Some say the public outcry against Nadya Suleman, the mother of the Bellflower octuplets, has gone too far, but even her own mother is criticizing her, releasing new details and photos of their cramped home.
In a new videotaped interview with RadarOnline.com, Angela Suleman, Nadya's mother, says she feels her daughter having so many children is "unconscionable." "She really has no idea what she's doing to her children, and to me," she says. According to Angela, a retired teacher, Nadya does not contribute money toward supporting her children. "Nadya promised to help me with the bills, but she never has," she says. "I lost a house because of it and now I'm struggling to look after her six. We had to put in bunk beds, feed them in shifts and there's children's clothing piled all over the house."
New photos of the interior of their three-bedroom house are posted along with the article. The house looks disheveled, and a RadarOnline.com reporter said the interior was "filthy," and there was food on the walls. Nadya's publicist Mike Furtney said that she shouldn't be held responsible for the condition of the house since she hasn't been home for weeks, according to the Associated Press. He added that Nadya planned to move into a larger house once the octuplets were healthy enough to be released from the hospital, though whose house that is, or how she is planning to pay for it was not explained.
Angela told RadarOnline.com that the sperm donor for all 14 kids was Nadya's boyfriend. Angela said he wanted to marry Nadya, but she refused because she wanted to have children on her own. She said her daughter was so set on having children that she got pregnant at 16, but miscarried and discovered that she had fertility problems. Though Nadya says she was treated by the same fertility doctor for all 14 children, Angela says she had to find a different doctor for the octuplets after Nadya's father begged one doctor not to implant anymore embryos because she already had six children. The Medical Board of California announced that the unidentified doctor who performed the procedure is under investigation for a "violation of the standard of care." Dr. Jaime Grifo, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, wrote an article for the New York Post on the standard procedures of doctors in his field, and says "it wouldn't shock me if there was a doctor who would do this, but it would greatly disappoint me."
These new details will probably only increase public scorn for Ms. Suleman. New footage (video below) aired this morning on Today from her interview with Ann Curry. In the first, Nadya admits that she may have projected her own desire for a large family on her children, imagining that her children wanted more siblings. In the second, Curry asks how Nadya plans to provide for the children, and she does not seem to have a concrete plan, saying "God will provide in his own way." She says she is not receiving help from the government, and will only accept products from people or companies that are "just for the children."
But, advertisers may be reluctant to shower Suleman's children with gifts, as they have with other multiples in the past. An article in Advertising Age suggests that any company should be hesitant to seek brand placement given the circumstances of the octuplets birth. It also suggests that like the "Son of Sam" laws that prevent criminals from profiting for their crimes by selling their stories, there should be a "Mother of Octuplets" law "to prevent baby-obsessed crazy ladies from not only profiting fromt heir obsession but making their children wards of the Media State."
In a new essay in Time, writer Nancy Gibb questions why Suleman has so angered the public, while the McCaughey septuplets, born in 1997, received a congratulatory phone call from President Clinton, and millions of people tune in every week to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 and the Duggars with their 18 children. Gibb suggests that Suleman has "violated some unspoken rule we have about fertility treatment." Almost everyone accepts the uncomfortable ethics of fertility treatments, because we understand people's desire to become a parent. Suleman however, makes us question those ethics because she already had so many children. Even as she is criticized for seeking media attention, new outlets continue to cover her and the public continues to watch. But, has Suleman crossed so many ethical lines that she deserves all the public scrutiny, or as Gibb says, is it time to stop criticizing someone else's personal parenting choices and "let this woman work out her very challenging circumstances without our vitriol making it any harder."
In the clip below from The Today Show Nadya says she projected her own wants onto her children, convincing herself that her six kids wanted a bigger family.
Below, Nadya denies that she had the children to make money. She says she wanted to do it on her own, but says she couldn't take care of the kids without her mother's support.
Grandma Blasts Octuplet Mom: "Nadya's Not Capable" [RadarOnline.com]
These Docs Are Bad Eggs [NY Post]
Let's Stop The Octuplet Mom And Her Ilk From Media Profit [Advertising Age]
Calling A Truce On The Octuplet Mom [Time]