Thursday, February 12, 2009

For Shame

JH: Forgive me as I spout off about Nadya Suleman, single mother of 14 planned children! I already had a mild opinion about the mother who had taken fertility treatments to achieve these pregnancies. Then I saw the interview with the grandmother who outed her daughter for mooching off of her family. This is when my "mild" opinion turned harsh. Nadya Suleman has never been able to afford any of her children, refuses to work or even to take care of the children she already had. The brunt of the responsibility fell on the grandparents.

Today I am full fledged disgusted! In an article that I read this morning, I found out that this woman who just gave birth to 8 premature babies also has autistic children! Anybody who knows me will understand why I am infuriated. It is beyond all comprehension that any loving mother would purposefully bring 8 more children into the world when they are at risk of being autistic as well. It shows that she truly has no semblance of reality.
And to top it all off, she is now taking donations from the public to help her care for her children. I checked a poll and it showed that 94% of people are unsympathetic to her situation. The only sympathy I feel is for those children.

CH: Quite interesting...I wondered when we would get to a controversial subject on this blog. :)
I have to admit, I don't fully understand the complications surrounding raising an autistic child or of them "fitting" into this world we live I don't know if saying a mother who is at risk of birthing autistic children shouldn't have children is the most "open-minded" thing to say....or maybe you are more concerned with the fact that she brought 8 of them? Although I don't think the plan was for just happened that way.
So maybe you can clue me in more as to why someone shouldn't have additional children if they are at risk?
I also don't know the whole back story about this...I just know that I keep hearing her story everywhere and there seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding it...I'm not quite certain why someone who already had 6 children felt the need to turn to scientific methods to have MORE children...especially if she didn't have the means to provide for the first 6....I don't understand it...
And I can understand everyone being upset about the potential for her to accept any form of welfare to take care of the children she purposely bore (although again, I don't think 14 was the initial idea - but 6 was still plenty to begin with)...but everything I keep hearing has said she wasn't accepting welfare (but was accepting food stamps - same thing) and was using student loan money (which is still her own money) and going to school, etc.
I don't think she should expect anyone to be sympathetic to her....and I don't think anyone NEEDS to be sympathetic to made your bed, now lie in it - I guess is how the saying goes. A mother with enough will, will always find a way to support her children.
If she's so strapped for cash though, how did she afford the fertility treatments in the first place??
I obviously just don't understand the whole story to begin with.

JH: Let me preface this by saying that I am going off of all the info I've collected by watching and reading the news. There is of course a chance that I'm missing info that has been reported that I didn't catch, but from my understanding, I have legit facts.

Nadya Suleman had 6 children prior to the newest 8, and she used fertility treatments for those too. I'm sure we all know from the news stories over the years that when using in vitro fertility, your chances of conceiving multiple children are much higher. You are implanted with x amount of embryos, so in case a couple don't make it, chances are at least one will. She knew she was taking her chances with 8. In fact, as the story goes, she had her doctor go "against the rules" and implant more embryos than is the accepted "safe" amount for her age.

So now she has a track record of going against nature to conceive when she doesn't even have the resources to care for these helpless children. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against fertility treatments by any means. But there comes a point when enough has to be enough. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she was only going for 1 more child, not 8. She already had 6, along with a $50,000 student loan debt hanging over her head. Plus she relied on food stamps to feed her family. All of this makes it quite clear to me that even 6 children were too much for her to handle. Why add any more?

As for the autism factor, let's take the cost out of the equation for just a moment and simply focus on the lifestyle. Children with autism face what some might call day to day torture. Many of them are so sensitive to sound and touch that they are in constant discomfort. They live with high anxiety due to their desire for isolation vs everyone else's struggle to integrate them into society. Many families have multiple children with the disorder, but didn't plan on having more children after finding out about the first autistic child. That's because it is absolutely heart-wrenching to watch a child suffer emotionally and physically. Plus, any family dealing with autism knows that the amount of time and energy given to their autistic child takes that much time and energy away from their other children.

Now bring the cost of raising an autistic child back into the equation. When considering doctors, therapists, childcare, special education, etc. you're looking at $3 million+ per child. A responsible parent of an autistic child knows this, so why did Suleman (who's already in debt herself) feel that it was appropriate or responsible to add any more children to her expenses? It's a disservice to her other children.

And one last little note. There is some discrepancy involving the truth about her fertility doctor. She claims that the same doctor helped her conceive all of her children, but the doctor says that after the first 6, he didn't want to be involved with her any more. I hear there is evidence of a second doctor, but we don't know anything about him as of yet.

All in all, I think the woman is nuts. I feel terrible for all of her children :(

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