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Controversy Surrounding Octuplet Mom Nadya Suleman

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Controversy Surrounding Octuplet Mom Nadya Suleman

Nadya Suleman seeks donations on behalf of the octuplets.

Screenshot of www.thenadyasulemanfamily.com

Who is Nadya Suleman?:

Nadya Suleman is a single mother from Whittier, California, who, after giving birth to six children, sought additional IVF treatments in the hopes of having one or two more. However, her doctor, Dr. Michael Kamrava, of the West Coast IVF Clinic, opted--at Suleman's request--to implant six embroys, rather than one or two.

According to an interview on The Today Show, Suleman claims that she anticipated, at most, that the treatment would result in one or two live births. In reality, not only did each of the six embryos implant successfully, but two of those six also split--resulting in two sets of twins.

Why is There Such Controversy Surrounding the Nadya Suleman Octuplets?:

Part of the controversy is based on objective, ethical questions over her doctor's decision to blatantly ignore the guidelines set forth by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, which state that patients under 35 years of age should not be implanted with more than two embryos.

However, Suleman told Dr. Phil McGraw, of the Dr. Phil Show, in a televised interview, that her doctor had implanted five or six embryos with each of her previous pregnancies, too--and each of them resulted in singletons or twins.

Is Suleman Taking Advantage of the System?:

There has also been a lot of backlash against Suleman's choice to seek expensive fertility treatments when:

  • She already had six children, and

  • She was receiving government assistance, in the form of food stamps and federal supplemental security income (SSI) to care for her existing children, and

  • She apparently had no job or source of income at the time, and depended on her parents for housing and assistance.

The combination of these factors has stirred up tremendous controversy.

What Other Factors Contribute to the Suleman Controversy?:

  • Suleman is seeking donations through a web site built by her former publicist, Michael Furtney.

  • Both Suleman and her mother have spoken publicly about her intense, life-long dream to have a large family, pointing her motivation toward a desire to fulfill her own psychological needs.

  • There has also been speculation into whether Suleman underwent voluntary plastic surgery prior to the octuplets' births, when she was living off of an insurance payout resulting from a previous work-related injury.

  • In addition, some reports suggest that the Suleman family home is close to foreclosure.

Would All of This Be an Issue if Suleman Were Not Single?:

Much of the outrage surrounding Nadya Suleman is about money, not the fact that she's a single mother. Both Suleman and her doctor made personal choices that have resulted not just in the successful births of eight beautiful and miraculous babies, but also in what will amount to millions of dollars in medical bills, which tax payers in the state of California will ultimately absorb. Were Suleman independently wealthy--or were her children the result of foster care adoptions, rather than expensive, elective fertility treatments--much of the Nadya Suleman controversy would not exist.

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