Saturday, March 7, 2009

Litters of Babies

TLC seems to have created their own brand of fertilitainment with all their recent air time dedicated to shows like Jon and Kate Plus 8 and 18 Kids and Counting. I admit that I have been intrigued by the dynamics of both of these families, as well as the ones featured on shows like Kids by the Dozen.

I recognize that family planning is a personal choice. I know that we all have our own convictions and reasons for how big or small we grow our families.I recently watched a special called "About a Family"; who had four of their own children, and then they adopted 23 special needs children. Almost each of those adopted were severely handicapped. I'm not sure where these kids would have gone had they not been adopted by this family. I'm guessing that they would have ended up in sterile institutions funded by the government. That's why, upon hearing that this family depended on welfare as a means of supporting themselves, it didn't bother me. They are a family of 29 who spend only $1500 a month on groceries. That's a little over $50 a month per person; we spend way more than that. This family is frugal. They are loving. And I give them a lot of credit.

Then there is this woman.

In January, she gave birth to octuplets through the help of fertility treatments. She already had six children under the age of six at home. The father of all the children is a sperm donor (the same one for all 14 children).

So now this woman has 14 children under the age of six, and she is a single parent. In the interview I watched with her, she said that she's going to be able to financially take care of all of them once she completes her degree as a counselor. I see many a flaw in her logic.

I don't know how a single mother of one child completes a degree/works fulltime. It doesn't come close to making sense to me that anyone could do it with 14 children. Especially eight infants. I'm assuming (fact checkers, I'm hoping you prove me wrong) that this woman also receives government assistance. Unless she's independently wealthy, she'd have to be getting help. Diapers and formula alone for eight babies is hundreds of dollars a month. Ross and I couldn't afford half of her kids on our incomes.

I find myself becoming upset with this woman. While the family in the first scenario also chose the number of children in their family, they were rescuing children from a possibly horrible life otherwise. The octomom chose to keep having children in a very culturally irresponsible way. She has put the burden of paying for her family on the taxpayer.

I listened to many interviews with doctors regarding the octuplet situation, and all of them said that with the advances made in fertility treatments, there is no way that a sound doctor could have possibly let this happen. My first thought was they were referring to "selective abortion" which I am against. However, they weren't talking about that. But since I have limited knowledge of fertility science, I can't comment on what they might have meant.

I don't want to judge this woman. I don't want to assume that she was being selfish in her choices. But I also would completely boycott TLC if they gave her a television series.


Michelle said...

If TLC gives her a series, she'll have the money to support her "habit" of having babies. I think that the difference between the family of 29 and the the octomom is that the first family is selfless and the octomom is selfish. The end!

Mark and Emily said...

If I understand the story right she had 6 frozen embryos and in her "mind" she felt that she would be abadoning or killing these live humans if she didn't implant them all. She could've donated them to another couple, to science or let them stay in the freezer for a while, but I really hope that the doctor gets fired, that's where the problem began. It's a sad situation however her parents seem to be willing to help and be supportive.

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