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Addicted to Having Children

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Is the mom of octuplets a single parent with a single obsession?

woman thinking with babies in the background
The methods used by the woman who gave birth to octuplets are definitely up for debate. According to reports, 33-year-old Nadya Suleman (already a mother of six) underwent controversial fertility treatments, allowing her to give birth to eight -- count 'em, eight -- newborns. Nadya's own mother, Angela Suleman, claims her daughter is "addicted to having children" and has been obsessed with having them since she was a teenager. 

Now fertility experts are questioning the mother's choice to get such controversial fertility treatments again and carry a multiple pregnancy like this in the first place, given the fact she already has six children. And some are starting to question Nadya Suleman's mental state.

There is no medical term for a driving need to have many, many children, but Suleman's desire, says Sudeepta Varma, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, could fall under the category of an addiction. "Having kids, like having a glass of wine, in and of itself is not a bad thing," explains Dr. Varma. "It's when it's done at the expense of developing other areas of your life or overwhelming your resources that it becomes a possible issue."

"Overwhelming your resources" is an understatement in this case. Suleman is certainly going to have some deep financial trouble on her hands. The mom of fourteen has no partner or job, and her mother recently filed for bankruptcy.

But in the end, cautions Dr. Varma, this decision was hers. "We're not limited to one child in this country," she says. "It's not regulated by law." No one questions Angelina Jolie's desire to have multiple children -- but since she's got a gazillion dollars, nobody judges her for it.

If money was no object, how many kids would you have?





next: Who Leaves a Sleeping Baby Alone in a Car?
22 comments so far | Post a comment now
mariposa February 2, 2009, 5:24 PM

if reality shows featuring huge families (jon and kate, the duggars, etc) weren’t part of tv fodder, i doubt we’d be seeing the birth of these octuplets. look how much money the gosselins have made exploiting their children. the duggars get interior designers for their huge house. come on! it’s very easy to see the logic in this mom’s thinking. for all those who think she’ll be supported by the taxpayers…wrong! we’ll be tuning in to her show while she rakes in the dough.

Chelsea February 2, 2009, 7:17 PM

I would have 10 kids if I could. Is that so wrong???

Kay February 2, 2009, 8:16 PM

I would have atleast 8 I love children. I only have two but if I could I would have a house full I love the hustle and bustle. I love the innocence of children. I love each stage. well up until they are independent teenish then they sorta do their own thing you kinda have to remind them to do family things. But I love ever stage of my children. Wish I could have filled my home up.

SesshoumarusGirl February 2, 2009, 9:52 PM

IF money were no issue, MAYBE two. However, if I end up not being able to have my own, I’ll adopt. I want a child more than the “experience” of pregnancey and birth.

Sandi Benson February 3, 2009, 12:46 AM

I just posted my rant on my blog,
As the mother of 14, I know I am not done. maybe two or three more. As long as I can afford them and I can chase them. Bring it on!

Lola February 3, 2009, 12:04 PM

You women are just horny and don’t believe in birth control. You have mental issues if your happiness is bringing kids into this world.Focus!! You really need psychological help to deal with ‘why’, if you love kids so much, can’t just be teachers and mentors. ever heard of ‘extreme’? Remember… to deal with your problems, you have to realize you Do have a problem and not be in denial. Please get help? 14 kids? you are such a loser and you love the attention.You’re a hoarder, might as well be a doll collector. Can you really afford it?

Stel February 3, 2009, 12:25 PM

I do not think this woman is mentally stable enough to raise 14 children. She is not taking responsibility of the six she already had. But, I would have had as many babies as I could have if money was no object. The families that choose to have a large number of children are not crazy. I can tell you from experience the pleasure of pregnancy, and the deep satifaction that comes from caring for your own child is a greater pleasure than a person could ever find anywhere else on earth. Large families seem odd to most Americans because of the reduction in family size after the baby boom. Prior to that time large families were considered the norm, the small families were considered odd. I believe if a person can support and care for their children they should have as many as they want.

Lola February 3, 2009, 11:23 PM

The Pleasure of Pregnancy? Oneself’s satisfaction of raising oneself’s child Oneself’s joy of raising and taking care of your own child?(that’s a given, you should take care of it) popping out a bunch of babies is a selfish act and an addiction of sort,regardless of your income..just because people coo and get happy for you it doesn’t mean it’s not an addiction. would you tell a heroine addict she looks nice and thin? No..but an overdose of babies..’aaww, the lord has blessed you for the 14th time it’s a miracle’..but hey, if it makes YOU feel good, then it’s not really a bad thing if you do it more than 10 times is it? Stop calling it a blessing and a miracle. .If two able-bodied people of opposite sex get together and mate, there will be a baby. A duckbill platypus can do it too. A miracle, is when an infertile couple can make their first child against all odds.Horny addicted loser and your husband’s your enabler.

Anonymous February 6, 2009, 6:02 AM

GOOD FOR HER!! I could care less how many kids she has or if she goes on welfare. Why shouldn’t she be entitled to it?? We hand it out to all the foreigners that don’t belong here. The chances our her seeing any of your tax paying dimes is slim to none. When we all pay taxes you have better luck assuming that one of the billion somali families sitting in the welfare off ice is receiving your hard earned tax dollars! We don’t hear you griping about that do we?? NO but you will gripe about one of our American citizens collecting something. You know if we took care of our own people and stopped giving free hand outs to all the foreigners…our economy wouldn’t be hurting so bad. For every 1 black or white family on welfare there are about 20 Somalian families. So if you want to be mad about something get mad about all the money we waste going to other people besides our own and gripe about all the kids they keep having so that they can keep getting more and more free support from us!!

dagny February 7, 2009, 12:35 PM

As someone who has undergone IVF twice now, and have no children to show for it, I will say one. Because every time I try it costs me $1000’s of dollars.

I hate that woman, for so many reasons. Most because she gives ivf and the infertile a BAD name.

Ddctiodz June 26, 2009, 7:57 AM

MoMxyl comment5 ,

michelle August 14, 2009, 5:08 PM

Christ lady, you have 14 kids and you want three more? The only three things you should be having is a doctor’s appointment, referral to a psychiatrist and getting your head checked. I believe the reason so many women want 10+ kids is because they simply had a crummy childhood, maybe not a lot of friends and don’t want their future children to experience the same thing. I mean, even God would say whoa there, enough’s enough. There are lots of first-time mothers who are younger than twenty. Even when you are twenty-one years old, you’re still thinking about the future and trying to plan what you need in life, not want. You can only have children up til you’re at least 40. Beyond that, physical and mental disabilities start to become a major risk. And do you mothers out there, who want more than 6 kids, even have the finances for this? It will cost about $7,000 a year (MINIMUM) for your child to go to college. Do you have the money to put more than five kids through college? Didn’t think so unless you’re married to someone in the Trump family.

Shannon September 30, 2009, 11:15 AM

Michelle,
I assume you’re talking about Sandi. She’s the mother of adopted children and about to adopt another. No birth control needed. For her anyway.

Paula December 3, 2009, 6:10 PM

One thing stands out to me about the comments on this page: I doubt that those commenters who lambast women for wanting and having many children, either biologically or by adoption, would be happy with people criticizing their life choices in the same fashion. Meanwhile, the likes of Sandi are getting on with raising their children - actually DOING SOMETHING positive in the world!

Read Sandi Benson’s blog. That woman’s capacity for love and self-sacrifice far exceeds anything I have seen from her nay-sayers, and I dare say that is true of the majority of parents of large families.

www.momlogic.com April 7, 2011, 8:56 PM

Addicted_to_having_children.. Awful :)

www.momlogic.com April 22, 2011, 7:22 AM

Addicted_to_having_children.. Very nice :)

www.momlogic.com May 2, 2011, 10:43 AM

Addicted_to_having_children.. Peachy :)

www.momlogic.com June 2, 2011, 6:12 PM

Addicted_to_having_children.. Not so bad :)

www.momlogic.com June 2, 2011, 10:49 PM

Addicted_to_having_children.. Awful :)

www.momlogic.com June 4, 2011, 6:32 PM

Addicted_to_having_children.. Awful :)


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