human being. I have helped raise lots of kids that parents have basically thrown away or do not care what they are doing or where they are. But I have about been pushed to my limits on paying for other people especially illegal immigrants.
Right now I am thinking I would like to revoke my citizenship and become a illegal immigrant. I would love to apply for a green card. I am tired of working for my home, food, medical insurance and my kids schooling . I want food stamps subsidized housing free medical and scholarships for my kids. I do not even know where to start. Yet they don’t speak English and are told how to do it. So someone please help me. PLEASE!!!!
I guess I am out of luck because I am a American my great, great, great grandmother was a American Indian and her family was here before any of you.
I am a military wife my husband put in long hours and months, years, away from us to help keep us all free.
We are a American family and we will do whatever it takes to keep us all free

not impressed February 8, 2009, 1:57 AM

If these had been all natural births there would not be an issue for me, but considering she had fertility treatment to concieve all fourteen of her fatherless children I am appauled. She has a three year old autistic son that takes alot of time and then she adds to the brood where will she find the time to be with these children. Their house hold has 94 sq ft per person and that includes public spaces like the kitchen. I can bet she was on medicade when she gave birth to all these children. If i’m going to pay for it I want one of my own I want her secret of how she did it or better yet just give me one of those eight. Not like she is going to miss one or two. AHH this whole situation just makes me sick she needs mental help.

Jen February 8, 2009, 10:37 AM

Although I do not agree with this mother’s decision, I would like to throw in my own two cents as an IVF mom. I won’t bore you with my life story, but I will tell you that when my husband and I decided to try for a baby, our only option was IVF. It was expensive, but we saved up for it and were so excited when we started the procedure! It is a long, stressful, painful process with several different medications and injections that need to be taken daily for many weeks! It was worth it, though, because we wanted this baby so much and we weren’t able to have it the “natural” way. The meds worked, the eggs were fertilized, and we were just days away from our transfer. We were told they wanted to implant two or three embryos. We only allowed them to transfer one. I have three children at home that were conceived non-IVF and I knew that we could only afford one more. This clinic had an “adoption center” for embryos, but here is the kicker…when I told them that I wanted to adopt them out, the clinic said that I would either have to come up with a few more thousand for further screening and adoption fees or they would have to destroy the embryos! I wasn’t asking for compensation for them! How do you live with somebody telling you that they are going to destroy these lives?! Again, I do not agree with this mother’s choice, but a new system needs to be put into place so that you are able to donate or adopt your embryos out without having to pay more money to do so. The adoptive parents would already have to pay to go through the IVF procedure, why do the “birth parents” (if you will) have to pay to not have these lives destroyed that have already been created? There are people that go through the IVF procedure so many times and are devastated when it results in no embryos. Why shouldn’t this system work to help both sides?

D.D. February 9, 2009, 8:07 PM

There are several things that make this situation stink to high heaven.
She has 6 kids and then decides to have more, because she is “lonely”.
The sperm doner is a “friend” and yet did not know what she was up to. I wonder if he is paying any kind of child support?
She’s selling her story and not even flinching that she is putting her kids in a limelite that they did not ask for.
They all live in a small home, that she does not own but belongs to her parents. Did they ask for this burden?
There are pictures that have surfaced that show a slovenly home and the grandmother has already shown resentment for having to take care of the first six kids. How is that a healthy environment?
How is she going to “hopefully” move into something bigger and yet she is unemployed?
She took a considerable amount from a Worker’s Comp claim for “back troubles”, but had no problem being pregnant with eight babies?
If she truly loved these children, instead of using them to make money, she would place them up for adoption, get into some most needed psycological therapy, get a job and pay to support her other 6 kids that she brought into this overpopulated, under resourced world. I resent mightily that my tax dollars go towards supporting a situation such as this. I personally think that knowingly bringing children into a world and that you know that you have no means to support them is bordering criminal. She did not have these babies naturally, so as far as the doctors that orchestrated this atrocity, they should have at very least have their medical licenses suspended if not revoked outright pending an investigation of their moral character and should be the ones to pick up the cost of their care. This whole situation is screaming for intervention. I do not advocate CPS in most situations, they usually create more harm than they actually help, but in a situation like this we have no other resource to throw at it. Why should 14 lives continue to be negatively affected because of one selfish, juvenile, morally reprehensible and egomaniacal woman? WHy shouldn’t they get a chance at a normal life in a normal family? They are babies and didn’t ask to live in the way (in her own words )that trusts God to provide…somehow. God helps those who help themselves. That statement alone should show just how she has no real plans to do anything proactive in the way of finding gainful means of support for the children she brought into this world.

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