Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Octuplets and Our Own Freedoms

Much has been said about the mother of the recently born octuplets, Nadya Suleman.
Conservative pundits are outraged that she was allowed to have all of these kids when she already had 6, and doesn’t have a clear source of income. She lives with her parents, and receives food stamps. CNN reported this morning that she has already set up a website to solicite donations and tell about her family, I guess.

While it is very clear that she has no way of adequately providing for the needs of her kids financially, she says she will stop her life for them and will love them and be with them. So, what she is really saying is that she is going to be a stay-at-home mom. Great. Because to have a job and pay daycare for 14 kids would be like going to work and shredding your paycheck.

Many people are angry that she will be receiving governmental assistance for 14 kids. Hey I’m upset about it, too. But what other recourse is there? Some people have said the government or family services needs to step in and do something, like placing the kids with other familys that have the means to take care of them.

I say this. Be very, very, very careful. Government intervention would set a dangerous precident that the government has the authority to tell us how to raise our kids. This would be a serious intrusion of privacy and would be a major concern for those that have a parent stay home with kids while another works. Imagine a social worker showing up and telling you that both parents have to work so you don’t receive foodstamps, even if the other income just barely covers child care costs. Or what if the house is just a little bit dirty. Right now, there isn’t a clean dwelling rule to receive assistance.

Reproductive rights would also be targeted by government intervention. For the government to set a cap on the number of kids one can have or to control women’s reproductive rights would be downright totalitarian. That would be just like having China’s one-child rule in this country.

While many people are rightfully upset about her receiving assistance there really isn’t much to do about it, as I see it. As a society, we are hamstrung by the same freedoms that we enjoy for our own families. And isn’t that the way it should be? The best we can hope for is that Ms. Suleman is successful in this long journey with her own family.


  1. Honestly, I say that the lady needs therapy. It is one thing to bring as many children in the world as you can provide for and loving them whole-heartedly (as well as providing for them financially) but it is another to have to go on assistance by 'choice'. Working in the social work arena, I see families every day with working mothers and fathers who are struggling to make ends meet as is. The government assistance is already stretched to it's max including the hiring of unlicensed social workers all across the United States to meet the demands of those in need. As a society, how can we willingly allow more and more individuals receive inadequate health care, financial assistance and basic needs? Because we allow individuals to have 14 children. True, we should not ban individuals from their reproductive rights and we should not punish those who take on the task of raising wonderful children. But we must advocate within our government to not always process cases within the welfare field as 'the same' and 'fair' for all. Condone and support those who are willing to work the hardest, shun and take away funding from those who willingly choose to sit around and 'take in' our money. Then we will have more funding for those who deserve the help, and weed out those who do not. Does it sound harsh and impossible...yes...Do I strongly believe it is worth it..absolutely. I am loving these's nice to think for a minute!

  2. Diva, it is absolutely funny to me to see that you were up at 6:47 AM.


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