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Octuplets' mother already had six kids

January 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Many have described the birth of octuplets to a Whittier woman on Monday as a modern medical miracle. But as more information comes out about the mystery mother of these eight babies, more questions are being raised. The woman, who lives with her parents and is single, already has six other children, and her father confirmed that though she used fertility treatments, she never had any intention of having so many children.

"She did not seek to have more children," the grandfather of the octuplets said. "She thought she was going to have one more child."

Late Friday afternoon, the grandmother said her daughter had not been taking any fertility drugs.

"She was not on fertility drugs," said the octuplets' grandmother. "She was not."

Some neighbors said they don't understand her decision and that they also don't like all of the media attention the case is drawing.

Doctors at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Bellflower where the woman gave birth say the single mother did not receive her fertility treatment at their hospital. For them, the only concern was a healthy outcome.

"The option of terminating the pregnancy or selectively terminating the pregnant carried certain risks," said Dr. Harold Henry, the director of neonatal medicine. "To continue the pregnancy contained certain risks, and so the mother weighs those problems."

Medical ethicists say having so many children at once places them at a higher risk of having medical problems in the future, and for a mother who already has six children, the costs of raising so many kids will be staggering.

"To raise these kids is probably going to cost about two-and-a-half million dollars just to give them basics," said Dr. Charles Sophy of L.A. County Services. "That's not baseball lessons or piano lessons. That's food, clothing and getting to school everyday."

Medical ethicists also say that the ultimate decision lies with the mother, whose father says they are financially able to provide for the children.

"We take care of things ... financially we are okay," he said.

The financial situation may not be entirely stable, however. KABC has learned that the grandmother of the babies recently filed for personal bankruptcy, according to legal documents, and that a former house is in foreclosure.

The grandfather also didn't want to talk about who the father of the children is.


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