Like, I'm sure, many of you, I've been shaking my head in amazement over the story of the California woman who delivered eight babies a few weeks ago. Naturally this was an in-vitro fertilization thing. That, in itself, is amazing enough but then it was reported she has six other children, ages 2-7 who were conceived in exactly the same way.
The woman, Nadya Suleman, who is divorced and in her early 30's lives with her mother. Read a story last night that said Nadya's mother wants no more to do with the whole thing. Can't say I blame her. Yes, they are her grandkids but damn, enough is enough.
Have to say I have a lot of questions about why anyone would want something like this. I'm a mom and love babies and kids and one day I would love to hear a child call me Grandma. But who in their right mind would want 14 kids, especially considering her circumstances? And what ethical doctor would do this procedure? Each of the first six kids were conceived in-vitro and now this. Okay, I've always believed people are free to make their own choices but at what point do certain choices become the responsibility of others? According to a recent interview, Ms. Suleman felt her childhood was disfunctional and she was lacking somehow because of it. As a teenager she decided she wanted a huge family. Sounds to me like she wanted to validate herself in some way. Make up for what she considered a crappy childhood. What the hell? Does anyone else see this as the height of selfishness?
Medical Ethics people are talking this whole thing over right now while the book and tv deals are flowing in to the new mom who, by the way, has just hired a publicist.
Don't get me wrong. Like many of you, I know of loving, wonderful couples who have benefited from in-vitro fertilization. Practically, I'm a big believer in science. Emotionally, I love a happy ending and wish for all couples who would love and nurture a child the opportunity to have one. But where is the line drawn? How will this woman educate, provide healthcare, feed and clothe all these kids? Or will it fall to an already overburdened society to offer a handout?